Isobel here, and I’m going to start with a question.
When were you last moved to tears by a book? When did a book last give you nightmares?
As a voracious reader, I adore books like that. I prefer a book to drag me within its pages and not let me out until many hours later.
As a writer I aspire to create scenes and books like that. If I don’t move myself to tears, to anger, to terror, when I’m writing then you won’t feel it as a reader. If I don’t make myself laugh, then it’s just not funny. If I don’t need a cold shower part way through, then… you get the idea.
When you read a book that is dry, and you find yourself forced to pick it up because you can’t bear to leave it unfinished, put it down. Your time is so precious, don’t waste it on a book that doesn’t transport you to places where feelings are so sharp they’re painful. The times when a connection is made between author and reader are special. You may well have never met, even online – although many authors are now interacting with readers through the internet. You may never have met one another, but the connection is there when you softly sob yourself to sleep because a pretend person just died. It’s there when you slam the book down in anger because justice wasn’t done.
As a reader, I live for those moments and the books that create them are the ones I keep on my bookshelves at home. Others come and go, but those ones stay.
As a writer, I hope I can inspire those moments for you.
I’ve been told my first full novel, Tea with the Demon, is a cold shower inspiring one. This pleases me more than you can imagine.