Monday, October 15, 2012


I've been savoring some of my favorite books over the last few weeks in between various authorly chores and household obligations. And I've been thinking about what exactly makes one book a keeper and another not.

I have a few favored authors. Some have written hundreds of books. So why are fifteen or twenty books cherished favorites while other aren't? Oh, they're excellent stories, but not the favored story I choose to curl up with on a rainy day...or a sunny day...or just about any day I have free.

Not too long ago a friend wrote to me, indicated she'd read a certain book of mine and very apologetically explained she just couldn't finish it--and she knew almost immediately it would never be one of her favorites. I appreciated her honesty even while I pondered why this book did not speak to her.

The house hunk read one of my books in the last few days and we had a lot of discussion about the book. He wanted to know why...why...why? Basically, he was not pulled in to any part of the story. I think in the final analysis, it was the genre. Those of us that write in the paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi genres know there will be readers that will never be attracted, never enjoy our books simply because they aren't contempories.

For myself, a contemporary is my least favorite genre--probably because I want a story that challenges my imagination. I believe I write stories that challenge me and that's why I enjoy the writing process. When I'm no longer challenged, then the story just stops--which is probably why there are certain stories that are languishing on my computer half finished.

What is your standard for a keeper? Is it because you enjoy the characters? The story? Why?



  1. I like complicated stories with complicated characters it takes a while to get to like let alone know, sort of like life

  2. Interesting question. I would say in the end it's the characters who make a book a keeper - although even decent characters aren't enough to make me hold onto a bad book.