Thursday, August 2, 2012

Whose Ideal Reader? Pick Your Authors!

Recently a beta reader asked me to focus on what my "ideal reader" would want from my book. So who would be my ideal reader? I'd love to say "everyone." But that is impossible since everyone is different.

Before I get to mine, I asked my fabulous author friends who their ideal reader is. Here are the answers. See if you can spot yourself in there!
My ideal reader is one who can feel my words, get lost in the magic, and find hope for something amazing to happen.
Lisa Bilbrey, Author of Angel's Heart: The Keeper, A Season of Change, and Life's Unexpected Gifts.
A reader who has an open mind and who is willing to enjoy different styles, who doesn't need everything spelled out for them, but is willing to reason things out and use their imagination as long as there is enough information present.
Joan Szechtman
Smart, worldly, irreverent fans of epic, episodic international intrigue thrillers who dislike formulaic pap almost as much as they hate clowns.
Russell Blake
Like sarcastic and/or dark humor... Like kick-ass, non-human heroines... Open-minded... Like a touch of romance... Prefer subtle character development... Like drama
Mia Darien
My ideal reader is someone who wants to be taken on a complex, emotional journey. Also, someone who pays attention to the little details that will be relevant two books down the road.
Christina McKnight, Only In Her Dreams, September 2012
Obsessed with my writing style...
Patiently waits for my next release and doesn't stalk me...
Spreads the word to everyone they come in contact with about my novels and encourages others to buy their own copy.
Moody Holiday
Reads the stories of my childhood and when those stories trigger growing up memories of their own, they share those memories with someone in their family - keeping every day family stories alive
Ooh, fun! My ideal reader is open-minded, must suspend disbelief because I write paranormal, believes in all-conquering love, enjoys finding new authors, and reads voraciously for pleasure and enjoyment.
Dariel Raye
My ideal readers are interested in real life drama with quirky or far reaching undertones, they're open to new experiences, love the unexpected, and are not locked into one genre.
Melissa Foster
My ideal reader: Fun loving, likes to laugh, but can cry when the scene presents itself. A person who enjoys a good romance and understands the complexity involved in relationships these days.
Amy Manemann, Author Deadly Reunion, Deadly Science and Dracula's Party.
I write what I like to read – an interesting story with believable characters. I like to be swept into a story be it romance, mystery or thriller, a story that is believable, even in an imaginary world, as long as it intrigues me.
Nancy Popovich
The child at heart... at any age.
Mark Tierno
Someone who loves reading and enjoys great stories, someone who is willing to laugh, cry, and feel for the characters as if they were a friend, someone willing to invest a part of themselves in the story, someone willing to become emotionally involved, and who is willing to enjoy a story for the stories sake, not because they agree with the author.
James Wilcox
Someone quirky, who loves a good old fashioned love story but doesn't mind it being mixed up a bit. Someone who will stay up until 3 am to finish a great book.Whitney Boyd, author of Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It
Open-minded people with the ability to immerse themselves into a book. Caring and curious about others.Kathleen Patel, Author of 'Hiren's Magical Adventure'
loves angst filled romance likes stories based on mythology
enjoys a heroine who isn't perfect
wants a gripping romance, but not a mushy one
likes a swift plot
Laura Howard
who love to be entertained, educated, love meeting new characters, titillated, emotionally stimulated and surprised.Ken Farmer
learning something new - a skill, thought or concept, take an imaginary trip to a real place or someplace mythical/fictional, experience someone else's life, disappear into a romance or drama, open to other's beliefs, be amazed, enjoy a laugh or shed a tear
Sandra Moore Bernsen, author of Free My Heart of Grief to Love (a memoir)
Adventurous, imaginative, loves animals, dreams big, willing to suspend reality, views characters as friends, and enjoys an ongoing series.
Diane Rapp
Readers who are curious and eager to learn about new ideas, perspectives, and challenges.
Mary Gottschalk, author of SAILING DOWN THE MOONBEAM
who enjoys humor, who is sensitive, who believes in hope, meets the experiences, pleasures and challenges that life offers with an open mind.
Mary M Forbes
My ideal reader wants to connect with characters, to feel with them and for them. My ideal reader wants to escape reality for a while, caught up in someone else's problems for a change.
Terry Odell
My readers would enjoy character-driven fiction, heavy on relationships, with a multi-layered plot. Romance that is steamy and sensual, but not erotic, layered with a touch of lyrical prose. A story that is rife with conflict, star-crossed romance and a touch of mystery. The end result must always bring an HEA.
Mae Clair, author of Weathering Rock, to be released Oct 2012
My ideal reader is one who wants their characters to feel like real people, who aren't neatly black and white, good or bad, but who
struggle through their fictional worlds the same way we do. I love the
readers who get mad at my characters, and who buy into their worlds,
fall in love with them and want to wring their necks. I love it when
people find my characters as real and maddening and lovable as I do!
It makes me feel less alone in my weird little world.
J. C. Andrijeski
"who love a bit of poetry with their prose and don't mind going in the dark before reaching the light; romantic; imaginative; love brooding heroes and strong heroines who fight the odds."
Natalie G. Owens
who love kick-butt action, Marvel comic books, noble characters, bigger-than-life characters, humor, and a wee bit of teenage drama.
Elise Stokes
1) Full of humour, can even crawl with laughter.
2) Not rigid, can flow with the tide.
3) Easily excited, can be emotional when it calls for that.
4) Accomodating, and not too critical.
5) Very imaginative, and can go beyond the given.
6) Soft-hearted, but very constructive
Molly Nyatanga
My ideal reader is brave, willing to push their own boundaries and find something new.
Todd Maternowski, Author of EXMORTUS: TOWERS OF DAWN
who like wit, who like strong leads, who like variety, likes to think but also have fun
J.A. Beard, author of The Emerald City
Loves suspense.
Loves plots that string them along until the very end.
J.P. Lane
Someone who will fall in love with my characters, and look forward to reading the next book in the series before it's even published.
Andrea Buginsky
For Animal Lovers: children, child at heart, compassionate, vegan, tree-hugging hippie. :)
Kim Cano
My ideal reader: love flawed characters, understanding, compassionate, open-minded, roots for the underdog, can find humor while going through pain, wants a happy ending.
Lucie Ulrich
My ideal reader: love the ridiculous, silly situations, humor and heartwarming scenes, fall face first into my stories and buys into my worlds, want a hero who's not all good, loves characters even with all their faults, and likes the extraordinary story set in an ordinary world.
Mary E. Merrell
My ideal reader is someone who: loves to laugh, loves smart romances, appreciates sarcasm, fan of Sex and the City, is looking for a non-depressing read, enjoys beach reads, had/has an interesting dating life (or would have liked to.)
Bonnie Trachtenberg
And finally...
My ideal readers love drama, are able to suspend disbelief, love to laugh, fall in love and are passionate, imaginative, curious, non-judgmental and sympathetic -- all around good peeps!
Rachelle Ayala
But best of all, after looking at this list, I'm happy to say that I'm an ideal reader for many of the authors on this list. How about you? Whose ideal reader are you? Post in the comments and explore those authors' books. Maybe you'll meet your ideal author on this page!


