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Thursday, December 6, 2012

More Author Insight: Reading Turn-ons & Turn-offs

What always compels you to pick up a book? Do you have a reading turn-off that guarantees you’ll put one down?

"I’m compelled to pick up any book with the name ‘Stephen King’ on the front because he’s rarely, if ever, lets me down as a reader. Turn offs? Precious MCs that can do no wrong and have everything fall into their laps with minimal effort. Very boring." - Sara Walsh, author of The Dark Light.

"Good writing on the first page. I love good prose. I'll sometimes buy books just for the prose, and leave other books that are probably really exciting on the shelf, because the writing wasn't for me. Biggest turn-off is probably long books. I’m just so slow at reading them. Some of my favorite books are long, though, so if I hear something is really amazing I’ll read it no matter what." - Stefan Bachmann, author of The Peculiar.

"Beautiful covers and brilliant flap-copy always turn my head- a pretty cover will usually make me purchase a hard copy of a book over the ebook. I will put a book down if the character does not interest me enough to find out what is happening to him or her." - Robin Bridges, author of The Unfailing Light.

"I admit I’m a huge sucker for cover, so I will pick up a book based on cover alone. Also, premise. If the premise seems like something I will totally love (and that hasn’t been done a million times before), then it will move to the top of my TBR stack. After that, recommendations from friends make a huge difference. I’ll totally put a book down when I’m not connecting with it or when it completely annoys me to read it." - P.J. Hoover, author of Solstice.

"I have a weird belief that the books that are supposed to come to me, do. I don’t question why I read what I read. It’s kind of creepily spiritual, but I continue to live by it. When I pick up a book, cliches on are a big turn-off, as well as anything with a female character simpering about a man on the first page." - Lara Avery, author of Anything But Ordinary.

"Anything that feels derivative. As T.S. Eliot says, 'Immature poets imitate. Mature poets steal.'" - Adam Gidwitz, author of In a Glass Grimmly.

"An intricate, expertly woven plot always makes me read, but a theme that says no one can ever affect their fate and that we’re all pawns of the universe, I never want to read those. I just don’t believe them. Sadly, you never know if the 'pawn of the universe' theme is in play until the book has ended, though!" - Sharon Cameron, author of The Dark Unwinding.

"I won’t read books about losing a child or books about something horrific that happens to a child. Don’t want to go there." - Suzanne Selfors, author of The Sweetest Spell.

"So many things can cause me to pick up a book: recommendations from a trusted source; if the book is written by an author whose work I love; some premises that I know I enjoy (I'm a sucker for gothic romances involving archaeology — seriously!). In terms of reading turn-offs, I try to give a book a few strikes before I put it down. If a book contains multiple instances of thoughtless homophobia or racism (that is, if it's not purposely included as a necessary part of the story), though, I tend to stop reading." - Malinda Lo, author of Adaptation

"If sentences are so complex that I have to read them several times to get what’s going on or if characters and their actions aren’t believable to an extreme point. I’m willing to go with unrealistic for a little while, but not forever. Also, nothing to do with the author or the writing most of the time, but if I can’t relate to a plot in some way, then I have trouble finishing a book. Present day stories tend to be my favorite so if it’s the past or the future, I need to be able to ground myself into that environment and being able to draw a comparison to my life really helps this. Like teens being teens even though they’re on a space ship three hundred years in the future…they still get nervous about talking to their crush or they still argue with their parents…that kind of stuff." - Julie Cross, author of Tempest.

"I am a very picky reader, and yet I can’t quite describe what will make me put a book down. Lazy writing? Overuse of adverbs? (Especially in dialogue tags.) Characters who are shallow or who describe what they look like. The listing of brand names of clothing. Gosh. The list is long. What compels me to pick up a book is an intelligent premise and a killer first paragraph. What keeps me reading is a killer first chapter. Etc." - A.S. King, author of Ask the Passengers.

Find out Tuesday what character from another work the authors would like to see one of their characters date or befriend. 

1 comment:

  1. Interesting segment I must say. Great to hear from the authors themselves! :)