Good news if you like reading. I have decided to do a regular guest post blog post for readers and let them tell us what things in books grab their attention. All genres welcome and the only stipulation is that my guest blogger must love to read books and is happy to share their reader insight on my blog.
If you are an avid reader and fancy taking centre stage on my blog please get in touch.
I am going to introduce you to Robert Hookey, one of my twitter author friends. He gave me the idea for this regular blog feature so when I have famous celebrities beating down my door to get on my blog and tell everyone what grabs their attention when they are reading, I shall blame him…lol.
Over to you, Robert.
First off, I want to thank my host, Lucy, for opening her virtual home to me. It’s just as I’d always imagined it; tastefully decorated with plenty of natural light.
Now down to business. I am here to share some of the things that grab me as a reader of fiction. “If you’re going to write, first you have to read.” My daughter said that to me as she dropped a pile of books in front of me. She knew I was about to start working on my first novel, Into The Dark, and she knew what I didn’t; if they’re going to create the best work they possibly can, a writer needs to write from the heart. They have to be passionate about the subject matter. By the way, to be clear, my daughter would never drop a pile of books; to her that would be like kicking a puppy, something else she’d never do. Let’s move on, shall we?
What grabs me as a reader?
ONE: Characters I can relate to. Sure, I may never have a thirst for human blood, or be born with the Shining, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to identify with Vlad The Impaler or Danny Torrance, right? They both have tortured pasts and major family issues – I can certainly sympathize with that. As a veteran of the hospitality industry in Niagara Falls, Canada, I’ve wanted to impale at least a million human souls that have crossed my path by now. And my own father resembled Jack Nicholson with an axe at every holiday gathering I haven’t gotten around to repressing yet.
TWO: Action! I’m a guy, that can’t be changed. Well, okay, technically it can – but that’s not going to happen, so let’s just go with this, okay? Nothing against cerebral writers, but watching characters fight their way past insurmountable odds that turn out to be surmountable after all gives me hope. And as a wise man once said, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And we’ve all had enough of bad things by now, haven’t we?
THREE: Characters that evolve. Let’s face it, in the so-called real world bad people rarely become better. Sure, they’re capable of being kind and generous at times, but for the most part, once we become fully-formed adults, we’re locked into specific identities and traits. But as authors we can change the rules. Bad characters can become better if we want them to. Or at the very least, they can try.
FOUR: Inclusion. Our minds are capable of creating worlds filled with characters of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, preferences and any other qualities we can conceive. I’ve been a bellman for over twenty years and one of the best things about my job – besides the cheddar, of course – is the knowledge that every new day will bring encounters with different people from all over the world. How boring would the literary world be if all it offered us was white people doing white people things? It’d be an endless CPAC.
FIVE: A satisfying resolution. I’m not suggesting a story end with a character dying of old age in their bed, thus bringing their tale to a definitive conclusion, but I want to see Luke blow up the Death Star. I want to see an adventure bought to a conclusion of sorts. I don’t want a literary LOST. If you’re not familiar with the story, the series finale of LOST sucked rocks. Hard.
This concludes my guest post/TED talk. My eternal thanks to my host, Lucy Mitchell, for being so gracious and welcoming. Be seeing you, fellow humans.
Robert is also a blogger and I have added the link to his blog. Click on the word blogger. It’s called You’ve Been Hooked.
When he’s not blogging and reading Robert is an author. Here’s a link to his author profile on Amazon.
If you have something to say about things which grab you when reading please get in touch. 💃