As an author, it’s my job to make readers think that the characters and situations in my books are believable.
Most writers research their books carefully to make their work credible and to enrich them with telling details that bring the story to life for the reader. I’m absolutely not taking a pop at them. It’s just that I think I’m a particularly quirky reader because I sometimes find myself reading something I sort of trip up over and then have to stop reading to think about, something that nobody else ever seems to feel the need to mention. I do understand that there are some things that readers just do not need to know, and I’ve been on the receiving end of ‘Too much information!’ messages from editors, but I’m still going to share a few of my reading quirks with you.
- Hero and heroine leap into bed together. Whaaat? Nobody needed to nip to the loo first? And the heroine hasn’t taken off her make up.
- Hero and heroine wake up together and immediately begin making love, including lavish kisses. See above! Plus, what about morning breath? And is the heroine’s mascara now forming great black smudges beneath her eyes? That is not a good look.
- Heroine has had a baby and hero has no inkling, despite having made love to her. So she doesn’t have a single stretch mark? Not ONE? Wow. Did she use bio oil?
- Villains fire off round after round of automatic weapon fire at hero and he crouches, wincing, behind a rock, but doesn’t suffer a scratch. He, on the other hand, with a handheld gun, is able to pick the villains off at will. So, if he gained this prowess via military service, was he categorised as a marksman? With this particular weapon?And how long ago was that? Maybe it’s a facility that doesn’t need honing at regular intervals? Or maybe being in fear of his life just bring it back in a hurry?
- Character has a dog. I watch carefully to make certain someone takes the dog out regularly and feeds it. Otherwise, I will have to make a report to the RSPCA. (NB Every time I have a dog in a book I swear it’s the last time. The damned thing is almost as much trouble as a real one.)
- Characters get soaked, either by torrential rain or through falling into a body of water. They get no opportunity to change their clothes and they just seem to cope. I must be such a wimp. I feel physically uncomfortable until I know they’ve been able to change, preferably after a nice warm shower and a cup of tea.
I can imagine readers everywhere saying ‘But I seriously do not need to know that my characters go to the toilet or pick up after the dog!’ and I completely agree. But it doesn’t stop me thinking …
Is it only me? Or do you have reading quirks, too?
Sue’s next book, Just for the Holidays, has just entered production ready for 18th May publication. You can see that the cover isn’t quite ready but here’s the blurb:
The #1 bestselling author returns for summer! Grab your sun hat, a cool glass of wine, and the only book you need on holiday…
In theory, nothing could be better than a summer spent basking in the French sun. That is, until you add in three teenagers, two love interests, one divorcing couple, and a very unexpected pregnancy.
Admittedly, this isn’t exactly the relaxing holiday Leah Beaumont was hoping for – but it’s the one she’s got. With her sister Michele’s family falling apart at the seams, it’s up to Leah to pick up the pieces and try to hold them all together.
But with a handsome helicopter pilot staying next door, Leah can’t help but think she might have a few distractions of her own to deal with…
A glorious summer read, for you to devour in one sitting – perfect for fans of Katie Fforde, Carole Matthews and Trisha Ashley.