I had the pleasure of having a meal with Patrick and his lovely wife while I was in Nashville this year. It was great to talk books, life, and faith with him. I hope you enjoy this peek at Patrick’s reading habits. Be sure to enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter form below….
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 am definitely a re-reader. I love to go back and make the acquaintance of my friends again, especially when the author has done such a wonderful job of making the characters seem real. I’ve read the Lord of the Rings several times and The Wheel of Time as well, along with TheChronicles of Thomas Covenant. But the series that I’ve re-read the most is the Belgariad, although it’s been a few years now. It’s probably time to open it up again. Most recently, I’ve been re-reading The Staff and the Sword, which may seem a bit weird, but I’m trying to cultivate a discipline of analysing my own work to see where it works and where I could improve.
Rel: I adore David Eddings’ writing
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?
I like to read in one long block, especially in the winter when I can down a few cups of hot chocolate over the break. Sometimes I read late into the evening in front of the fireplace long after everyone else has gone to bed. Delicious!
I’d love your thoughts on novellas. Are you thumbs up or down? Or does it depend?!
It depends. I actually wrote one a couple of years ago and found the process interesting. Everything has to have more punch because you’re trying to tell a complete story in less than half the space. All in all, I probably still prefer novels and then short stories, but as long as the tale is well written I’ll enjoy it.
Are you faithful to a genre, an author, or simply quality writing?
Quality writing. I’ve read practically every genre you could name, including non-fiction historical, although science fiction/fantasy is my go to. I do have authors I make it a point to follow simply because they consistently write well, but that won’t keep me from putting a book down if it doesn’t strike my fancy.
Which factors most influence your selection of a book?
Author, genre, and word-on-the-street from people I know. I’m fortunate enough to work with people who share my love of books and they are generous with their input. I have a reading list that’s growing by leaps and bounds. There are so many good books I want to read!
Your fiction pet peeve?
Authors who break their own rules. In fantasy, it means the author has laid out the rules in his world-building and then broken them because they’ve become inconvenient. Sorry, you don’t get to do that. It destroys the credibility of the book.
What book have you read this year that you could not put down, and why?
Any book of the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher, Airframe by Michael Crichton, and to a lesser extent, Outbreak by Robin Cook. All of three authors are masters of pacing. They do such a wonderful job building a momentum that increases until, by the end, you can hardly turn the pages fast enough.
How do you mark your spot – folded page corner, bookmark, dollar bill, whatever is at hand?
Whatever is at hand. A lot of times it’s my thumb as I move from one room to another.
Whose debut novel impressed you more than you anticipated?
Snowcrash by Neal Stephenson. For a debut novel to tackle present tense narrative and tell a great story is amazing.
When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you?
I think it’s pacing. I’ve become more impatient over the years and just don’t have the time or luxury for a story that doesn’t get going until I’m a hundred pages in.
Ann Gabhart, Patrick W. Carr, Noelle Chew (Bethany House) and moi! (Apologies about the low quality pic!)
What are some of your favourite CF reads from around 10 years ago, or further back?
Snack/drink of choice while reading? Hot chocolate, chocolate, fudge. Get the idea yet? J
What book cover has really caught your eye?
The best book covers are in fantasy where the publisher commits to artwork. When I first started reading fantasy in the late 70’s and early 80’s you could literally choose a book by its cover. If the publisher knew they had a winner, they would commission an artist to do an amazing cover that tied in with the theme/story of the book. It’s still that way in some corners of the industry. I’m hoping that we’ll see a move away from the photoshop process. The results can be good, but after a while everything starts to look the same.
Which author makes it easy to turn off your internal editor?
The easiest is Michael Crichton. His pacing is so good and his stories so well-researched that my internal editor goes out for the evening.
What book do you wish you had written? Why?
I wouldn’t want to deprive the real author of their work. Writing is a tough gig and if you’ve written a book good enough to make me wish I’d written it, you’ve earned everything you’ve gotten. I’m happy with the books I’ve written. I’ve approached writing with a simple maxim and that’s to write the book I would want to read.
Don’t miss Patrick’s latest novel…
Victory over the dark forces during the feast of Bas-solas should have guaranteed safety for the continent. Instead, Willet and the rest of the Vigil discover they’ve been outsmarted by those seeking to unleash the evil that inhabits the Darkwater. Jorgen, the member of the Vigil assigned to Frayel, has gone missing, and new attacks have struck at the six kingdoms’ ability to defend themselves.
Just when the Vigil thought they had quenched the menace from their enemy in Collum, a new threat emerges: assassins hunting the Vigil, men and women who cannot be seen until it’s too late. The orders of the church and the rulers of the kingdoms, fearing the loss of the Vigil’s members altogether, have decided to take them into protective custody to safeguard their gift. On Pellin’s orders, the Vigil scatters, leaving Willet to be taken prisoner by the church in Bunard.
In the midst of this, Willet learns of the murder of an obscure nobleman’s daughter by one of the unseen assassins. Now he must escape his imprisonment and brave the wrath of the church to find the killer in order to turn back this latest threat to the northern continent.
Patrick W. Carr is author of the acclaimed and award-winning The Staff and the Sword series, as well as The Darkwater Saga. After graduating from Georgia Tech, Carr worked at a nuclear plant, did design work for the Air Force, worked for a printing company, and as an engineering consultant. Patrick’s day gig for the last five years has been teaching high school math in Nashville, Tennessee. Patrick is a member of ACFW and MTCW and makes his home in Nashville with his incredible wife and their four awesome sons.