- Do you forgo sleeping, eating, or Adam Levine on the Voice to finish reading a book?
- Has your significant other disabled the one-click purchase on your Amazon account?
- When you fall in love with an author, do you go and buy the backlist so that you can satisfy your craving for more?
- Have you sneaked the book to work so you can read during conference calls?
- Have you burned dinner because you were so deep in the story?
If you’ve answered yes to three or more of these questions, you are addicted – to reading.
For myself, I have been addicted since childhood. Its pretty bad when they tell you as a ten year old geeky kid that you can’t compete in the Summer Reading Contest because you read too many books. “Give the other kids a chance.” Right. I sucked at sports, but I could read more books than anyone else in my family except maybe my mom.
Let’s examine this a bit more carefully. What is it about some authors that keep you turning the page? For me, as a writer, this is the Holy Grail. Let’s look at a few authors.
Jill Shalvis. I received a copy of her first two books in the Lucky Harbor series in a raffle basket from my RWA chapter. Reading one book in a night is bad enough. This had two in it and I was hooked. The next day I bought the third. By the end of the month, I had the backlist and was combing the library for other series. I was hooked. Why?
Victoria Dahl. Another find while I was reading contemporary romance. This author cannot write fast enough to suit me. I’m always looking at Amazon to see when the next book is out.
I could go on and include Kristan Higgins, Sabrina Jeffries, Vicky Dreiling, Lori Foster, Erin Knightley, Julia Quinn, etc.… . Are you sensing a trend?
What makes these authors crave-worthy for me?
- Characters. These books all have two things in common: an Alpha hero and a spunky heroine. I like a man who is smart enough to know when to let the heroine win. I like that they recognize and admire the toughness and the vulnerability in the heroine. I like that they can be vulnerable too.
- Romance. I am a sucker for well-written sexual tension. I love good sex scenes. Victoria Dahl is very good at this (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). I also love those tender moments too. And watching some big, handsome guy fall in love? Icing on the cake.
- Plot. Being a plotter, I love looking at the story line. Crave-worth books weave the character and plot seamlessly together with a few surprises along the way. I am still struggling to learn to do this.
- Humor. The one thing all these books have is humor. I love to laugh. I don’t mind shedding a few tears, but I want laughter and a happy ending.
I recently received another rejection. She was kind and spot on with the issues of my manuscript. It was missing the mark on these ingredients. The challenge for me is learning how to emulate these writers so that my stories can be crave-worthy as well. I am driven to give my readers that same “order pizza, I’m reading” kind of experience. After all, isn’t that what all book-addicts want?
Who are the authors that you crave? Why do you crave them? What makes you re-read some authors over and over again? I have treats (books) to feed your addiction to a lucky commenter.