  1. Woohoo! Great answers. I love flawed characters and romantic endings. What about you?

    1. Thanks for hosting all of us on Rachelle's Window :)

  2. Very interesting. One can see the authors are speaking from the heart. I go with J. C. Andrijeski

    1. have you seen J.C. Andrijeski's book covers? they are fabulous and very eye-catching.

    2. Thanks Rachelle for hosting us. Can I please have the link to J.C. Andrijeski's book cover's if possible.

  3. I'm your ideal reader, Clare!
    And that's what my ideal reader is as well. Especially the passionate type :)

    1. Hi Stef! that's because I learn so much from you. and we both love those bloody fight scenes and amplified love scenes. thanks

  4. Hey, thanks unibks! You are welcome in my odd world any time! :) Some of these replies are really great, Rachelle...a very cool idea for a post, so thanks for inviting me to join in!

    1. I love sharing a weird world with another author and in some sense when you're inside of someone's book, you're sort of mind-melding with them.

  5. Thanks for inviting me to join in on this, Rachelle. The answers are wonderful. I have to say that I'm an ideal reader for almost everyone on the list! It looks like my TBR pile is going to be bursting at the seams! :)

    1. I must admit, there are some authors on this list that I've read every one of their books, including yet to be released books and now I'm seeing more to add to my list too.

