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Our September Author Interviews--9/6 Kathleen Valenti, 9/13 David Burnsworth, 9/20 Jeri Westerson, 9/27 Frances Brody. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

September Saturday Guest Bloggers: 9/2--Anne Bannon, 9/9 WWK Bloggers, 9/16 Margaret S. Hamilton, 9/23 Kait Carson, and on 9/30 Trixie Stiletto.


“May 16, 2017 – The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) today announced the finalists of the second annual Star Award, given to authors of published women’s fiction. Six finalists were chosen in two categories, General and Outstanding Debut. The winners of the Star Award will be announced at the WFWA Retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 23, 2017.” In the general category, WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.
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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Interview With a Reader


Interview With a Reader

In New Zealand I was able to track down and speak a member of a highly desirable and rarely interviewed class — a reader. I approached with caution so as to not frighten the woman sitting on the couch in my living room and asked what she was reading. From there I was able to skillfully deflect the conversation into what she does and does not like to read. In the interest of avoiding the paparazzi, my niece, the said reader, shall remain anonymous. No matter what you do to me I will not tell you it was Jenny I spoke with.

Speaking of mysteries she told me she does not like a book ending where there is no clear conclusion: the experience left her frustrated. She also said she does not like plot complications that seem tossed in for suspense and do not advance the story. Her example was a woman character who knew she is being stalked and who head a strange noise in a dark parking garage. The charter went to investigate unarmed and without calling anyone for assistance. My reader added that she does not like plots where all the interesting characters get killed off before the end of the book. (I admitted that is a pet peeve of mine also.) She mentioned in some books the dialog seems stilted and the problems seem too trivial to warrant being in a book.

She said she did not like authors who essentially write the same book over and over again although she understood that some readers do.

On the positive side Jenny liked multiple viewpoints and books that shift back and forth from the past to the present. She said she enjoys interesting characters and did not mind if the characters sometimes do something, “stupid” and, “human,” especially in a tense situation where it would be hard to think clearly.

She said she enjoys how seemingly unrelated events end up connecting elements of the plot. Along with humor, including dark humor. Jenny liked well-set-up surprises as long as there are not unbelievable cliffhangers and surprises every few pages.

She wants to like the characters and be entertained.

What do readers tell you?

17 comments:

Morgan Mandel said...

Congratulations on capturing one of the species! We authors can all learn from her preferences.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Gloria Alden said...

I agree with your niece, Jenny. T Whoops! I wasn't supposed to know who she was, was I. Her viewpoints of what she likes and dislikes pretty much mirror myt own. I belong to two book clubs and read much more than their monthly choices, too. I can't imagine a life without reading.

Jackie Houchin said...

I wish she would have been more specific in what she was reading, and gave examples of books who did the things she didn't like. That way we could really identify with her. I'm also a reader (and a reviewer), and the faults she mentioned are ones I see in books too. Hopefully, authors are getting better with each book!

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Warren,

Most of the people we writers are in contact with are fellow writers and I like to think discerning readers as well. It's very important for us to be in contact with readers.

Pauline Alldred said...

I think Jenny might have attended one or two writing workshops. Like Jackie Houchin says, It would be good to know a few books titles.

Warren Bull said...

Morgan,

Yes I was fortunate to stumble across her.

Warren Bull said...

Gloria, How did you find out? I cannot image a life without reading either.

Warren Bull said...

Jackie,

I hope writers get better over time.

Warren Bull said...

Jacqueline, Discerning readers are worth their weight in gold.

Warren Bull said...

Pauline, If I ever track this elusive person down again, I will ask her to name some of her favorite books.

carl brookins said...

Charming. Funny, accurate. good goin'

Warren Bull said...

Thanks, Carl

Joanna Aislinn said...

A reader: how exciting! I think I used to be one of them, before 24-hour-editor ate my reading-for-fun skills, lol.

Great post, Lee, full of important reminders about who, those of us who write, are doing so in the first place!

Thanks for sharing this and HNY to you and yours!

Warren Bull said...

Thanks, Joanna,

BTW Who is Lee?

Ellis Vidler said...

I share your anonymous reader's preferences and would love to see examples.

E. B. Davis said...

Yes, Jenny is an astute reader. I'd like critiques by professionals and readers. I stopped having friends read my stuff a few years ago when they drew erroneous conclusions about me from my writing. It was as if they were constructing my psychological profile based on my writing--quite annoying. Perhaps, I need to forget the personal comments and focus on what else readers can provide.

Is there such a thing as an unbiased professional reader for hire?

Marja said...

I'm in full agreement with Jenny, your niece. Gee, I'd make a good writer based on figuring out who your reader is, right? LOL Great post, Warren.