Saturday, September 22, 2012

Michele Sinclair: What I want my books to be

Mostly I write what I would like to read.  So generally it is not complex, it is not gruesome, and it is not strife with a page or two of happiness at the end.  (Oh how I hate it when I watch a movie or read a book and I get only two minutes or two pages of the characters finally being together and happy).   Generally, my books are written in two parts—getting together and then staying together.  I enjoy seeing the evolution of two souls and giving the reader a good juicy picture of how their life turns out.  This way we get to explore how the feisty personalities will work!  My characters tend to be strong, intelligent and independent with a dash of stubborn.  In my series, characters from previous books play a significant secondary role in the plot.  This way the reader can see how their life turns out. 

Critics often claim that I write historicals with modern dialogue.  It’s true!  It’s on purpose! I like my books to be funny and for my characters to interact in an easy to read fashion.  But mostly, I want them relatable.  Usually there is a meaningful theme that although set in the past is relevant to us women today.  In my different series, I have explored faith, how one sees themselves vs how other sees them, pride, how the past can affect daily activities of today, etc. 

I try to balance between that need and desire to have perfection in our characters with reality.  Aye, the women are beautiful, but not necessarily follow traditional beauty definitions.  Sometimes it is their inner strength and determination what makes them so desirable.  Some have bad burns, missing eyes, stuttering, etc. but in my mind, they are truly all gems. 

I once heard Will Smith on an interview talk about the game golf.  He said it was the one game in which you can experience every known emotion to man in a single round.  Sheer joy, frustration, anger, jealousy, sad, contentment, arrogance, etc.  Maybe I try to aim for the same thing in my books.

I am curious to know from my readers what really bothers them in a book and what really makes them fall in love with a book.  For example, I hate short happy endings and love follow on stories where I get to hear more about my favorite people from past stories.  Share your thoughts here.  I'll pick two winners.  One will receive a book from my Highlander series and the second winner will receive a book from my A Woman Made For... series!

***Michele's winners are June M. and Stephanie!  Please drop an email to with your mailing info!***


Scarlet Wilson said...

My big hate is a rushed ending, or some detail that is so wrong it throws you out the story.
I love series books and almost things that are a little quirky. I'm also a big fan of writers who actually make you feel as if you are there, sitting in the room with the characters

Eli Yanti said...

I hate when the hero is unfaithful and not happy ending and i'm agreed with you i love series and to get to ehar more about hero/heroine in past story especially if i love them :)

Lory Lee said...

I agree with you Michele. It's really great to read some snippets about the couples who already had their happy endings (specially when they're expecting a child, it makes their love story more romantic and complete :D) and I really just want a simple and heartwarming book that will make me remember some lines while I hate stories that has some none sense conversations just to make the story long, injecting some difficult plots and then doesn't know to how to deal with it. I've read a couple of books who has that story line and it was so frustrating because they left me hanging. :(

traveler said...

Novels that are meaningful to me have characters with depth, a profound storyline and a beautiful and realistic ending that fits in with the entire book.

petite said...

I cannot enjoy a book that has a flimsy plot and cardboard characters. But I love books that are lengthy, detailed and realistic individuals whose lives intersect and end up meeting once again perhaps many years later or sooner, rather than later.

Lil said...

I am frustrated when a romance does not convincingly show why the hero falls in love with the heroine or vice versa. That can be so very disappointing.

little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

*yadkny* said...

I hate short happy endings too! I love when the hero and heroine get equal time towards their POVs. That really helps to convince me to fall for them and believe in their story.

erin said...

Thanks for a great post and congrats on the new release!

I don't like stereotypes. When you can all but guess what the "rake" or the "bluestocking" will do b/c it's like a to b to c. I love when authors break out of the mold and characters are real and different. Like you, I want more HEA! One of my pet peeves is when we wait for the couple to get together and it takes the entire book for them to say I love you and then boom the end. I will follow a series specifically for glimpses of past couples enjoying their HEAs. I'm definitely going to go check out your books! Thanks again for a great post!

Di said...

I totally agree with your likes & dislikes! So much more enjoyable when the couple spends positive time together, perhaps to achieve a common goal. Love to hear how they are doing in following stories. But I'll add that I also like fun & quirky supporting characters, especially when they showcase good points about the main characters - like kindness & caring of children, elders & animals; or special unique skills, especially of the heroine (such as traditionally male skills of weapons, riding, athleticism, knowledge of history, art, science). Love it when the couple really surprise each other with their skills, knowledge, etc.

sallans d at yahoo dot com

June M. said...

I love books with characters who are interesting and with a unique story. I get very tired of reading the same story over & over. I have read all of your McTiernay Highlander books and LOVE them. I love the way your books are unique, the brothers are all strong and intelligent, but not written as "perfect", the same goes for their heroines. *Would love to win the latest McTiernay story :)*
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

Linda Henderson said...

