Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What's Your Answer?

The What's Your Answer Feature is back, this time in the month of Love and Romance.

Here's how it works. I pose questions. You pick one or more and answer in the comment section. Remember, the more answers you give, the less space each should take up.

You may include one website or blog URL in your comment.

Today's Questions And My Answers:

Question:
If romance is included in a mystery, does that inclusion enrich or detract from the reading experience?

Answer:
I believe romance enriches a mystery, but the author needs to lay enough groundwork to make it in some way integral to the plot. Unexplained physical attraction between characters and/or gratuitous sex at awkward times tip me off the author hasn't put enough effort into weaving the plot.

Question:
Do you like to read or write books told from the point of view of a female, male or both?

Answer:
The books I read or write generally are told from both points of view. It's fun learning about what the opposite sex is thinking, especially in a romance. A good author will string along the reader, letting out a bit of rope at a time, tightening it with more conflict, and repeating the process until the denouement.

Question:
Women - Do you read books written by male authors?
Men - Do you read books written by female authors?

Answer:
Three quarters of the books I read are written by female authors, the other quarter by males. One reason is I like to read romances and other genres which include romance. The ones that interest me generally seem to be written by female authors. That said, two of my favorite authors, who have since departed, were Dick Francis and Sidney Sheldon.


Now It's Your Turn. We'd love to hear your answers. Pick a Question (or more) and Answer In the Comment Section.
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On Thursday, Feb. 9, Morgan's Blog Book Tour for her paranormal romantic thriller, Forever Young: Blessing or Curse, continues here with an interview by her editor, Helen Ginger.

Morgan Mandel is a past president of Chicago-North RWA,
was the Library Liaison for MWMWA, and is an active blogger & networker.
Her current release, Forever Young: Blessing or Curse is available in PrintKindle, Nook, Smashwords and other formats. Excerpts and buy link lists for all four of Morgan's novels are at:
http://morgansbooklinks.blogspot.com/
Morgan's personal blog:  http://morganmandel.blogspot.com/

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24 comments :

  1. QUESTION: Women - Do you read books written by male authors?

    ANSWER: Yes! I love the Jack Reacher series!

    Michelle
    www.michelle-pickett.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Question: Men - Do you read books written by female authors?

    When I actually checked this against my purchases and Kindle contents, I was a bit surprised. I read both in about equal numbers, but seem to prefer female authors for non-genre fiction and male authors for thrillers, the genre I write in.

    In that genre, love and romance are integral to my novels, as they are in life, but I have a very broad interpretation of romance. In one, the romance is a struggle of fidelity against appealing opportunity faced by a deeply happy, mature married man. In another, an agent targeted for assasination maneuvers to ensure the future for his wife and son.

    --Larry Constantine (novelist Lior Samson)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Question:
    Do you read books written by female authors?

    Answer:
    They're not men or women, just writers whose work I enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think when romance in a mystery becomes as important as the mystery, the book becomes a different genre. It's neither a Romance nor a Mystery. It's a Romantic Mystery. And, yes, I'll read all three genres. Romance in a mystery can add a different layer, but a straight Mystery or Whodunnit can be just as intricate and interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  5. If romance is included in a mystery, does that inclusion enrich or detract from the reading experience?

    Being a romance writer I see romance whatever I read! So no, for me, it doesn’t detract at all. But then, of course, the book will become a mystery/romance, and people will buy the book as much for mystery as for romance.

    http://louisewise.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's good to see answers like Larry's and Martin's, where they judge a book by its merits not by who writes it. I often wonder if my books will appeal to the male readership.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. #1: If it is integral to the story, nope.

    #2: If it is good story, doesn't matter.

    #3: If they write good stories, doesn't matter.

    ReplyDelete
  8. While I don't read a lot of mysteries, I do believe that romance is a way to deepen any conflict in an intriguing way. What we love in others says so much about our own character, and the relationship allows inner conflict to play out on the page. Always worth exploring!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm seeing a more favorable trend toward romance in mysteries than before. That's a good thing!