  6. I agree with Mae Clair. I'm a reader for anyone on this list. At least I didn't find any on the list that required a reader to love serial killers! Thanks for inviting me, Rachelle. Great post.

    1. Yes, strange isn't it. But the interesting thing is that one of the authors on this list has something bordering on horror and I used to think it was the one thing I won't read because I don't want nightmares.

      But she sucked me in and spit me out thrilled, chilled, and congealed. It was just so good, and yes, I'll never think about a coal plant the same way ever again, or take a tour of one. All through the book I kept picturing a horror movie and it was SO-O scary, but had a touching mother-daughter story intertwined to it. Gosh, I'm still reeling. Too bad I can't say who it is because the book is not released yet. I mean it's like Hannibal Lector, Freddie Kruger and the Tami Hoag villains combined with the emotional bond of Jody Picoult, Jane Fitch, and Steel Magnolia.

  7. This is so cool - you have the coolest blog posts. x

    1. Thanks Natalie! You guys make it possible with your cool responses. :) Let's see what personal question I'll ask next.

  8. Great post! Very interesting how similar many of them are. And, honestly, isn't being the above definition of an ideal reader also part of being a writer? Being open-minded and able to be sucked into a story, etc. Of course, I'm not sure how good that is while we are editing, but... ;-)

    Thanks for posting this, Rachelle

    1. You have a great point. Ha, didn't think about it. But not all writers can suspend disbelief, and in some cases are more nit-picking and eye-rolling than the general reader who just loves a good story. So I think it depends. On the one hand, a writer is imaginative and hopefully passionate. But there is always that critiquing eye which makes us less than ideal readers, don't you think?

  9. Loved this idea - I am almost everyone's reader too!

    1. Ha ha, me too. We didn't get any responses like:

      My ideal reader loves anagrams and watching paint dry. He cleans between his toe-nails daily with q-tips and never forgets to floss. He's been known to histogram punctuation marks and the number of times "had" "was" and "is" is used.

  10. One word, Rachelle - AWESOME! Thank you so much for bringing all of us together. I'm going through the list of writers looking for new books to read :)

  11. Such a fun idea. I love Mark Tierno's reply. :)

  12. I want all these readers! What a great list and thank you for taking the time to gather the author's comments. Interesting to see how we think.

  13. I loved this idea the moment you told me about it, Rachelle. Glad you got so many great responses :-)

  14. It's so hard to pick. I like everyone's responses. I especially like the ones with the realistic, strong characters(Jennifer Comeaux) or flawed characters(Lucie Ulrich), and happy ever after is a must for me(Mae Clair) My must read list is getting longer too. This is like one big reading and writing family. I love it. Thanks for getting me here, Christina McKnight. Looking forward to your final revision. Thanks Rachelle. And Everyone.

    1. See you soon, Mary! BTW~ my friend is still hounding me for book 3 of your series! Gosh, I have to pull with that :)))

  15. You just can't pick - each author is different. I'm a developer of characters first, dialogue second, narrative third, and plot fourth, so I want people who have empathy or antipathy with my characters. If they really care why Rafi sits, engrossed and morose, at the unofficial fall of Communism (the Putsch of 1991), or why a woman on top of the world let herself be reduced to rubble in a bottle, or why Dimitri was having sex on the beach while the world he came from imploded, then I have created a novel worth reading for "my" reader.

  16. Great list! I'm very proud to be among these wonderful authors :)


  17. I actually want my readers to change the story in their minds to suit them. That's why I leave out so much "telling internals." Ha, ha, that's my excuse right? It's so much fun to see how totally different two people interpret my characters. My story is participatory and readers engaged actively to run their own movie in their mind. Anyone who wants to be spoonfed and told everything will hate my books.

  18. I would be thrilled to have any of these ideal readers pick up my book.

    1. Hi Mary, Me too. I can tell by the descriptions of ideal readers which books I'll enjoy. suspension of disbelief ... all conquering love! characters with faults, the darker the better. I love impossible situations. people who dug holes so deep you wonder if they'll ever credibly get out of their predicaments. But somehow I'm in a mood for a lighter snarky read about dating. Those are fun too.

      Why don't you post your ideal reader in the comments?

  19. Thank you Rachelle for giving us the chance to participate in your query. What a wonderful response! and like most other's I have more TBRs on my list!

    1. You're so right. I wish I can read faster. So many great books and ideas being shared here.