Sunday, March 2, 2014

What Do Readers Want? One Reader Responds

As an author, I often try to figure out what readers want. But, reading tastes vary from person to person. Today, I am thrilled to have Rhonda, a voracious reader, here to share her thoughts. 
Celeste Jones: Rhonda, please tell us a bit about yourself and how you started reading spanking fiction. 
Rhonda: First, thank you so much Celeste for asking me to do this. I am truly honored to be a part of your interview. As crazy as it might sound, until about 5 1/2 years ago I wouldn’t read an email that was longer than a paragraph or two. HAHAHA! I made fun of a friend of mine that read romance books for years. She finally talked me into reading one. I did not want to like it, but I did, and here I am today. My first spanking book I read was “Unexpected Consequences” book 1 of Cara Bristol’s “Rod and Cane Society” series. I’ve loved this genre ever since.   
Celeste Jones: How do you choose the books you read? Author? Title? Blurb?
Rhonda: If the title or the cover art catches my eye I will read the blurb. If it’s an author that I have never read before, I will go to their website and see exactly what kind of books they write and read different reviews about the book in question. If the author is one of my favorites, it doesn’t matter what anyone says about the book, I will buy the book and read it anyway. 
Celeste Jones: Do you re-read books? If so, what makes a book worthy of a second (or third) read? 
Rhonda: I have only re-read two books ever. That’s because I didn’t research the book good enough and didn’t realize it was in the middle of a series. Naturally, if I read one book, and it’s in the middle of a series, I will have to read the whole series so I will know what’s going on. Then, and only then, would I re-read a book. My problem is, there are so many books I want to read, I don’t have time to go back and re-read anything. I’m moving on to the next great book on my ever growing book list. 

Celeste Jones: What are your thoughts on short stories? 
Rhonda: I read short stories, but I’m not crazy about them. Some of them seem really rushed and to me there’s a lot of really good stuff that could happen in the missing chapters. I end up really liking the characters, therefore I want their story to be longer. 
Celeste Jones: Do you finish every book you start? If not, what will cause you to give up on a book? 
Rhonda: Yes ma’am, I read the whole book. I have never just put one down because I didn’t like the first half. There’s been a few that started off really slow and I thought I’d never get done, but then the last half is really good and I hate that it’s over. If I didn’t finish the book, I’d always wonder what happened, and my OCD would kick in and it would make me nuts. HAHA!
Celeste Jones: What about price? Does that factor into your decision to buy a book? 
Rhonda: I couldn’t care less about the price of a book. I have two authors that when one of their books are released, I buy it on my nook and again when it comes out in paper back. I have bought books that range from $0.99 to $15 and never once wished I hadn’t bought them.
Celeste Jones: Do editing or grammar errors bother you? 
Rhonda: OH MY Goodness! It drives me absolutely crazy. As I said earlier, I’m a little OCD about some things so it does seem to make my eye twitch when there are numerous errors. I can over look some, but if there is a lot, I start wondering who proofed the book and usually will think twice before I buy another book by that author.
Celeste Jones: Do you have a favorite type of spanking book---historical, boss/employee, cowboy etc? 
Rhonda: I am a country girl, who grew up and lives in Texas, so I’m very partial to anything Cowboy. That being said, I love the old west and contemporary cowboy stories. On the other hand, I’m a big fan of historical regencies. I really like it when an American cowboy ends up inheriting a title and falls in love with an English Princess, and they both turns England society upside down. Of course these are usually erotic/spanking books.  [Hmmm...this sounds a little bit like a couple of my books..... :) ]
Celeste Jones: Do people in your life know you read spanking fiction? If so, what do they think? 
Rhonda: Yes ma’am. My whole family (husband, kids, parents, etc) know that I read spanking fiction. For my family it's whatever, they don't care. Some of them still will mess with me about it, but its all done in fun. It wouldn't matter what they think anyway. I’m not forcing them to read them. I enjoy reading spanking, BDSM, erotic romance, and, more recently, Sci-fi. I received several opinions from some family members at first but I just told them, “Don't judge me for the books I read or tell me they are wrong until you read one yourself. Then and only then you can give me an honest opinion.” Since then, I have three nieces who are now reading my kind of romance and loving it as much as I do:) [Sounds like you're the favorite aunt for sure!]
Celeste Jones: If you could give some advice to writers, what would you say? 
Rhonda: Oh man, this is a hard question. I’m not an author so therefore I don’t feel entitled to give you or any other author advice. I enjoy many different types of books, by many different authors. I respect what y’all do and the time it takes y’all to write a good book for your fans. Therefore, it’s very difficult for me to critique the work y’all do. So far, the authors that I have chosen to read really know how to pull me into the story. Y’all seem to do y’all’s research when writing, and the stories are believable to me. Therefore all I can say is “keep up the GREAT work.”

Again I’d like to thank you Celeste for allowing me to be apart of this interview. I really enjoyed the whole experience. I look forward to reading more of your books soon:)
Rhonda R. Griffith:)

Thank YOU Rhonda!

