Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Karen Whiddon: Books on the Keeper Shelf

As a writer, I often ponder the books I've kept over the years.  Of course, now that I have a Kindle, I can keep a ton of e-books, but these are paperbacks and hard covers, taking up space on my bookshelves.

I keep them organized by author. Just glancing at them as I write this, I know what makes a story something I want to read over and over again.  It's not just an author's ability to spin a good tale; it's not just awesome description, or world building.  Yes, all of those things factor in, but for me it's all about emotion.

I read and re-read books where I care about the characters.  Bottom line.  For beginning writers, sometimes I think that's the hardest thing for them to learn.  No matter the genre - historical or suspense, paranormal or western - it's the people who matter. 

 I love reading a book where I'm cheering for the character.  I adore an author who can make my heart ache as I read about the hero and heroine's love story, or problems.  This, more than anything else, makes me keep a book rather than giving it away or trading it in at the used book store.  And I know there are certain authors who will deliver this consistently with every story.

Some examples of my auto-buy authors:  Kristin Hannah, Kristin Higgins, Barbara Samuel, and Lisa Kleypas.

What about you?  What element of a story makes you want to keep the book and re-read it?  Who are your auto-buy authors?  Don't be shy.  I might find a new author this way! 


marybelle said...

My daughter introduced me to the quirky writings of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. The humour is incredibly infectious & the characters memorable.

Linda Henderson said...

I have quite a few auto-buy authors but a few of them are Nora Roberts/JD Robb, Diana Palmer, Susan Mallery, and Vicki Lewis Thompson just to name a few. I enjoy stories that drag you in and make you laugh and cry with it. I do like to read books over again.

Pat Cochran said...

Call it emotion, call it heart! If it
reaches out and pulls me into the story,
it stands a good chance of finding a home
on my keeper shelf. Auto-buy authors:
Anna Campbell, Mary Balogh, Stephanie
Laurens, Cindy Gerard, Kate Walker, Lisa
Kleypas, just to name a few!

Lory Lee said...

I've got tons of auto-buy authors, like Jacuie D'Alessandro, Jenna Petersen, Gaelen Foley, Tracy Anne Warren, Samantha James and so many more!!! I really want a book with tender moments, some memorable lines (that I can share in my social network sites :D) and some bad ass action scenes.

Eli Yanti said...

my auto buy author : lisa kleypas, johanna lindsey, julia quinn, lila dipasqua, elise rome, darynda jones and many more

full of romance, humour, squeezing heart story, i love so much :)

Michele L. said...

My autobuys are Vicki Lewis Thompson, Kristin Higgins, Janet Evanovich, Shana Abe', Sophie Kinsella, Stephanie Bond, Michelle Bardsley, and many others. I love mysteries with a touch of humor, romance, and suspense. What draws me in is when the author writes with conviction, compassion and smarts. When the story zooms in a totally opposite direction from what you expect, I just love it! The author has to keep me on my toes guessing what will happen next! Excitement is the key!