I like a longer happy ending too, and I've always liked books that were connected where you could find out what happened to previous characters. That's one reason why I've always liked connected storylines. I do like the books I read to have a happy ending.

Cathy P said...

I love reading books when they grab me and draw me in. I prefer the longer ones with the happy endings and the series books where you can follow the characters.

Martha Lawson said...

I'm like you - I love stories where characters from previous books show up and you can see what has been going on with them. I also like knowing what is happening to secondary characters in books. In stand alone books, I love an epilogue set later that tells how the characters are doing! I'd love to be entered your books sound great! Thanks for the chance.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Jeanne M said...

Michele -

What I look forward to when I'm reading is not just the happy ending but what the characters go through to get to that happy ending.

I want a hero who has some conflict in his life and a heroine who is not just the normal (boring) debutante enterring the marriage mart. Since I've been married for 42 years I know that that happy ending takes a lot of work and even after all these years I know that you never will always have peace and agreement on everything. Instead it's by patience, understanding, compromise and forgiveness that shows true unconditional love.

I do enjoy reading books in a series but I enjoy characters in previous book to occasionally appear but not be dominant in the story.

Pat Cochran said...

Add me to the list, I also dislike books with scenes that go on for pages and pages, then are hurried to an ending in two or three pages!

Pat Cochran

Jennie Coleen561 said...

Hi Michele! I was excited to see your post here. I started reading romance novels about fifteen months ago, and your "The Highlander's Bride" was the first book I read. Since then, I've read all four McTiernay Brothers books and "The Christmas Knight." I thoroughly enjoyed all of these books. I have your new book, but haven't read it yet, so I don't need to be included in the drawing.

I love connected stories where characters from other books make appearances.

I don't like stories with infidelity or characters that supposedly have some terrible, deep, dark secret or problem, only to discover during the reveal that it's not really as dramatic or terrible as the reader was led to believe.

Please keep writing! I'm really looking forward to more McTiernay books and the follow-on to the "Christmas Knight."

Barbara E. said...

I don't like it when the ending seems rushed or just stops abruptly with too many questions unanswered. I love happy endings with a little follow up to show that the happily ever after is continuing and life is progressing in a good way. Usually where I'm disappointed in a book is the ending, although sometimes a book will drag in the beginning until something interesting finally happens. I prefer to have some activity in the beginning to get the ball rolling, basically. :D

Michele L. said...

Hi Michele,

I definitely like endings just like you write them! I want to read about the main characters and how they cope with marriage, any cliff hangers solved, plus if they have kids. I hate it when the book ends abruptly.

Beginnings that start out with a bang are my favorites because they get the ball rolling quickly. If a book takes 3 or 4 chapters to get to the point, I lose interest and won't finish it.

I don't like when a book has 3 or 4 different sub-stories going on also. Talk about getting dizzy or confused! I started reading one book one time that had 4 different families in it, each chapter was dedicated to a person from that family. Talk about hard to follow! Needless to say, I didn't finish it. Plus, it had way to much cussing, this person was sleeping with that person,there was fighting, to much of a soap opera for me.

Give me a romance with a good mystery intertwined in for good measure and a nice epilogue at the end. That is my favorite kind of story!

Your book, A Woman Made For Pleasure, or one of your Highlander books are my cup of tea!

marybelle said...

Endings can make me love a book or become frustrated. I dislike endings that don't tidy up all the threads.

If the book is part of a series, I need it to have satisfactory ending. Cliffhangers are the worst & just so annoying. If it is a series I know I will love. I'll wait for the series to be complete before I begin.

Give me great reading & a HEA and I'm yours.

Stefanie said...

I hate it when the hero/heroine is unfaithful and I love a strong, independent heroine. :D

Carol L. said...

I don't want a short Happy Ending at all. I want to connect emotionally with the Hero ad Heroine and feel waht they go through to fall in love and stay there. I also love series books where I can catch up with familiar couples and families.
Carol L
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

Maureen said...

I also don't like a quick ending to a story. It is a worry when there are only twenty pages left and the characters aren't even close to being able to resolve their differences.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Chrisbails said...

I love when other characters from stories show up. I like when the great secondary characters get their HEA. Secondary characters usually make the story for me. I love strong, alpha heroes. I love series and to be able to follow the storyline. There is not much I hate because otherwise it would not be a good story. If it is something you hate, you will remember the story. All good stories have to have a villian either male/female. I don't like to short of a story, I like it a little drawn out. Thanks for the giveaway. This is a new author for me and always looking for new authors to read.

Na said...

I like characters who are memorable and do things that might not be conventional but not necessarily bad. I like cheering for couples who aren't perfect but do learn from their mistakes.