Friday, March 18, 2011

Why Read Fiction?

Why Read Fiction?
by Jacqueline Seewald

I like many different kinds of fiction but enjoy most a novel or short story with a happy ending. I hope that doesn’t make me sound shallow or anti-literary. I suppose part of the reason I read is to escape the hum-drum and sadness of real life and everyday existence. I want to read a great love story with characters I can care about. For instance, I love a good Regency because the novels are often clever and humorous as well as romantic. TEA LEAVES AND TAROT CARDS could be called my tribute to that genre.

I want to solve an exciting mystery along with the fictional detectives. I also want to read a book with an interesting, clever plot. I appreciate an intelligently written novel. The three novels in my Kim Reynolds series: THE INFERNO COLLECTION, THE DROWNING POOL, as well as THE TRUTH SLEUTH (due for publication May 18th) are my tribute to mystery fiction. Of course, they are romantic mysteries with a paranormal edge, the kind of fiction I most enjoy reading.

Reading novels and short stories gives me added perspective on life, while reality provides me with inspiration to write fiction. I believe a good book is one the reader can enjoy. I want to finish reading and feel good, satisfied, mentally enriched but not depressed.

What sort of novels do you prefer to read? What constitutes a good book in your opinion? Who are some of your favorite authors?


Diana Driver said...

Like you, I enjoy a happy ending when I read fiction. We live in a turbulent world and fiction is an escape.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Diana,

You remind me of the Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times. Well, real life couldn't be more interesting these days--and a whole lot frightening! Think I'll grab a novel to disappear into for a while.

Betty Gordon said...

Jacqueline, I enjoyed your blog and I, like you, have varied tastes in reading. Having said this, however, I usually gravitate to a good mystery, suspense, or thriller with a good mix of romance. There are so many authors I enjoy but just to pick one -- Robert Crais.
Betty Gordon

Jacqueline Seewald said...

I've read several of the Elvis Cole mysteries and enjoyed them as well.

Betty Gordon said...

I completely forgot about your gracious invitation to promote our work. So...I have a NEW RELEASE, "Valley of Obsessions." It is out now in e-book at ARE and Amazon Kindle, but trade paperback will be available in less than two weeks. It is an intriguing suspense/paranormal story that chronicles a Houston woman's trek to Egypt and ensuing dangers.
Betty Gordon

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Jacqueline,

I read across many genres. My favs are mystery, romantic suspense, science fiction, light paranormal, and historical romance.

It's shallow of me to say this, but it isn't so much about the genre - instead its the pacing and the writer's voice that attract me. I like books that keep me guessing what comes next.

Even so, most of my favorite authors are women, but I know more female authors, so it may be an unintentional bias. Steve Berry and Jeff Deaver are males who write in a Maggie-engaging style. For females, my all-time fav is Jayne Ann Krentz in all her many iterations.

I know a lot of up and coming authors too. Vanessa Kelly, Alyssa Day, Judi Fennell, Diana Cosby,and so many more that I'm sure to forget a name if I go on.

I'm a sucker for a good book.


Maryannwrites said...

My reading tastes are very eclectic. I read mystery a lot and enjoy LJ Sellers, P.D. James, Lee Child, Robert Crais, the Kellermans and many more. One of my top favorites in mystery/suspense is Dennis Lehane, with Harlan Coben runnng a close second.

I also love mainstream and women's fiction and have a bunch of favorites there: Anne Tyler, Ann Lamott, Craig Johnson, Craig Lancaster, Laura Castor....

D'Ann said...

I am not shallow, and I dislike literary fiction. I like a happy ending, either in romance or mystery. My fave is romantic suspense. A perfect blend, in my opinion.

Jacqueline Seewald said...


Your new book sounds so intriguing! Thanks for telling us about it.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Maggie,

My alltime favorite romantic suspense writer is also Jayne Ann Krentz. That was why I asked if she would read and blurb TEA LEAVES AND TAROT CARDS. I was so honored that she chose to both read and recommend the novel to readers. She's not only the best of romance writers but a genuinely nice human being.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Maryann,

Like Maggie, I know you have a brand new mystery novel and has been well-reviewed. Congrats!

I also enjoy a variety of mystery writers. I like the Kellermans as well as P.D. James. I just finished Tami Hoag's new mystery and also Simon Brett's The Shooting in the Shop.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, D'Ann,

I also love romantic suspense or romantic mysteries. Either type of writing wins with me.

Susan Whitfield said...

Jacquie,there's nothing better than reading a book from my ever-overflowing basket of BTR while sipping on a beverage in my sunroom. I look forward to those much-needed breaks from my own writing, and still prefer fiction to nonfiction in most cases. My favorite genre is mystery, of course, but I do enjoy an occasional escape to romance or bawdy history. Great post!I look forward to having you back over to my blog soon.

Susan Whitfield

Brenda Coxe said...

I used to be into the romance and happy ending genre 100% of the time, but today I read most mystery and suspense--James Patterson is my favorite. I still enjoy a good romance, though--Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel and others. Novels and short stories take us away from life's reality and allow us to enter into a world about which we can only dream.

Jacqueline Seewald said...


Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.
I love your mysteries. You could teach a course on creating settings for fiction.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Brenda,

I also read James Patterson and Nora Roberts.
I prefer reading in the evenings to watching TV.

Tiffany said...

Hi Jacqueline,

Thanks for your post. I enjoy fiction books that are thought-provoking and explore human psychology. I recently read Lilian Duval's new book "You Never Know" ( The book follows Tobius as he experiencess tragedy early in life and then amazing good luck later in life. The book the limits of luck, life, and what we value most. A great read!

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Tiffany,

Thanks for joining us today and leaving a comment. I've never read Lilian Duval but the novel sounds very interesting and I'll look it up. It's always good to read new authors, keeps our minds sharp.

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Jacqueline

Sorry to be late dropping in. I agree completely. I like to 'escape' the pressures of modern life, both as a reader and writer,

I love to be transported to another place and time, and a happy ending is so satisfying (Although there are some books with sad, poignant endings, that I really love too, but there's nothing quite like a H.E.A.) My favourite genres to write are fantasy and futuristic romance, but I read most other genres too, and if the writer can hold me within the first few pages and get me 'hooked' that's the most important thing.

Lyn (Hywela Lyn)

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Lyn,

I enjoy reading fantasy and futuristic romance, although I've only written fantasy and sci-fi short stories. I admire writers who can create an entire book length speculative realm. I will definitely visit your blog.

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