The Reading Habits
Are you a re-reader? Why, or why not? And if you are, what are some of the books you have read over and over?
I very rarely re-read a book. There are too many new books out there waiting to be read!
When is your optimal time to read – do you prefer to read in one long block, or do you also read for five minutes here or there when you can?
Both. I love having a free afternoon when I can indulge myself with hours of uninterrupted reading, preferably on a summer afternoon in the screen porch with a tall glass of lemonade, or on a cold winter day in front of the fire with a cup of hot chocolate. However…with all the demands on my time, those idyllic interludes are an infrequent luxury. So I read whenever I can squeeze it in—even for five minutes while waiting for a pot on the stove to boil while cooking dinner.
I’d love your thoughts on novellas. Are you thumbs up or down? Or does it depend?!
On the whole, thumbs down. I like fully developed characters and rich plots, and those are very hard to come by in novellas because of the short word count.
Are you faithful to a genre, an author, or simply quality writing?
Quality writing, hands down. I’ll read a book in almost any genre that is well written. That said, my go-to genres are contemporary romance/women’s fiction and romantic suspense. No surprise, I guess, since those are the genres I write in!
Which factors most influence your selection of a book?
Authors I’ve read and loved are always at the top of my TBR list. Beyond that, I look at the cover, read the blurb on the back, then skim through the first couple of pages. If all of those appeal to me, I’ll give a new author a try.
Your fiction pet peeve?
Logic lapses in both characters and plot. I want characters to behave consistently, and I hate plot holes where the author didn’t ask the obvious questions and resolve them.
What book have you read this year that you could not put down, and why?
Gone Girl (late to the party on that one, for sure!). I didn’t like some of the language, I disliked the main characters more and more as the story progressed, and I hated the ending…but the author really blindsided me about halfway through, and I was riveted to the page to see how things would turn out. I think the book stuck in my mind because it totally threw me for a loop with a plot twist I never saw coming. It was masterfully done—and memorable.
How do you mark your spot – folded page corner, bookmark, dollar bill, whatever is at hand?
I never fold down the page corner. Never. But I’ve been known to use whatever is available to mark my place—bills, paper napkins, ads, pieces of newspaper, envelopes…the list is endless.
Whose debut novel impressed you more than you anticipated?
Hmm. I can’t recall the last debut novel I read. Most authors I read have been writing for a while.
When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you?
The characters. I have to fall in love with and care about the characters almost from page one or I quickly lose interest in the story. Also, excellent writing is a must.
What are some of your favourite CF reads from around 10 years ago, or further back?
Snack/drink of choice while reading?
I’m not a snacker. Besides, when I’m engrossed in a story I’m not thinking about eating or drinking, other than the lemonade and hot chocolate mentioned above.
What book cover has really caught your eye?
There are SO many good covers out there these days it’s hard to single one out as especially eye-catching. But the cover for The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson (coming in March) appeals to me. It has a fresh, wholesome, feel-good vibe.
Which author makes it easy to turn off your internal editor?
What book do you wish you had written? Why?
Every author’s voice is unique, and I wouldn’t want to sound like someone else. But I do admire specific qualities in a lot of writers’ works and have tried to learn from those to enhance my own writing.
I asked Irene to share a photo of her TBR ~ here’s her response!
This is a tough assignment! I don’t have a TBR pile—because if a book is physically present in my house, the temptation is too strong to resist. I’ll either cave and end up reading instead of writing, or I’ll stay up way too late. However, I do have a TBR list. I get the books one at a time so I can’t overindulge. Among the novels on this list right now are Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good and Come Rain or Come Shine by Jan Karon; The Rain Sparrow by Linda Goodnight; The Hearts We Mend by Kathryn Springer; and Her One and Only by Becky Wade.
Relz Reviewz Extras
Reviews of That Certain Summer, Trapped, Vanished, Lethal Legacy, Deadly Pursuit, Fatal Judgement, Against All Odds, An Eye for An Eye and In Harm’s Way
Character spotlights on Jake & Liz, Coop & Monica, Mark & Emily and Nick & Rachel
Discover more about Irene
Interview with Irene
Visit Irene’s website
Buy at Amazon: Thin Ice or Koorong