Alexis Morgan | Ten Things That Writers and Readers Have in Common
January 17, 2014
1. We love books—not just the story inside, but the actual books themselves. I
draw great comfort from being surrounded by shelves piled high with books. You
can tell my favorites because they are often a bit worn around the edges from
being read and reread.
2. We love great stories—especially the ones that sticks with us long after we
turn the last page or reach the bottom of the last screen. You know, the kind
that has me crossing my fingers that the writer has a huge backlist that I
haven't yet read.
3. We love great secondary characters—I don't know about you, but I keep a
careful eye on the people the hero and heroine interact with, looking for the
interesting ones who stand out from the crowd and make me want to know more
about them. As a writer, I love it when readers ask me when their favorite
character will get their own book.
4. We want to read about a world we can get lost in. I enjoy stories set in
Regency England, the Scottish Highlands, the Wild West, modern times or even a
fantasy world that springs from the fertile imagination of the writer. The
setting isn't just a backdrop, but it should come alive on the page and help
shape the story and the characters who live in it.
5. We love a strong heroine. While I really enjoy great kick-ass ladies, I also
find a woman with quiet strength to be equally compelling. The fun comes in
watching the heroine come into her own as she meets and overcomes the obstacles
she encounters along the way.
6. We definitely love a great hero. While it differs from reader to reader what
defines a great hero in a romance, we all want him to be memorable in some way.
Tall, dark, and handsome always works for me, but he has to be so much more than
that. It's what's inside of him that counts. We want to see how he connects with
the people around him and especially with the heroine.
7. We love to follow the developing relationship between the hero and heroine
with all its ups and especially its downs. It is those darkest moments that
stand out in the book and makes the happily-ever-after at the end that much
8. We love to see the growing attraction and feel the sizzle between the hero
and heroine. Granted, we all have different comfort levels when it comes to the
detail we want to see on the page. What's more important is that we never doubt
for one minutes that the hero wants this one woman, body and soul, now and
9. We love to escape into the story, but we want the conflict to feel real. The
choices laid out before the characters must be difficult ones for them to make,
so that we can be rooting for them to succeed. If the problems they face carry
no real consequence, why would we care how it turns out for them? On some level,
we want them to earn their day in the sun.
10. Finally, we love a happy ending. And it's important that it leaves us
feeling satisfied and fulfills the author's unspoken promise that this story is
worth the time we've spent in the world she has created.
Okay, I do know that the characters in the books I write and the ones I read are
fictional. But having said that, I love it when all of these elements come
together in just the right way. When that happens, in that last scene—for that
one moment—they are real to me. And that, my friends, is what makes a book
I'd love to know what elements you find in a story that makes it stand out in
the crowd and lands the book on your keeper shelf. Is it the type of hero or
heroine? Is it that special moment when the hero realizes he will sacrifice
everything to save this one woman? I'm always looking for new authors to read,
so share your favorites.
(PS: I almost added an eleventh thing we all love—office supplies. Come on,
admit it. We get pretty excited when there's a new style of sticky notes or a
favorite pen comes out in a new color. I always say if they put a Starbucks in
my local office supply store, I'd probably never come home.)
In the town of Snowberry Creek, there is always hope....
Wounded in combat, Leif Brevik is haunted by survivor’s guilt. For the first
time in his life—unsure if he still has a military career in his future—he feels
completely lost. So when a war buddy calls for help with restoration of their
fallen brother’s house, he jumps at the chance to regain a sense of purpose.
Zoe Phillips is assigned to monitor Leif’s physical therapy while he’s in town.
But she’s a former military nurse, and she senses that his wounds are more than
just physical. As she pushes the handsome soldier to open up, the connection
between them deepens beyond the professional facade she tries to maintain.
And as Leif begins to put down roots in her beloved hometown, Zoe realizes that
maybe having him around is exactly what she needs to heal her own wounded heart
Comment to win a signed copy of More than a Touch!
53 comments posted.
