Ask the Reader #2

Next up in our “Ask the Reader” series is my cousin Katie, who – I must say – gives some absolutely fantastic answers. Enjoy!

What genres do you typically read?
I kind of read everything. I don't really focus on a specific genre. I'm not huge into science fiction and I've never read a western, but if the story is good, I really don't mind what genre it is. I have a lot of fantasy books on my shelf and realistic fiction like Jane Austen or the Bronte sisters. I'm a theatre major so I read lots of plays and lots of Shakespeare too. I like lots of adventure, lots of twists and turns and romance of course!

Who/what are some of your favorite authors/books?
Tolkien, Rowling, Austen, Bronte, Shakespeare...the typical. It's been a while since I've read anything new though.  I gotta start reading again...

What is most likely to draw you in to a book?
A wonderful story that just makes me want to ignore everything else except the pages in front of me. I've neglected going out or hanging out with people to read every once and a while. Characters who I wish so badly were real people or who would jump out the pages and be my friend of take me on some sort of adventure. It almost makes you sad sometimes when you close a book and realize that they don't exist or that adventure never took place. I like books that make me think or evaluate my life, even if they have no connection whatsoever. A book with all that is a book that will keep me turning pages and keep me coming back for another read.

What are some of your big turn-offs in a book?
Predictability. Characters with no great purpose. Very obvious stolen ideas from other authors. It's ok to borrow and twist or steal. Who doesnt. But if you don't change the description of a nazgul very much in your book but just call it by a different name, I don't really enjoy that. I like a lot of character interaction a book that's got pages and pages of a description of a tree just doesn't excite me. Describe that tree all you want and make me feel like I'm there. That's cool. I love it. But not for 20 pages.

What do you wish authors would do more of?
There are so many things I wish authors would do...but if they did it, then the stories wouldn't be as effective. Every couple can't get married and grow old together. Not everyone can survive the battle.  We want them to of course, but they can't. So although I have notes and notes of things I want authors to "fix," I feel like if they listened to every fan they ever had the work wouldn't be there own and the story would be less effective...depending on the notes of course.

What kind of books would you love to read, but can’t find on the shelves?
Hmmmm I'm not really sure...I think whenever I finish a good book I always want more. Post series books, as it were. Continuations of some kind.  But you always risk them not being as good or not being what you want. So I don't know...I feel like there are so many great books out there, I have yet to wish for a type of book that can't be found.

How do you interact with your favorite authors (visit websites, write letters, etc.)?
Usually websites. Back in the day I sent some letters and emails. Not so much anymore. Just follow their websites.

How do you hear about new books that might interest you?
My wonderful awesome cousin, the author of this site! (Katie, I owe you a round of tubing on the lake this summer for this shout out!)  And (guy pal) Patrick. That's pretty much it. 

Where do you typically get your books these days?
If I have something specific, I start at the used bookstores and work my way up to Barnes and Noble or online just because I am a poor college student. If I just want to browse I always go to the bigger bookstores.

Have you ever had a “throw the book across the room” moment? If so, why?
Oh goodness yes. Haven't we all. Death of a character, shocking twist moment, surprise, the two lovers finally getting together, something bad happening to the lovers, a stupid cliffhanger at the end of a book...I have physically thrown books countless times!

What do you look for in a good story?
My answers are pretty similar to what I look for in a good book. But a good story should seem so real no matter how make believe it may be. To me a good story has that weird visual complex with it...if its good, I want to see it in front of me acted out and performed or lived...but i don't because it won't be what I imagined in my head. If it's a good story I just want it to continue on. Or show up in the real world. I dont' know it's hard to explain and sounds kind of silly. You just want it to keep going.  If its good you just kind of want to disappear into it. 

Any other thoughts, ideas or comments that you wish more authors would do?
Keep writing!!! Keep thinking of new stories!!! Keep taking us away into magical lands and introducing us to awesome characters!!!

And this is why I love my cousin! Once again, I think a round of applause is in order for our fabulous reader. Thanks, Katie!


  1. *claps hands*

    I also like stories regardless of genre. :-)

    1. Yeah, it's funny how a good story trumps everything else - even genre.

  2. Two excellent nuggets from this interview:

    1) "Characters who I wish so badly were real people or who would jump out the pages and be my friend of take me on some sort of adventure."

    2) "Every couple can't get married and grow old together. Not everyone can survive the battle. "

    Something about those two quotes truly resonated with me. I've thought about making the best character I can (naturally), but something about making your character your reader's friend is eye opening. Thanks for these posts!

    1. You are very welcome. I'm learning so much from doing this interview series, too. I really liked Katie's comments about: "Characters who I wish so badly were real people or who would jump out the pages and be my friend of take me on some sort of adventure. It almost makes you sad sometimes when you close a book and realize that they don't exist or that adventure never took place."

      That is definitely ME as a reader, and what I try to be as an author, too.