J.F. Jenkins: Just anyone who's got an interesting life and adventure. Some of them are like me, some of them aren't. Some are tough, and some aren't.
Patricia, what about you?
Patricia Kiyono: I love to read about strong, capable women. They don't have to be physically tough, but strong in that they have the intelligence and mental stamina to overcome whatever hardships are thrown their way. This is what Robyn Carr does so well. Her characters often deal with extremely tough situations, but they don't give up and their efforts are rewarded in the end.
Think about your favorite character from one of your favorite books (which you did not write) and what would you like to ask the author about that character if you could sit down and have dinner with that author?
Chynna Laird: One of my favorite books ever is Tuck Everlasting. It’s so simple and so beautiful. I would love to talk to the author about how he created his characters and thought of this idea. It inspired my love of YA and wanting to write for young people.
Brea, what about your favorite character?
Brea Essex: I would love to ask David Eddings about Ce'Nedra from his Belgariad and Mallorean series. She's such an interesting character. I'd probably have tons of questions for him.
Now, none of us loves villains, right!?!? So, who is your favorite all-time villain (from a book you did not write) and what would you love to ask the author?
Joselyn Vaughn: My favorite villain? That’s tough. It might be Mr. Collins from Pride and Prejudice, but he isn’t really evil, he just makes me laugh. Lady Catherine is more truly villainous, so she might be my second favorite. She’s so full of herself as if no one would do anything that she didn’t approve of.
Ruth, do you think that reading is helpful to you as an author, why or why not?
Ruth J. Hartman: Yes. I read every night before I go to bed. Not only does it give me a break from the characters I’m writing, it also frees up my mind to contemplate my own possible storylines as I read how another author produces her craft.
Very true. Reading is so vital to an author’s craft. Tara, what do you think?
Tara Manderino: Definitely reading is helpful, as long as it’s just not all fiction. While that is great, reading something outside of my normal reading is what feeds the well. It makes me wonder about what if and how could that be… wonderful stuff. Reading outside of your normal reading habits opens a totally different world. Often, little bits and pieces will pop into my mind while I’m writing and add another layer or dimension to the story.
Anyone else want to respond before we move on?
Lynette Sofras: Reading isn’t just helpful, it’s crucial – and not just for writers, but for everyone (that’s from me with my former English teacher’s hat on!) Reading opens the mind to new ideas and stimulates the creative processes. I could probably live without writing; I sincerely doubt I could live without reading.
Couldn’t agree more! Sherry, have you ever read a book where you related so well with the hero or heroine and why?
Sherry Gloag: Yes. In Nora Roberts book Northern Lights her hero Nate has hit rock bottom and is not sure whether he will ever make it back out of the black hole he’s dropped into. Ms. Roberts doesn’t make him some kind of super hero, and his climb back into ‘the light’ as Nate calls it, is so subtle and believable it is endearing.
Believable is the best at drawing a reader in. Lindsay, do you think readers understand how much reviews truly do help authors? Aside from posting professional reviews of books on your blog, do you also regularly post reviews on Amazon etc. of books you read?
Lindsay Downs: I am sure a lot of readers look to reviews and the number of stars a book gets. As an author/reader it’s more the blurb that interests me. I used to post reviews on my blog but have stopped. Now I only post the too Amazon, Goodreads and B&N.
Lindsay Downs: With over 50 books on my Kindle to read and an equal number on my Wish List I’ve got no idea what is next for me to read. I do suspect it might be a regency though.
Sherry, what book are you currently reading and why did you start reading it?
Sherry Gloag: At the moment I am between books. The last book I read was Paula Martin’s lovely book His Leading Lady. I enjoyed it so much it is on my ‘keeper’ e-shelf. And I am looking forward to reading her current book Fragrance of Violets.
Lynette, are you the type of reader who follows a particular author’s work, picks a book because of the cover or book blurb, or goes by a recommendation from a friend?
Lynette Sofras: I will actively seek out work from a writer I’ve previously enjoyed and read all their works as long as they continue to give me the same enjoyment. If you could see my bookshelves, you’ll see entire collections from my favourite authors. I do listen to recommendations from certain friends, but mainly my favourites are my own discoveries.
Tara, what’s next on your TBR list? Do you prefer reading eBooks or print or like reading both?
Tara Manderino: Really couldn’t say what’s next on my TBR pile. Whatever strikes my fancy, I guess. I never anticipated reading When Passions Rule. I love to read but for the most part I do prefer eBooks. I love reading on a device away from the computer, not worrying about bookmarking the page and best of all, when I’m done I don’t have to figure out how to get a fiction book to fit on my bookshelves! That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy paper now and then, but it takes more effort. Paper is probably safer when I read before bed. I tend to prop my book up against the headboard. After having retrieved a few books from between the mattress and headboard I’m convinced this would be hazardous to an ereader.
Ruth, what book are you currently reading and why did you start reading it?
Ruth J. Hartman: I actually just finished “A Journey to Her Dreams” by Iris Blobel. It’s a wonderful romance/mystery by a fellow author.
Joselyn, as a reader, do you enjoy reading happily ever after books or ones that are true to life?
Joselyn Vaughn: It depends on what I’m in the mood for. When I’m looking for something to ease my mind, I definitely want the happily ever after. I want to enjoy the journey. If I’m in the mood for something I need to think about, then I’d like a story that is more true to life, where maybe the hero and heroine don’t end up together or things end up just a little bit off.
Brea, what about you?
