On Reading: The Emotional Bang

Tuesday evening I drove a couple of hours north to attend the monthly meeting of the New Brunswick Border's Readers Group. A special shout out to Elsie, Laurie, Noreen, Diane, Fran, Liz... and the rest of the fabulous gang! I was the featured author and the ladies made me feel like a 'star'. We had a blast discussing my two latest releases, ALL ABOUT EVIE and ROMANCING THE WEST as well as 'reading' in general.

Also attending was a very nice university student who's gathering research for a thesis on romantic fiction. At one point she asked us why we read romantic fiction specifically? Our answers were similar, but I really enjoyed hearing everyone's individual take.

Today I'm asking you. What genre or sub-genre do you read and why? What are you looking for when you dig into page one? How do you feel or how do you want to feel when you close in on the end? What's the desired emotional bang?


Tori Lennox said…
I mostly read mysteries and/or science fiction/fantasy. But I usually read the ones with a romantic subplot. And I'm finding now I prefer more lighthearted reading. I do still read darker, more tense books but it's not my favorite. But I want a happy ending regardless.

(Love the new blog design!)
Constance said…
Fantasy, Historical, Science fiction, then the occasional Romance (mostly contemporary) and the rare mystery (Psychological).

On page one I want a character that I can identify/sympathize with. A tortured, angsty character is always good as long as they don't wallow in it. At the end, I want to feel the character stayed true to his/herself, if not a HEA, the character should be changed by his/her experiences, or sacrificed something. (No, not a chicken.)

And if I read one more romance where the book ends with the woman pregnant, I'll scream. And throw the book. And never buy another one. :P
Mary Stella said…
Sounds like you had a wonderful time, Beth. How could you not with Elsie, Laurie and that wonderful group? *waving at Elsie and Laurie*

I read mostly romance, murder/detective mysteries and thrillers. Within the romance genre, I love romantic comedies as well as romantic suspense and there's also something so satisfying about a good historical that sweeps me into the era of Viscounts, Dukes, Countesses, etc.

I read a select number of paranormals -- Sherrilyn Kenyon, Marjorie Liu, S.L. Viel and a couple others, but that isn't the first genre I go to when I'm looking for something new to read.

I want multi-layered characters who have interesting personalities, real conflicts, and excellent chemistry with the others on the page. Hit me in the heart with the emotional conflict. Make me feel for these people and you'll carry my interest to the end.
Taylor said…
I tend to read alot of genres, so I'm trying to find a connection between them all. I guess what I look for in a book is something that can either stimulate my brain or my imagination. Mysteries make my brain work, adventures make my imagination soar. Anything that's fun or fast or just a plain good read, it works for me.
elsiehogarth said…
Hi Beth!

We love you!!! Some more than others. She who shall not be named. We always have a good time with you. Even though your lips were sealed concerning LONDON and MILO but that's okay. I'll live.

I thought Andrea asked some very interesting questions for her thesis. It's nice to know that we were part of her research.

My all time favorite genre is Historicals and the Paranormals(Vamps, Werewolves-hey, they have angst just like everyone else). Then Contemps but I like them to be funny and the Romantic Suspense. A little murder and mayhem.

Shout out to Mary! We love you.
Gabriele C. said…
I basically read everything (Historical Fiction, Fantasy, SciFi, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, sometimes Mysteries, Romances and Lit fic) though historical fiction and epic fantasy rank highest on my list.

I prefer my Hist fic or Fantasy without a romance subplot, they seldom work for me. Most of the time I could slap the heroine and don't understand why the hero falls for her.

There are exceptions, of course.

But give me some nice battles, and I'm game, lol.
Beth Ciotta said…
Hi everyone! Finally got a chance to check in and I have to say I very much enjoyed reading everyone's comments. Interesting to note that those who chimed in read multiple genres. I used to read romantic fiction period, but in the last three years I branched out into mystery suspense and thrillers. Like Tori, I'm most keen on those with a romantic sub-plot or at least a romantic interest. Like Taylor, I enjoy a good adventure. I'm looking for characters I can relate to and/or admire and a colorful cast of secondary characters. As far as plot, I want the unexpected. Surprise me. Shock me. Make me laugh. Give me a big ol' lump in my throat. Give me a happy or hopeful ending please.
flchen1 said…
I read mostly romance (mostly contemporary, but some historical; mostly not paranormal), and I want the HEA. I tend to read for "escape," so I don't want the open-ended "realistic" endings. On the other hand, I hate the overly "made-for-the-movies" cutsy plot or endings, too, so go figure...

I agree with Mary Stella--I appreciate interesting characters and good chemistry. And I love to laugh and to read snappy dialogue. :)

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