Ok here's what were gonna do

I Want to Interview You

Cedar Sanderson

I’m listening…

I wrote a post earlier this week on writers respecting their readers. As I’m thinking about it more, I’d like to interview some readers for my blog. I have a perspective as a writer and a reader, and I talk to writers all the time, but not as much to readers. In the changing world of writing and publishing, there is no reason I *can’t* reach out and ask you all directly to take part in the process.

What do you like to read?
What makes you say ‘never again’ to an author’s work?
How do you find an author, and what keeps you coming back?
Do you pay any attention to the author, or the publisher?
How many editing errors do you notice, and when is it ‘too bad to keep on’?
As a reader, what offends you in the story? Bad plotting, writing, poorly developed characters, or…?

Anyone can respond to this, and I will credit quotes I use in the blog, but let me know if you are a writer as well as a reader, please. If you would rather not respond in comments, you can email me at cedarlila@gmail.com

Thanks very much!


4 thoughts on “I Want to Interview You

  1. 1 I prefer SF/Fantasy, Westerns. and mysteries but. Cereal boxes will do.

    2 Bore me or make me hurl. One exception is an author who is a good writer but. while I agree with his politics and the political things he says., he sends my BP skyrocketing.

    3 So many ways it isn’t even funny. Pick one up for the cover/blurb, friend recommendations, it was there when I had nothing to read. I keep coming back if the writer spins a good yarn without becoming too repetitive.

    4 Sometimes, I now look for the Baen logo but that is a fairly recent development, say the last 10 years.. Of course if I know the author is a reliably enjoyable writer I look for that.

    5 Unless it affects the story of is blatant I don’t really notice, I am definitely not a grammar Nazi

    6 Bad writing, plotting, cardboard characters, polemics, lots of things. Any one of which can be forgivable if everything else is really good


  2. 1. I will read anything that seems the least bit interesting. The only thing I don’t read is Romance or those weird teen supernatural angsty books. Science fiction though holds a very special place in my heart. I am also a huge fan of reading history.

    2. I have to be bored with the writing or the author has to really piss me off in some way. I’ve never really run into any author that has pissed me off. I have run into ones that bored me. Anne Rice, Robert Jordan, and various indie authors.

    3. I will use an example for this one. I was walking through Barnes and Noble and I noticed this book on the shelf called Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia. It was published by one of my favorite publishing houses and the cover looked like lots of fun. So I picked it up and started reading the first chapter. I was hooked and I have bought every book Larry has published since.

    Same thing with John Ringo, except I was working at B&N at the time and took a mass market home that had been stripped. That is how I found Baen.

    Otherwise, I listen to what friends say because I do have a circle of friends who are avid readers and they usually steer me in the right direction. I also browse when I’m in a book store. I pick up a book that may look interesting, read the blurb on back then usually open it up and read the first couple of pages. If it catches my interest, I buy it. If it doesn’t, it goes back no the shelf.

    4. Yes and Yes. Usually anything with Baen on the spine, I will buy. There are other authors that I have been a fan of for a long time, Terry Pratchett, Raymond Feist, Kevin J Anderson, to name a couple that I will buy when they release something new.

    5. I only notice it when it takes away from the story. I had a friend who wrote a book and asked me to read and review it. It was terrible. It really needed the touch of an editor. I couldn’t finish it, even though I tried.

    6. Terrible writing and transparent two dimensional characters. Overtly bad science, science so terrible that my suspension of disbelief is completely nuked. Terrible description of firearms and how they work.


  3. I was thinking about this last night. It goes with the second question, What keeps me coming back to an author. Obviously they tell good stories and write them in such a way that it is enjoyable to read.

    There are authors though whose prose is just amazing.

    Ray Bradbury, Dan Simmons, Clive Barker, are three that immediately come to mind. How they use the English language to tell the story is amazing.

    Terrible prose is also a turn off. That is what happened to me with Anne Rice. I tried reading Interview with the Vampire and it was clunky and just did not flow well. I did not finish the book. Terrible prose will cause me to shelve a book faster than a poor plot.


  4. What do you like to read? To quote Deety Burroughs — anything. Words in a row. I’ll read a cereal box. In books, that translates to anything that can get my attention and interest. I prefer fantasy and science fiction — considering the latter a subset of the former. Favorite authors: Heinlein, CJ Cherryh, Emma Bull, Spider Robinson, Charles de Lint, MA Foster, PC Hodgell, Ansen Dibbell, Elizabeth Bear, Jim butcher, Sarah Hoyt, Glen Cook. Also like Rex Stout and cozy mysteries.

    What makes you say ‘never again’ to an author’s work? I am probably the world’s least critical and most-forgiving reader. I have only ever tossed three books: a Stephen King I can’t remember the title of, Queen City Jazz by Kathleen Ann Goonan, and one of the Game of Thrones books — about the fourth or fifth. Sins were, in order, bad copy editing or bad grammar/spelling/syntax (obnoxiously so), I couldn’t tell which, utter nonsense plot-wise, and utter tedium.

    How do you find an author, and what keeps you coming back? Surprisingly, interesting titles and cover art. Or maybe not surprisingly. I have never gone wrong, frex, buying a book with a Michael Whelan cover.

    Do you pay any attention to the author, or the publisher? Both.

    How many editing errors do you notice, and when is it ‘too bad to keep on’? I notice every one. (Or I think so, anyway.) When it gets to three-per-page for several pages running, the book gets flying lessons. (See Stephen King note above.)

    As a reader, what offends you in the story? Bad plotting, writing, poorly developed characters, or…? Insulting my intelligence. I’m perfectly willing to forgive a lot if the story is good, absorbing, affecting, and entertaining. Frex, I thoroughly enjoyed — several times — W. Michael Gear’s Spider novels, which — editorially — were an utter hot mess. OTOH, the aforementioned (Nebula-nominated?) Queen City Jazz stopped making sense on all levels early on. I gave it several more chapters before binning it. (Which should tell you how BAD it was. I usually don’t throw away books. I either Half Price Books them or Goodwill them. But that was… EPIC bad. I didn’t want to inflict it on any other unsuspecting innocent.)

    Tedium is a special case. It could have to do with my mood or attention span at the moment, my ability to concentrate, or whatever. It usually make several tries over long periods of time, just to be fair. The GRR Martin book, frex: I had read the previous (2? 3?) books in the series. But all the extra exposition just bored me to tears. I haven’t bought another Martin book since, and he used to be one of my favorites. I had a similar experience with James Branch Cabell’s Jurgen, which (as you no doubt know), came highly recommended.

    And now you know why I write novels 🙂


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