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Q: Do you read books written by male authors?
    A: Like others here, I think the writer's gender is irrelevant--the quality of writing is what matters to me.

    Q: Do you like to read or write books told from the point of view of a female, male or both?
    A: I'm a stickler about POV, so if a book is written in third person limited POV, I won't tolerate POV switches within a scene. This applies regardless of the gender of the POV characters. I also think that continual scene switches for POV changes can reduce the tension and make the book uninteresting.

    Q: If romance is included in a mystery, does that inclusion enrich or detract from the reading experience?
    A: While I'm not a fan of the romance genre, I do find that a romantic sub-arc in any genre can give the story added depth. *But* adding romance to a story of another genre, should have a purpose for the overall story and/or to develop the protagonist's character, otherwise it's gratuitous.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Women - Do you read books written by male authors?

    Like others here, I find the quality of writing and whether I'm hooked by the story to be the determining factors, never writer gender.

    Do you like to read or write books told from the point of view of a female, male or both?

    I agree with Joansz that POV is vitally important to my reading enjoyment. I don't mind occasional changes within a scene—if they're clearly noted and if they add to the tension or development of that scene. However, a POV change that goes off on a tangent in the middle of fierce action turns me off every time.

    A related pet peeve is writer intrusion. If something isn't logically in the POV of one of the characters, it should be left out.

    Great post, Morgan!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I agree. I good story is a good one, no matter what the gender of the person writing it. I also hate writer intrusion, unless it's a memoir. (g)

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I read cozy mysteries in large part because of a romantic thread that isn't sexual - if so, it's mostly superficial, and largely left to the reader's imagination. My husband likes women authors - he says their characters have more depth and the story is more than just plot-driven. Interesting insight, no?

    ReplyDelete
  14. I like romance in a mystery because the characters seem much more like real people if they sustain relationships. I read novels from both male and feal perspectives. Just look for interesting books.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dani's husband may have something there. I think women authors tend to use more inner dialogue, which helps readers get into a story.

    Morgan Mandel

    ReplyDelete
  16. Jacqueline mentioned relationships make people seem more real. That's true. It's hard for people to go it alone.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Although I do enjoy great mysteries or thrillers without a love angle, I'm a hopeless romantic who looks for a one in every story I read.

    Stephen King's books aren't any less horrifying when his characters fall in love - and no one labels them "romantic horror".

    Cindy Dwyer
    http://cynthiadwyer.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Cindy, I haven't read a Stephen King book in ages. I just wait for the movies. His books are longer than I care to read. I was almost at the end of The Thing and I couldn't handle reading any more, so never finished it.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. Question:
    Do you like to read or write books told from the point of view of a female, male or both?


    Answer: I enjoy both POVs, but no matter whose POV the book is in, I want it to be deep. I want to know the character in and out when I'm done.

    ReplyDelete
  20. II'm female and I never miss a Lee Childs' Jack Reacher book or a Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch one. Since Reacher tends ro have short affairs and Bosch generally has romances, neither sex nor romance deters me in a mystery. But both these authors never let it affect the mystery part of the book, which may be why.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Women - Do you read books written by male authors?

    I like books by both. Though a romance author, I love authors like Stephen Hunter and James Patterson.

    http://www.lindalaroqueauthor.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. If romance is included in a mystery, does it enrich or detract?

    It can do either, depending on how it is handled. Too much emphasis on the romance pushes the mystery aside, and too much mystery leaves the romance undeveloped. As a writer who has written romantic mysteries and romantic suspense, I have found achieving the right balance difficult.

    Linda Hope Lee
    http://www.lindahopelee.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I like both mysteries and romantic mysteries. What I cannot read are violent thrillers with body parts strewn everywhere.
    Margot Justes
    www.mjustes.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Do you like to read or write books told from the point of view of a female, male or both?

    --- My answer would be Yes of course! Both of them are good writers and I believe that each of us have unique abilities and I'm a fan of romance novels.

    ReplyDelete

The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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