Rhonda will be leading a discussion of Maggie Carpenter's The Cowboy's Rules for Spanking Stories Book Club on April 4. Looking forward to it! 

28 comments:

  1. Great post! Thanks Rhonda for sharing your thoughts!
    I wish I had more time these days since I love reading all the spanking romance books and have lots of thoughts about why I read...when...etc!
    Celeste, great interview!

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    1. Maybe you can be next in the interview chair Minelle!!!

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    2. Minelle- I'm so glad that it's not just me that has the time problem with reading:) thanks for the reply.
      HAPPY READING, Minelle:)

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  2. Thanks for sharing this Rhonda! We appreciate you!

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    1. Thank you so much Dinah for reading and replying to this :) I really enjoyed the whole experience.
      HAPPY WRITING:)

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  3. Wonderful insights, Rhonda! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with us. I sympathize with your ever growing book list. There are tons of good books out there that I'd also like to read again, but I just don't have the time either. :)

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    1. Maren- thank you for reading. I had a lot of fun with this interview. I'm so happy that Celeste gave me the opportunity to do this for her. There's just not enough time in the day for the many books I want to read:)
      HAPPY WRITING:)

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  4. Rhonda,
    This was really great. As a beginning writer I desperately want to know what appeals to readers. If you're a cowboy fan you need to check out Leigh Smith's books. I love them. I have more questions for you, but I don't want to hijack the comments. Thanks for doing this.

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    1. Thank you PK. I LOVE checking out new authors. I will definitely check out Leigh's books. I follow you on FB, so ask away:) If you need anything at all just let me know:)))
      HAPPY WRITING:)

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  5. What a great interview! Good questions, good responses. I think as authors we don't get to hear from readers enough. Usually we only hear in reviews and the occasional email. BTW, in the interest of disclosure, Rhonda is on Street Team. I'm so luck to have her!

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    1. AWWW... thank you Cara:) just by saying that you're lucky to have me on your street time makes my day:) I really had a good time thinking about my answers to some of these question. I'm so honored that Celeste would even ask me to do this:)
      HAPPY WRITING:)

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  6. BTW, it makes my day to know that I introduced you to spanking fiction. :-)

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    1. I LOVE the Rod and Cane Society series. What a GREAT series to be introduced to this genre. Thank you Cara:)
      HAPPY WRITING:)

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  7. Rhonda, than you for sharing! It's funny how much I love getting into a reader's head...I used to be one! LOL

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    1. Thank you Sabrina for taking the time out of your schedule to read this post. Maybe one day I can say "use to be" :)))
      HAPPY WRITING:)

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  8. Thanks for your insight, Rhonda (and Celeste for interviewing you). I agree, there are too many new books out there for me to re-read one. I'm like a kid in a candy store when I go to Amazon.

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    1. Normandie- Amazon & B&N love it when I log in:) I work for my husband's company just to support my reading habit:)))

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  9. Great interview, you two. Thanks, Rhonda, for your honest opinions. I have written a long contemporary cowboy "series" but have made a huge effort to make the books stand alone for the very reasons you state in your answer to one of the questions. I, personally, don't like to pick up a book in a series and wonder what the heck is going on and who these people are. Your answers really make a difference. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you so much Patricia:) I think my favorite books are the ones in a series. I really like it when each book in that series incorporate the past characters so you know what's going on with them too. I just end up falling in love with characters and just don't want them to end:) LOL!
      HAPPY WRITING:)

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  10. Celeste- I want to thank you again for asking me to do this interview for you. I really enjoyed the whole experience. I'm looking forward to leading the discussion on Maggie Carpenter's book "The Cowboy's Rule" for your Spanking Book Club on April 4th. If there is anything else I can do for you, just let me know:)))
    BTW: I LOVE Lady Katherine and Thomas:) but I'm sure you figured that out by one of my answers:)
    HAPPY WRITING:)))

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  11. Great interview, ladies. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on romance and spanking fiction books, Rhonda!

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    1. Thank you Sue for taking the time to read the interview. I love sharing with others about books and authors that I like and enjoy reading:)
      HAPPY WRITING:)))

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  12. THanks so much for sharing! I also never read romance novels until 3 years ago, thinking they were too silly. Then a friend I respected lent me one for a plane ride and holy heck! I was hooked!

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    1. That's crazy that you just started reading romance 3 years ago and now you have some of my favorite books out:) My friend loaned me my first romance when I was taking my youngest to VBS. I had nothing to do while I waited for her to get out, so I sat in the parking lot and read my very first romance, and I have been hooked ever since. :))

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  13. Very interesting!!! Very enlightening. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you so much Beth. I really appreciate:)

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  14. Rhonda, thank you for sharing your insight on what a reader thinks! How valuable that is~ Keep reading :) Barb Bettis

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  15. Thank you for taking time to talk to us and tell us what things you like. This is more valuable than you would believe.

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I love getting feedback. Thank you for taking the time to comment!