Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What type of reader are you?

Hello to you all! It is a busy time of the year, but I've had this idea bouncing around in my mind for a week or so now, and I've really wanted to put it out there. I am in full swing trying to get Lindy Johnson out in the world for folks to read. I'm about two months behind what I had wanted originally, but hey, I adapt, right? I sent out the manuscript to my original beta readers, and received very mixed reviews. I put a lot of this on the fact that it is a totally different voice from my other books, and my beta readers have read far more than just Nightwatch, bless their hearts. Lindy is not a suspenseful book, therefore is is not solid action all the way through. It definitely has some drama mixed in with the mystery and romance. Lindy's voice is also a *bit* sarcastic, and she's not always kind. Imagine Han Solo as a female private detective, self serving, loyal to the highest bidder, and a little broken. Some of the beta readers adore her, and others are not as bonded...

Beyond all this, I have noticed something else. Nightwatch is a very fun, easy, not a lot of weigh-you-down-content sort of book. It is a great escape into another world filled with intrigue, spies, and double cross. I love it. Lindy Johnson's book series will follow the life of a private investigator that also happens to have multiple sclerosis. It studies out the idea of weak and strong, and where the line is, and what it means to be strong. Lindy is meant to enlighten, and lift; to give power to those who may not have a voice. It is meant to shed light on those people I call "diseased in disguise". They look normal to the naked eye, but you don't necessarily see the struggle of every day and every moment.

The reaction I have received from my beta readers has been mixed, I think, because there are at least two types of readers, the escapist, and the deep thinker. The escapist wants a book to do exactly that, escape, transport them to another world where none of their present worries or cares exist. It needs to be fast paced, never a dull moment, and succinctly told in a fashion that they can pick it up and never want to set it down. These readers love Nightwatch, and they will adore Falcon.

The deep thinker also wants an escape, but enjoys a chance to learn something. When this reader finishes a book, they want to be different having read it in the first place. They want the book to leave an impact on their heart. These readers dream of meeting the characters they have bonded to. The ride may not be fast, they may read and set the book down, but they enjoy pondering and dwelling on the story as they are away from it. These readers will love the Lindy Johnson series and the personal journey they take with her.

I sat and thought about my own style of reading, Am I an escapist, or a deep thinker? I finally came to the conclusion that I am both. I have devoured everything Dorothy Gilman has ever written, and her books have always been a great escape for me. I feel the same about Mary Higgins Clark and Jack Weyland. They all have the ability to suck me in and let me live in another world, and I love it.

Then there are other books. The Hunger Games series left an impact on my heart, not just because I'm totally team Peeta, but the way Suzanne Collins crafted the political theme of the book opened my eyes to so much that I had not seen in my own world; ideas about privacy and rights, and our willingness to give up freedom in exchange for security. It pushed me back to my psychology training concerning our ability to follow orders and the human capacity to inflict pain on another, just like the Milgram studies showed. I love that I still think about the characters like they are old friends of mine. There are others as well, Sue Grafton's W is for Wasted opened my eyes to the world of the homeless and forgotten. U is for Undertow gave me reason to worry for our elderly and the people that care for them. And I can't forget Divergent and how it helped me to think about the balance of our own personalities, that light and darkness reside in the same being, and you cannot have the good without the bad, opposition in all things. While these may not be the most hard hitting and controversial books of all time, it is what I like to read and I love that truth and light can be gleaned from so many different genres.

As usual, I have rambled a bit, but I guess I like to help people think. I like when I hear that something I wrote touched a heart, or healed a wound. I think our world could use a little healing after all.

What kind of reader are you?

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