Re: Alexis Morgan | Ten Things That Writers and Readers Have in Common
I really can't break it down the way you did, but when I read a book, if I can't put myself in the shoes of the heroine, so to speak, and experience the plot along with the characters, the book to me isn't really worthwhile. I've read a lot of books over the years, and some, although not many, were like school primers, while others were books that I completely lost myself in. One book that I keep recommending time and again, is Roses, by Leila Meacham. It's a lengthy book, but one I couldn't put down until I was finished with it. I read it a while back, but still can't get the story out of my head. That book is definately a keeper in my book (no pun intended)!! Your list was pretty much on the mark, though, and my Husband would tell you that I follow the first rule of yours a little too closely!! The cover to your latest book is really beautiful, and I can't wait to read it!!
(Peggy Roberson 8:35am January 17, 2014)
What a pretty cover. I love your blog and can't wait to read this book!!!
(Bonnie Capuano 9:13am January 17, 2014)
There are SO many elements in books that I love - but as long as they capture me and draw me in from that very first word and then transport me to another world and let me be a part of it - even temporaraily - then I will forever love that book. Thanks for the chance to win.
(Nancy Reynolds 9:18am January 17, 2014)
I love your commentary on what writers and readers have in common. So true. Your book looks fantastic.
(Margaret Branca 9:52am January 17, 2014)
If I love the heroine, I usually love the book. :) Congrats on your book!
(May Pau 10:21am January 17, 2014)
Peggy, I agree--I have to connect with the heroine on some level to really love the book.
Bonnie--I love the cover, too. They've done a great job for me on the whole series.
Nancy--Getting lost in the world the author has created is such a wonderful feeling!
Margaret--I'm glad you enjoyed my list of ten (well, 11). ;-)
May--I think the heroine is important because it is through her eyes that we see the hero.
Thank you all for stopping by today!
(Alexis Morgan 10:46am January 17, 2014)
I think for me it is the combination of all the elements of
the story that stand out for me. When a book really gets
everything to fit in the right order/places, that is what I
like. A hero and heroine that I can actually see together.
Friends and family that make sense and are fully fleshed
out. Situations that make sense. So many books, I feel
like, make the impossible happen. Two characters who are
CLEARLY not right for one another somehow come together in
the end of the story.
Oh, and I get lost in Office Supplies as well. ;-)
(Karin Anderson 10:49am January 17, 2014)
A strong hero is always a plus!
(Richard Proctor 10:55am January 17, 2014)
I love that moment when the hero & the heroine realize that
they were meant for each other!
(Maria Proctor 11:09am January 17, 2014)
Hi, Karin! Yeah, I love it when the secondary characters are strong enough in their own right to enrich the world and help that "impossible to happen." One of the things we hear in classes on writing is that if she's an arsonist, he's a firefighter. As you said, clearly not right for each other!
(Alexis Morgan 11:15am January 17, 2014)
Richard--You're so right. The hero might be allowed a few minutes of self doubt, but in the end, he has to stand strong.
(Alexis Morgan 11:17am January 17, 2014)
Maria--Those are definitely the moments that make us smile long after we've finished the book.
(Alexis Morgan 11:18am January 17, 2014)
I love happy endings and the journey it takes to get there.
(Lori Yost 12:01pm January 17, 2014)
Lori--that's so right! I want to reach the end and know they've overcome everything just to be together!
(Alexis Morgan 12:10pm January 17, 2014)
I love the cover reminds me of the gazebo at my great grandparents in Orcas Island. It brings back such wonderful memories.
(Denise Austin 1:34pm January 17, 2014)
I think there are a lot of wonderful things about a book...the hero and the heroine, the setting, the descriptive ability of the author and so very much more. To be honest, it's often the cover art that will draw me to it, or the title(both are important to me. However, I don't think a happy ending is important to make a book a wonderful read. Just for a "for instance" there is Gone With the Wind. A questionable ending is also great.
(Vennie Martinisi 2:46pm January 17, 2014)
I really like to read a story where the characters are flawed. They have a past and they're not that proud of it. But, they're looking to change and be the person they have always wanted to be. My favorite characters need to have a back story. Karin Slaughter's character Will Trent is a wonederful example of my favorite kind of hero.
(Sandy Fielder 2:53pm January 17, 2014)
a BOOK NOT AN eBOOK. I love the covers and I enjoy turning the pages.
