WHAT MAKES YOU PICK UP A BOOK?

I have a stack of books waiting to be read at home, a typed list of books to consider, and a large Kindle library I downloaded for free or purchased. I am often asked by other authors to read and review their books. It is a daunting and impossible task to get to them all, but I do what I can to put a dent in the madness. After all, I love a good book. I carry one with me whenever I go.
With so many choices, how do I select the right one? Sometimes I choose a book just going by the author’s name, someone I’ve read before and enjoyed. But there are many authors out there without celebrity status like Stephen King or J. K. Rollins. A nice cover can catch my eye. If I like the title and the cover, I go a step further and read the summary. If that sounds good, I take a sneak peek inside. I love that Amazon Books has the “Look Inside” feature. I go to the first paragraph and read the first line.
The big deciding factor for me is the first sentence of a book. It is the HOOK. It is what reels me in. If I take the bait, I read on through the first paragraph and then maybe the second. If there was nothing there for me to explore, question, or make me want to read on, I stop. It might be a waste of my time to go further.
I like a story to be engaging and have tension. It should have likable characters, but flawed characters I can relate to because I, too, am flawed. Each scene must build on the plot, propelling me forward, letting me come to some conclusions and get answers to questions.
A good book is a puzzle. The reader fits the pieces together until the whole picture becomes clear. If by the end of the story, you don’t see the complete picture, then the author has failed you.
I like the books I read and the ones I write to have closure. But that will not always happen with a series or sequel and you get the “to be continued” type ending. For the first time ever, I have started my first ever series. I am almost finish with the first draft of Book One. I promise you this: There will be satisfying ending, but I will send the main character, Detective Colt Jessep, on a new case and a new adventure. Stay tuned for my upcoming suspense novel, ROCK BOTTOM. I can’t wait for you to meet this guy.

About Susan MIlls Wilson

Susan Mills Wilson is a native of North Carolina where she writes romantic suspense. She is the leader of the Charlotte Writers Club Mystery Critique Group and a member of Charlotte Writers Club. Subscribe to Susan’s blog at www.susanmillswilson.com.
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