Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Readers, What Are Your Expectations?

When you walk into a bookstore, which section do you gravitate toward? Are you a diehard romance reader? Like a little suspense? Or perhaps you enjoy mysteries or science fiction, and make a beeline for that section.
Do you have favorite authors? I do. I'm always checking to see who's got a new book coming out when.
I love reading romance, inspirational fiction and general fiction.

As a new author, I spend a lot of time following up on comments from readers. If you take the time to post a review of my book on Amazon and email me to let me know, I'll be sure to respond. I want to know who my readers are.
More importantly, I want to know what they want. I want to know what they liked or didn't like about my book.

I'm a bit of an oddity I suppose, in that I don't tend to stick to a specific formulae in my writing. Makes sense, since I tend to read a lot of different genres too. But one thing I never stray from is romance. It always has to be there. Whether I'm writing women's fiction or a straight romance, you can always expect some romance in my novels.

It's going to be interesting to see what happens when my second book comes out.
Yesterday's Tomorrow was pretty-action packed, took place in a war zone, and the chemistry between Kristin and Luke was about as sizzling as the temperature in Saigon. All good stuff. Readers liked it. At least that's what I'm hearing. Hidden in the Heart is nothing like Yesterday's Tomorrow. It will be a very different novel, more angst driven, packed with powerful emotional scenes, passion on a different scale entirely! I can't help but wonder if readers will compare one to the other. However, my hope is that it will be my writing that makes readers pick up that book. They'll know they're getting a good story, no matter the subject.

At some point in an author's career, I believe we must decide where our place is. Mine is writing about relationships, be that in a romance or a family saga novel. Love, forgiveness, hope and restoration are central themes that will be the plumb line for what you can expect when you pick up one of my books. Chances are slim that I will suddenly present you with an Amish Vampire story. Stranger things have happened I suppose, but I think you're safe for now.

As I ponder my future as an author, I want to stay in tune with my readers. Heaven forbid I turn into one of those writers who crank out the same thing year after year, only changing the scenery and the names of her characters. If you ever see me doing that, feel free to run me over with a Hummer.

I want my stories to be different. I want to make you think, laugh, cry, feel. I want happy readers. Readers who will come back for more. As much as I enjoy what I do, there is little pleasure in hearing that your work did not live up to expectations. I hope to never be in that position, at least not often.

So as a reader, what do you expect? What do you enjoy reading? What are the books that make you sigh, close the cover and jump on Amazon to see when the author's next novel will be released?
Let's talk about it!


Kara said...

I hopped over here after reading your comment on Rachelle's blog about pitches. And now after reading some of your blog, I'm really glad I did. I love what you say about your writing, I can relate.
As for what I like to read, a little bit of everything, but I love a good love story. My all time favorite author is Julie Garwood.
Putting your book on my must read list right now:)

Catherine West said...

Hi Kara! Great to meet you and thanks for commenting. You can also find me on Facebook and GoodReads! Let me know how you like the book!