Thursday, June 03, 2010


What makes a book a keeper for you? What puts an author on your Auto-Buy list? For me, the answer is one word: style. Writing style, to be exact. If I like the way you tell your story, there is very little I won't put up with.

Unlikeable characters? Far-fetched plots? Utterly ridiculous leaps of logic? Senseless misunderstandings? No worries. For me, whether or not I really love a book is a case of it ain't what you do it's the way that you do it.

For the truly stylish author, I could read their shopping lists and be enthralled. Jennifer Crusie does that for me. Eloisa James and Julia Quinn knock it out of the park every time. And don't even get me started on Christopher Moore and Laurell K. Hamilton.

Of course, conversely, I am likely to be very critical if your style doesn't engage me. You can have the world's most likeable characters, most unique plot, beautifully thought out, but if your style is wooden, I won't make it past the first chapter.

That author's voice is intangible, hard to pin down and impossible to duplicate. And whether or not an author's voice will resonate with a reader is impossible to predict - so editors looking for the next stylish author have their work cut out for them, don't they?

My question for you - what do you look for in a book? A storyline or theme you like? A character you can relate to? Or, like me, are you a sucker for style? What makes an author hit your auto-buy list?


Ladytink_534 said...

I'm into an author's style too. If I find an author I like I'm more than likely to read everything that they've written before I read something in a similar genre.

Vivi Andrews said...

Yep, I've been known to glom my way through an author's entire backlist as soon as I discover how awesome they are.

Kate Diamond said...

Ooh! Good question. I am a backlist reader, too. I like style... I enjoy many of the authors you mentioned for just that reason!

Vivant said...

Style, voice...whatever you call it, that is the major distinction between the books I simply enjoy and the books I treasure. I tend to hold back a few unread works from my favorite authors so I'll have an emergency supply of awesomeness to savor when I really need it.