Why Books are Like Crack (and a giveaway to feed the addiction)

addiction-prv1Do you have a book addiction? Here’s a quick poll to find out:

  1. Do you forgo sleeping, eating, or Adam Levine on the Voice to finish reading a book?
  2. Has your significant other disabled the one-click purchase on your Amazon account?
  3. When you fall in love with an author, do you go and buy the backlist so that you can satisfy your craving for more?
  4. Have you sneaked the book to work so you can read during conference calls?
  5. 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-shalvisJill 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.

Valerie Bowman. A relatively new author, I’m picking up her books as they come out. I interviewed her for her debut here onSecretsofaWeddingNight cover hi res Teatime, and have been a fan ever since.

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.

book-addictI 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.

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15 thoughts on “Why Books are Like Crack (and a giveaway to feed the addiction)

  1. Love this post, Amy. I’ve been known to turn off the computer, and not answer the phone in order to read a book. I have too many to list. If the book is in a series, I have to read them all. Tweeted and shared on FB.

  2. Pingback: Book Bloopers… A Guest Post By S.K. Nicholls | The Literary Syndicate

  3. Great post Amy! Yes, I have a serious book addiction too, and I have no desire to get help for it. 😉 Authors whose books I glom/crave? Tessa Dare, Courtney Milan, Julie James, Nora, Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas, Maya Rodale, just for starters.

  4. I must be almost there…or my significant other is an enabler. He puts more money in my bank account when the one-click option sends me the next book in the series I’m dying to read…and the library knows me by first name and that they’ll see me by Saturday at 1:45PM because they close at 2PM until Tuesday at 10AM-must get my fix. Okay, I qualify. So, what makes J.D. Robb books must haves? And Nora Roberts? And Debbie Macomber? Relatability. so, its not a word, we’ll make it one. I still haven’t found my story in a book, I’m working on that, its more complicated than I thought and it may never be published, or it may. But I have to relate to something womanly in each of the characters I read. I loved reading the bride quartet when Mackenzie re-did her entire disorganized room in specialty shelves because she couldn’t find a thing in her space. She was human, and like me. I have a hook next to my front door where the keys must be put when they come in the house. If not, there is a thirty percent chance they will end up in the fridge. But I have to relate to their problems as well as their personalities. I think part of it is an understanding of what it is to be a woman in what we call a man’s world, instead of saying its an unfair world to keep it simple. And for a book you can’t put down, that will have you searching for more like this spunky woman straddling the line between lady-like and double-standards, Sarah MacLean’s _9 Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake_.

  5. I have so many authors that I crave and am addicted to. Right now it’s Eloisa James. I want to live in her stories.

  6. I totally know what you’re talking about. I’m know to have done this a time or two: read one more chapter, which turns into two, which turns into half the book then ends up reading the whole entire book in one sitting! (I’m not admitting to anything but maybe I’ve done this more than a time or two!) I’m just totally involved and drawn into the world created by authors such as Susan Mallery (Fool’s Gold), Jill Shalvis (Lucky Harbor), Julia Quinn(the Bridgertons)–these authors are just a tip of the iceberg of “must-reads” for me. I feel like I have to know what’s going on next and can’t wait to find out. OK -I’ll admit to having a book addiction and I don’t think it’s ever going to end! 🙂

  7. Pretty much every author you’ve listed is on my list. I’d add Lisa Kleypas, Sarah MacLean, Julie James (her FBI/US Attorney series is AMAZE-BALLS!), Eloisa James, Nora Roberts and a new author Penny Reid. I just love reading their books because I know I’ll get my satisfying HEA and I can trust the author is going to leave me in a good space. And they deserve my addiction because they know how to draw me along and make me feel like I’m in the book witnessing a love story first hand and seeing my “friends” get happiness. They make me smile, laugh and cry for all the best reasons.

  8. Hi, my name is Jennelle, and I’m addicted to books. Yes, to all of this, Amy. And as to the rejection? No knowledge is wasted. When it comes my time I really hope I’m as lucky as you guys have been with your amazingly helpful rejections. 🙂

    Auto-buys for me? I think I’m almost ashamed to list them all… *blush*

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