Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WWR Wednesday- a new weekly feature!!!

Since the title, and theme, of this blog is What Women Read I thought it might be appropriate to start a special Wednesday segment.  It will highlight one reader/author each week who will share with us just what that woman reads (genres, authors, etc.) and what will make her read a book.  So to kick off this new feature I will share my answers to these questions.

What does this woman read?
As you may have noticed base on my posts on this blog, I love a good romance.  It can be steamy or sweet.  It can be contemporary, historical, paranormal, suspense, or a combination of any of the above. I am trying to branch out lately and spread my reading wings, but I do default to Romance time and again.  Outside the genre I find enjoyment in Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction, Fantasy, children's literature, young adult, and the occasional straight up fiction.  I dipped my toes into the graphic novel pool recently and would love to try some more in the genre. It is a rarity that I will pick up a non-fiction book.  Reading for me is escapism. History is often too dry to distract me from the stresses in my life, so I need the excitement I find in good fiction.  That is not to say I will never find a NF book that I would love. I have been told repeatedly that I need to read No Reservations by Anthony Bourdain. I think, if I actually sit down and read it, I would likely fully enjoy his writing, as I find him to be quite entertaining.  That is what reading is to me, at the end of the day. Entertainment. The very best kind.

What turns you on as a reader?
For me it is all about the characters. Whatever the conflict is in the story, the characters have to be ones with which I can connect.  I don't need to fully understand them or identify with them, but I do need to feel a connection. If I dislike one of the protagonists it is almost a guarantee that the book will be a DNF.  Female leads in Romance must be strong enough to hold their own against the hero. She should also be strong enough to stand on her own. She should not be completed by the hero. She should be complemented.

As for specific tropes, there are a few that will grab me every time. Friends become lovers, lovers reunited, shifters (werewolves, etc.), the Beauty and the Beast theme, unrequited love.  As I type this I realize that many of these tropes provide the characters with a shared history.  I think this helps lend more credibility to the characters if the story moves forward quickly.  It provides a whole basis, a foundation, on which the relationship has already begun to be built.  Oooh, this also works in the "enemies" become lovers trope, just in a different way.

In all genres, world building is essential for me as a reader.  Create a richly textured world in which your characters live and I want to stay there.  This is especially true for books in a series.  If an author can write protagonists with whom I connect in a vividly created world, you have me hooked for your series.  Heck, I'll even go dig up your back list while I wait for the next installment in the series!  Authors who have been imminently successful at this are Patricia Briggs, Nalini Singh, Meljean Brooks, Julie James, and Suzanne Brockmann.  There are many others, but those are just to name a few.

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If any of you out there are interested in being a guest on an upcoming WWR Wednesday please let me know. I have someone special in store for you next week, and I am ever so excited to see what she shares!


naida said...

What a great feature! I enjoyed this post. You mentioned some of what I look for when I'm reading. I like to read about lovers reunited as well.

Shannon said...

Thanks, Nadia! I really wanted to start something regular and be able to invite others to contribute their thoughts in a fairly open forum. I'm hoping to get someone new each week. I really need to start recruiting people for this...

nath said...

Hey Shannon! :) Great idea for a feature :) If you ever need to fill in a slot, let me know! I'm willing! But I'll need some advance warning :)

By the way, I think romance rules! LOL. But I won't expand in case I get featured LOL.

It's interesting that you need such a strong connection to the characters. Oh, I agree. You need good characters, but sometimes, the story can salvage a book :)

Shannon said...

Nath, thanks! I would love to have you share with us on a Wednesday. I believe I have the next two Wednesday's filled. How about after that?

nath said...

Sure, Shannon. That'd be April 18?

Shannon said...

nath- April 18th would be perfect!