Brea Essex: I like the happily ever after books. I read a book once where things went supremely wrong at the end of the book (it ended with the main character's husband dying, right as things were starting to go well in their lives). I threw the book away and never picked up anything by the author again.
I’m the same way…more of a HEA kind-of girl. My husband’s always joking that I need to read more “real life” books, but they’re not for me. Chynna, do you think readers understand how much reviews truly do help authors? Aside from posting professional reviews of books on your blog, do you also regularly post reviews on Amazon etc. of books you read?
Chynna Laird: No, I don’t think readers truly understand how much their reviews help us. I always try giving a review after finishing a book. I took the time to read an author’s book and when I love it, all I want to do is share those thoughts both with the author and readers.
Patricia, have you ever read a book where you related so well with the hero or heroine and why?
Patricia Kiyono: Meg Landslowe is the main character in Donna Andrews' mystery series. Meg is a blacksmith--I don't know much about blacksmithing, but Meg creates small wrought iron pieces that she sells at craft fairs. She's also overwhelmed by her family always bringing their problems to her, and now she has a set of twins to care for. I guess I identify with her because I (like all women!) often need to juggle family needs against work I need to get done. But I identify with her because even when she's faced with an enormous number of details to take care of, she takes out her "notebook-that-tells-me-when-to-breathe", writes things down, and then sets about solving the problem. I have lists like that all over the house.
J.F. Jenkins, as a reader, do you enjoy reading happily ever after books or ones that are true to life?
J.F. Jenkins: I enjoy reading both kinds. So long as the ending is a fitting one. That's what matters most.
J.F. Jenkins: Always. It shows you how to write, how it's done, and you learn a lot about story arch and style.
Patricia, what book are you currently reading and why did you start reading it?
Patricia Kiyono: I have a paperback book on my nightstand (Hidden Summit by Robyn Carr), one on my iPad (In the Spotlight by Liz Botts) and one my phone (Lizzie and the Guernsey Gang by April Gardner). Robyn Carr is one of my favorite authors, so whenever she comes out with a new book I tend to get it. Liz and April are both Astraea Press authors and I'm trying to support my fellow "A-Peeps" by reading and reviewing their books.
Chynna, what’s next on your TBR list? Do you prefer reading eBooks or print or like reading both?
Chynna Laird: Next on my fiction TBR pile is Ghosts of the Titanic. It’s a YA ghosty. I’m an old-fashioned girl who prefers to hold the book in my hands and turn the pages.
Brea, what’s next on your TBR list?
Brea Essex: Battlefield by J.F. Jenkins is next on my list. I love reading both ebooks and print books. Sometimes it's easier to just pick up my ereader. There are a lot of older books I like that aren't in ebooks, though. I do dislike hardcover, though. The dust jackets annoy me and they're hard to hold in my small hands.
I agree with your sentiments. Don’t like the dust jackets for hardcovers. I never thought I’d like reading eBooks, but I’m enjoying reading them on my Kindle. Joselyn do you think readers understand how much reviews truly do help authors? Aside from posting professional reviews of books on your blog, do you also regularly post reviews on Amazon etc. of books you read?
Joselyn Vaughn: I don’t think many readers have any idea how helpful reviews are, not just for recommending your book to other readers, but also for boosting your book within the sales system. I don’t do much reviewing myself. If I really like a book, I’ll post a sentence or two on Amazon or Goodreads, but I rarely have time to do much more than that. I try to keep an up-to-date list of what I’m reading on my blog.
Ruth, when you read, what types of characters do you enjoy reading about and why?
Ruth J. Hartman: I love men who are sensitive and funny. And women who are strong, but still have a deep need for a hero to come rescue them sometimes.
Sherry, are you the type of reader who follows a particular author’s work, picks a book because of the cover or book blurb, or goes by a recommendation from a friend?
Sherry Gloag: All of the above. I follow favourite authors, and am always on the look-out for new writers, so will look at both the cover and the blurb + the first and last pages! Recommendations from friends will always be considered, but if I know their reading preference is not mine, I may not follow up on their suggestions.
Lindsay, as a reader, do you enjoy reading happily ever after books or ones that are true to life?
Lindsay Downs: HEA and HFN ending are always important for me.
Lynette, what’s next on your TBR list? Do you prefer reading eBooks or print or like reading both?
Lynette Sofras: I have quite a formidable pile of both e-books and paperbacks awaiting my attention. Top of the list are a couple of novels I’ve agreed to review. I find I get through far more books since owning a Kindle and I have to say that for convenience and ease, that is my preferred format these days.
I agree with reading more quickly on the Kindle. I think it’s great for reading through review copies of books rather than reading them on my laptop. Tara, do you think readers understand how much reviews truly do help authors? Aside from posting professional reviews of books on your blog, do you also regularly post reviews on Amazon etc. of books you read?
Tara Manderino: I don’t think readers really understand the value of reviews. I have people who email me or catch me on facebook telling me how much they enjoyed one book or another. I wish they would leave a review, NOT that I’m complaining about the other compliments. J I try to leave reviews for books I have read and truly enjoyed. I’m a bit behind though. I have notes that I have two reviews I want to post.
Sad to say our time is up for our author conversation and it’s been a blast! A special thank you to all of the authors participating today—and to all of you who stopped by to join the chat and comment, I know we all appreciate your time and discussions.
Don’t forget to comment, if you haven’t already done so, if you’d like to enter to win in one of the book giveaways. Before you leave the Blog Party today, be sure to stop by the first blog post if you’d like more information on the participating authors and where to connect with them online. Thanks and hope you can hang around for a bit longer to chat with us. All winners will be announced online tomorrow.