(MaryEllen Hanneman 3:04pm January 17, 2014)
I think what first draws me besides having it in my hands and just looking at the book and its cover. The cover can say alot about the book then if the characters are in there and not alot to confuse me but enough to make a great story sometimes even a setting can get me actually before all the characters are introduced such as half moon bay or san fran places i used to live or even a rural ranch living which we have now that can also get me at the go but when i finish the book i determine if the cover and the story matched sometimes they are way off. But i do have books in my office that are my fav's or if an author i read alot puts alot of grunt work in her book and its a 5 not a 3 then i save those no so much to reread but to remember what a great cover and story they told and how i felt after. Alexis love your covers they are awesome just like your writing i am a fan yet to review one but will start to do as i do some others that i read as i realize how much that means to an author the numbers count not only in baseball and football lol
(Peggy Clayton 3:07pm January 17, 2014)
I agree writers and readers do have a lot in common.
(Theresa Norris 3:59pm January 17, 2014)
What captivates me is the interaction between the characters
and the depth of the writing. The storyline with a strong
plot is great. The Tea Rose.
(Sharon Berger 4:01pm January 17, 2014)
Books are the essence of the soul.
(Susan Coster 4:05pm January 17, 2014)
Denise--I love the San Juan Islands--they are so beautiful. THanks for sharing your memories!
(Alexis Morgan 4:10pm January 17, 2014)
Vennie--I agree that the cover art and title are important factors in making me reach out to pick up a book. For me the ending needs to meet my expectations for the genre I'm reading.
(Alexis Morgan 4:12pm January 17, 2014)
Sandy, I love seriously flawed characters who are trying to do better. I loved Zsadist in JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series so much because of how flawed he was--and yet he held onto his personal honor.
(Alexis Morgan 4:14pm January 17, 2014)
MaryEllen--I do read more on my e-reader than I used to, but if I really love a book, I'll often buy a print copy as well. Thanks for stopping by!
(Alexis Morgan 4:14pm January 17, 2014)
Hi, Peggy! Thanks for letting me know that you've enjoyed my books--that means a lot to me. I also love reading books in settings that I'm familiar with!
(Alexis Morgan 4:16pm January 17, 2014)
Theresa--they do, indeed!
Sharon: It is a tricky business to get all the parts of a story in the right balance, but I love it when they all come together in just the right way! Those books end up on my keeper shelf.
Susan: Well said! A world without books would be a sad, sad place.
(Alexis Morgan 4:18pm January 17, 2014)
I love all the points, down to the office supplies. (just found a 36-gel pens pkg for about 75% off that I MAY share with the 13 yr old gd.11) The covers pull me for a second look but sometimes the covers do it for me.. especiall the regency romance ones.
(Barbara Studer 4:44pm January 17, 2014)
I love your list of whys. I agree with all of them but most of all the feel of a real
book in my hands
(Sandra Spilecki 5:06pm January 17, 2014)
It's the escapism that I like the best---but I can't escape if the characters don't seem real to me.
(Sue Farrell 5:10pm January 17, 2014)
This sounds like a book that I would love!!
(Betty Hamilton 6:00pm January 17, 2014)
Wow, Congrats on your new book: MORE THAN A TOUCH. I love
the book cover too! Yes, I agree that you need to connect
with the stories and the great characters in a book to
really enjoy what you are reading. Your book sounds
fascinating and I would love to win it and read it this New
Year 2014. Thank You very much. Cecilia CECE
(Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez 6:59pm January 17, 2014)
Love the ten things list. Thank you.
(Rita Wray 7:12pm January 17, 2014)
I really like this book and would love a chance to win it!!I love to read and always have a book to read close at hand even when I go out!!
(Carol Oddy 7:13pm January 17, 2014)
Your book looks and sounds great. Also loved your list of things readers and authors love about books. You say it so much better than I ever could.
(Carol Woodruff 7:49pm January 17, 2014)
Cannot wait to read More Than A touch. . Pretty cover too.
(Mary Branham 8:14pm January 17, 2014)
It has to be the connection of the characters that makes me care for them. They become *real* to me and almost like family by the end of the book. That's why I like series. More time with the characters.
(Marcy Shuler 8:43pm January 17, 2014)
I love small town stories and for Vets to get their HEA.
(Diane Sallans 9:30pm January 17, 2014)
Great list. I love a strong heroine, but I'm drawn the heros. I'm usually drawn to the underdogs. I think what makes a book real for me is the depth and honesty of the characters. I need to feel the chemistry between the characters. One set of character that are on my keep shelf are Matthew and Diana from "A Discovery of Witches". If you like witches and vampires, this one is great. Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading your latest book.
