I’ve been thinking lately about what it is that makes books irresistible to readers. In a historical, there can be a backdrop of great magnitude, like the Civil War, or an international thriller set in cosmopolitan cities across the globe. Drop great characters into those stories and the reader is hooked.
I’ve always been a voracious reader. My fondest memories of books goes back to elementary school and my first visit to the school library. My world opened up to the wonders of reading. I can remember walking single file down the corridor then waiting in line outside the library, fidgeting because I wanted to get inside to make my selection. Once I picked my book, I couldn’t wait to read it, even if I was supposed to be concentrating on math equations. Maybe that’s why I didn’t excel in math.
When I got older, my mom would take us to the public library twice a month. I could stand in the fiction section for hours, soaking up the ambiance and reveling in the scent of the books. I’d always come home with an armful of books. During the summer, I participated in the annual reading program. At the end of August, the librarians threw a party and gave prizes to those who read the most books. Needless to say, I racked up the reading points.
Even in high school, when most of the students used the library as a place to study, I still hung out in the fiction section, looking for that great book. I realize now that it all comes back to the characters, how they hook us into a story and don’t let go until the last page.
I’m so excited to be writing for Heartwarming because I get to take this great love of mine to create great characters and share their world with others. The hours I spend creating and molding my characters translates into hours of enjoyment for the reader. I love a plucky heroine who can handle her life, even if it is a mess when the story begins, watching her grow into an even more interesting person by story’s end. Give me a strong hero who also has some changing to do and you’ve grabbed my attention. Being invited along the journey as they fall in love is icing on the cake.
Reading will always be a part of my life. I couldn’t imagine otherwise. Let me know any fond memories you have about how reading, especially books with stand out characters.