Sunday, November 14, 2010

Reading for Fun

Unless I'm reading a book about geology for dummies, or the mating habits of Florida alligators, I read to be entertained. Nah, I don't really read about geology or alligators, but I do enjoy a good mystery that entertains me. Consequently, I read (and write) stories that are lighter with a touch of humor. As far as reading, not much makes me happier than finishing a book and realizing that I have a smile on my face.

You might ask me why. I'd have to answer that there's just too much drama in our everyday lives. I have a desire to be taken away from that angst -- and eat chocolate while in the process. I could try writing something serious that would bring a tear to the reader's eye, but that would take the fun out of it for me. Writing is the most fun I've ever had while doing a job, and trust me, writing is a job. The nice part is that I can do this job at home. I could even wear my jammies while I write, but I don't think my husband or the neighbors who can see through my office window would appreciate that.

Some people wonder how important the snippets on the back cover of the book are are, and I'm here to say they're very important, at least to me. They give me a feel for the book and whether it's going to entice me into paying good money for it.

I have to admit that I've started reading books by authors I've never read before who are with Oak Tree Press, and none of them have let me down. I'm finding some great stories, and I'll be returning for other books by these authors. And not because I have a book coming out from Oak Tree, but because they're quality stories.

Read a good book, and do it today. You'll be glad you did.

Marja McGraw (includes weekly blog)


Holli said...

While I like really suspenseful and scary stories, I, too, like to close the book satisfied that everything worked out well for everyone. I also agree that the blurb on the book, or anywhere else the author may write one online, helps me to see the style and voice of the writer, which can make the difference between whether I buy the book or not.

Even though I lean toward darker material, I still like my mysteries to have a little funny in them to entertain me, otherwise they can read too much like a how-to book on solving a crime.

Holli Castillo
Gumbo Justice

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I write because I have control over my fictional world and I can make things come out the way they should-and that's what I want when I'm reading a mystery.

Good post.


Marja said...

Hi Holli, What I've found is that a funny story can sometimes be scary or suspenseful at the same time. When I find an author like that, I'm hooked.


Marja said...

Marilyn, I couldn't agree with you more. I like being able to determine the circumstances and the conclusion.


WS Gager said...

Marja: I have always read to escape from whatever was going on. If I learned something, that was a bonus. A good book should be touted in medical journals as a stress reliever. When I write, it is the same way. I disappear into my mystery and if the writing is going well, I rarely come up for air. (Yes, I do write while in the most comfy clothes and I wouldn't want anyone to see me.) Great post Marja!
W.S. Gager

Marja said...

Thanks, Wendy! I can tell that you're a woman after my own heart. There's nothing (not much, anyway) that I enjoy more than a good laugh, or at least a smile.

And, like you, when I'm working on a book, I don't want anything to cause a distraction. Kind of like the two parakeets that are chirping their little hearts out, at the top of their lungs, in my office right now. sigh.


Marja said...

My apologies to S. Connell Vondrak. My blog was supposed to go up next week, and being the computer illiterate that I am, I accidentally posted it this week. Please read on below my blog to the one you should be reading this week, The Pursuit of Happiness. By the way, it's a wonderful blog. Don't miss it.

Sunny Frazier said...

I like it when humor comes out of the situation, especially if the characters are actually being serious. I hope readers enjoy Christy's cluelessness and Lennie's sassy even as they face danger. What I DON'T like are contrived situations and slapstick. I feel the author is being self-indulgent.

Good post, Marja. I hope to see it on several sites.

Marja said...

Thank you, Sunny! Having read some of Christy, I can say that I like your brand of humor. I don't care for contrived either. Humor needs to come across as natural, or it doesn't work. I have to admit though, on occasion I do like slap stick.

Monti said...

Wish I had more time to read! I do love good stories and certainly have found many of them with Oak Tree authors!

It's fun, like Marilyn says, to create our own fictional worlds and have that control!!!