(Amy Kincade 9:37pm January 17, 2014)
I love the history of the historical setting and the social life during that particular time. I like to see history through the characters' eyes.
(Kai Wong 9:38pm January 17, 2014)
Your list says why I read. I especially like the statement
about the setting of a book. I hope you do not mind but I am
going to share this on my sparkpeople teams. Love the cover
and the title.
(Leona Olson 9:18am January 18, 2014)
I agree totally with when you day that a character stays with you long after
you finish the book. Two books that have stayed with me, both with a
similar storylines,are The Secret Mistress by Mary Balogh and The Magic
Of You by Johanna Lindsey. The heroines, young and quirky, set their
sights on older, staid heroes who want nothing to do with them. When the
heroines accept this as fact my heart broke for them. Of course that is not
how the stories end thankfully. I have read both of these books twice and
probably will read them again. Also, I too love finding a new author I like
and discovering an extensive backlist.
(Michelle Whitwam 10:25am January 18, 2014)
You are so right with all these elements. A great book is
one that stays in your head long after you've finished
reading it and makes you wonder what happened after you've
turned the last page. Secondary characters are like subtle
flavors that surface after the initial bite into the treat.
They support and help develop the journey of the main
character. A good read is a sidecar on the journey.
(Sybil Derderian 11:23am January 18, 2014)
Barbara--I think I'm now suffering from gel pen envy! :-)
Sandra--I love holding a book in my hands, especially if it's one I've been waiting for!
Sue--I know what you mean. I try really hard to make my characters three dimensional so that readers can connect with them.
Betty-thank you for stopping by! If you do try my series, I hope you enjoy it.
(Alexis Morgan 12:33pm January 18, 2014)
Cecilia--I love the covers, too. We had fun tucking Mooch, the dog, into each cover since he plays an important role in the stories.
Rita--Thanks for stopping by to say hi!
Carol O.--I usually keep a book in my car or tucked in my purse to read, even at stoplights!
Carol W.--I'm glad you enjoyed the list. I had fun working on it!
(Alexis Morgan 12:37pm January 18, 2014)
Mary--I hope you enjoy Leif's story!
Marcelyn--I think the appeal of series is getting to revisit that world and the people we've come to care about.
Diane--I think all Vets deserved a HEA!
Amy--I'll definitely check out A Discover of Witches. Sounds like my kind of book.
(Alexis Morgan 12:41pm January 18, 2014)
Kai--I've always said that I've learned more about history and what it was really like living it through the eyes of a character in a book!
Leona--I'm glad you think the list is worth sharing with your friends! Thanks for stopping by!
Michelle--I love characters who almost break your heart even while you're rooting for them to succeed.
Sybil--What an amazing description of what secondary characters add to a story! I wish I had thought of that!
(Alexis Morgan 12:47pm January 18, 2014)
For me, it is usually the characters. I really enjoy reading about characters that I like.
(Maureen Emmons 2:25pm January 18, 2014)
I agree with your points 1-10, but books with cliff hanger endings can also
work and be keepers on your book shelf. Try reading Matthew Reilly's Jack
West Jr books. These are definitely keepers. You will definitely enjoy
(Chris Coulson 5:31pm January 18, 2014)
I have to love the characters. I need to know what is going
to happen to them next.
(Mary Preston 9:38pm January 18, 2014)
The cover is absolutely beautiful and I would really love to know more
about the strength of the wounded soldier and his physical therapist. I think
it will be a great read.
(Melanie Backus 11:26pm January 18, 2014)
What really defines a good book for me is the way the story is told and how captivating it is. Then you find it hard to put the book down, because it's that good! I truly love authors that are so descriptive that you feel transported into the story with the characters and get lost in it. Then when you've finished the book, you think, I'm definitely going to have to read that one again, someday. One author like that and is one of my most favorites is Sarah Jio. I've read each book she's written as they come out, and they're all fabulous. She is so gifted as a storyteller. If you haven't read any of her books, you have no idea what you've been missing!!! She's one of the best.
I love your book cover so very much...it looks just like a painting and very beautiful. I have not yet read any of your books, but plan to.
(Linda Luinstra 5:00pm January 19, 2014)
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