What makes us fall in love with a book?
By Judy Christie
Five years ago, my birthday gift to myself was a novel.
Not buying one. Writing one ...
That turned out to be one of my best gifts ever. My fifth novel in the Green series, Downtown Green, was just published by Abingdon Press. When I'm not reading books, I spend time making up stories about people I love in places I enjoy.
Downtown Green is about a big-city journalist who winds up running a small-town newspaper and finds herself in unlikely battles in the fictional town of Green, Louisiana. With quirky characters, Lois Barker Craig fights to save Green from one challenge after another.
I write the kinds of books that I like to read. From the time I stepped into the visiting bookmobile at Barret Elementary School, I've been in love with choosing books.
As reader and writer, I wonder what makes us fall in love with a book? Here are a few things that grab me:
** Strong female characters who are likable but not perfect. I enjoy get-it-done women protagonists who are smart and funny. I want to care about characters so much that I long for things to work out. When I wrote Gone to Green, first in the Green series, I knew Lois would be a strong but sometimes uncertain hero.
** Tension. The best novels make me wonder what's going to happen, even though I think I know what's going to happen. Twists and turns make for a delicious read.
** Series. I'm a big fan of series. I enjoy watching characters develop and seeing what happens through the years. I was hooked on series as a child with The Boxcar Children.
** A sense of place. The books I enjoy most make me feel like I've paid a visit to the community - be it small-town Texas of Chicago. Last weekend I spoke at a luncheon in Central Louisiana, and several readers said they think Green is their town. What a wonderful compliment!
** Description that creates a picture in my mind but doesn't wear me out. As a new novelist, I've realized there's an art to dropping the right details in at the right moment.
** Great dialogue. Don't you love subtle humor woven through dialogue?
** Makes-me-smarter. Huh? My favorite novels teach me something.
** A satisfying ending. When I sat down at my laptop five years ago, I didn't know much about writing a novel, but I knew my book would have a hopeful ending.
What about you? What makes you fall in love with a book? I'd love to read your comments!
About The Author:
Judy Christie writes from her home in North Louisiana, where she likes to chat on her vintage green Kitchen Couch and sit in the porch swing and read. A longtime journalist, she's kept a diary since she was nine and still has all of them. She's also the author of the Hurry Less Worry Less nonfiction series, including Hurry Less Worry Less for Moms. Judy loves to visit with readers. For weekly tips on how to slow down and enjoy each day, check out her podcast at http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/hurry-less-worry-less/id435253514
BUY THE BOOK: Downtown Green
Book Description: Downtown Green
When the highway bypass around Green opens with much fanfare, downtown dries up faster than cement on the roadway. Businesses close and the hospital becomes a clinic. While the road is progress to some, it seems to be leading Green toward a national trend - a town that is merely a shadow of itself.
With the town going backwards, Lois Barker Craig is determined to save Green while juggling life as a new mom and owner of The Green News-Item. But can her plan rescue the town from the path it's on? And what about Dr. Kevin and her son, Mayor Eva, Coach Chris and other familiar Green faces? How does this affect them?