ABOUT AUTHOR: Patrick W. Carr is the author of the acclaimed fantasy A Cast of Stones. He teaches high school and makes his home in Nashville, Tennessee, with his incredible wife, Mary, and their four sons, Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Learn more at www.patrickwcarr.com
ABOUT BOOK: A CAST OF STONES - The Staff and the Sword series (Book 1)
An Epic Medieval Saga Fantasy Readers Will Love
In the backwater village of Callowford, Errol Stone's search for a drink is interrupted by a church messenger who arrives with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Desperate for coin, Errol volunteers to deliver them but soon finds himself hunted by deadly assassins. Forced to flee with the priest and a small band of travelers, Errol soon learns he's joined a quest that could change the fate of his kingdom.
Protected for millennial by the heirs of the first king, the kingdom's dynasty is near an end and a new king must be selected. As tension and danger mount, Errol must leave behind his drunkenness and grief, learn to fight, and come to know his God in order to survive a journey to discover his destiny.
MANDATORY ANSWER ONE OF THE QUESTIONS TO BE ENTERED INTO THE DRAWING!!
1. As a reader, how much do you want to understand the motivations behind what the villain does?
2. What separates a great book from a good book? Examples?
3. How much does the cover influence your buying decision? Or How far do you read into a book before deciding to go on or not?
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1. As a reader, I think it's critically important to understand the villain's motivations. It gives their character a sense of depth that I want to connect to. I understand the intrique of being mysterious, but being invited in to see the inner workings of their mind is part of what I think separates a reader experience from watching a movie.
2. I think character development separates a great book from a good one. An author's ability to draw me into the characters' world and to feel what they feel is the bottom line for me. I turn pages because I care about those characters and am invested in their lives.
3. The book cover doesn't mean much to me. I usually read a book based upon referral (word of mouth) rather than randomly picking one off the shelf that looks intriguing based upon the cover. I'll read at least the first chapter before calling it quits. There's only been one occassion where I couldn't even get past the first few pages and that was because of the character's dialect. I couldn't get past it.
A good book will include proper grammar, believable characters, a well-structured plot, and an enticing invitation to suspend my disbelief.
A great book will accomplish those things while also educating me regarding some rare detail and building layers of tension and spiritual depth. These layers will be woven through the book but hidden just below the level of surface reading. A great book will do more than entertain me; it will beckon me to think deeply and then bestow a satisfaction at the end. I'll consider its deeper points later and reread it again and again as years pass.
Examples: Ivanhoe. The Count of Monte Cristo. Dee Henderson's True Valor series. Davis Bunn's Elixer, Full Circle, and The Book of Hours.
I am answering the 3rd question.
The cover is a huge influence on the purchase as it is the "first impression" that you have of the story. Unfortunately there are covers that misrepresent the story. I always read the story outline on the cover which to me is totally part of the cover. If it is well written and has piqued my interest I will probably pick it up to read. I will only give the book 1/3 or at max if I have prevously seen good reviews or know the authors work I will read 1/2 before giving up on the book.
Q1: I want to understand the intelectual reason behind why a villan does what he does. It is the graphic parts that I can do without. I believe we can have a Villans Villan with the mind without the blood and such...
Q3:I love covers, the draw me in or turn me away. I am glad I listen to others, otherwise I would miss some incredible books!
Q3-2 I read a whole book regardless of if I think I should stop - I am a finisher. Perhaps it never geys better for me, regardless some have become great. If I make a dicission to pick it up I made the decision to read it through.
Book looks great wonder home many volumes? Hmm :)
I like to have an idea about what the back story is on the characters. I recently read a book that I had been wanting to read for a while. It had a great cover and the back cover sounded great, but the opening of the book was the middle of the conflict. There was no introduction to the characters. It was like I had opened to the middle of the book and started reading. I finished the book, but was disappointed. I felt like I had missed something. You cant open a story by saying the two main characters are at odds with each other, spend two chapters with them avoiding each other, then give some kind of brief sketchy reason for why in chapter 5 of a 14 chapter book.... Sorry, but it didnt do it for me. I feel like there should have been a book 1 before the book I read.
How much do I want to understand about the motivation of the villian? Well, being trained as a socialworker I think that so much of what the villian does is motivated by: 1) their background; 2) their psychosis 3) the lack of God in their lives. If I can understand a bit of that then perhaps when I put the book down at the end I can have some forgiveness as to their actions. What happened to them, when, why it happened and why is always interesting. As to the cover influence--it does at times influence me greatly. Blessings! Darlene
The cover influences some, in that it can indicate whether it is a fantasy, or romance, or biography, for example, at first glance. However, I am usually more influenced by the synopsis/ copy that is on the back or that I've read about somewhere else. That is usually what will influence me to read it or not.
#2 A GREAT book is when the writer is so good that you feel like you are right there with the characters. Some books you know pretty soon how it is going to end, but not all the details as to how. But a GREAT book will keep you in suspense right until the end. Those are the kinds of books I can't put down until its finished. It's like an addiction!