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.





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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Replies to This Discussion

When deciding on a book - the cover does have an impact - but in this day and age when we get books on Kindle - I am more concerned whether I want to keep reading. If after 4 or 5 chapters - I am not "wanting to continue to read" I will stop. Those first chapters have to draw me into the characters, the setting and the plot.



The cover gets my attention and after approximately 50 pages I know if a book is worth my time.

3). The cover is what I notice, then I read the back of the book. If that sounds interesting, then I'll get it. I can't think of any book that I just stopped, even if I didn't like it. I read the whole thing...that's just me.

1. Not necessary to always understand the motives behind the villian but other times needed

2. What separates a great book from a good book is whether I can stop reading or not.

3. Cover influences me about 90% - I will read until the book is just too boring to stand it.  I have only found 2 books so boring I could not read them out of all I've reviewed in years.

I think the cover has to be eye catching before I will even give it a second look, unless I know about the author already. Once I start reading a book, I will give it about 3-4 chapters. If I am not captivated by then, I won't read anymore. This rarely happens. I guess I just enjoy some variety now and then. 


I think the cover gets me to pick up a book and look at it.  But if it doesn't sound good, I put it down.

I try to stick with a book to the bitter end.  I can probably count on one hand the books I have not finished.  Something in me makes me trudge on!

In regards to question one, I personally think it's important to know the motives behind the villain's actions to make the story seem genuine, and to be able to get drawn in.  I have read books though where there is too much detail given in that direction and I started to lose interest because I want to get back to the story.  I have really enjoyed reading books where the reader is made to understand the villain,  sometimes identify or sympathize with motives and actions even while feeling that we ourselves would never make those choices!

Question two is a really hard one!  I like books that have a little bit of the following elements, a sweeping story with history, well described characters that are fascinating, being able to identify with characters, mystery, a good balance between action and dialog, romance, a setting in a time and place that fascinates me, twists and turns, secrets, some justice with good overcoming evil.

I hate to admit it but a compelling cover really does make a big difference!  Reading the inside flap or the back cover is the second thing that makes or breaks the decision.  Once I have read and loved books by an author, it isn't really as important anymore because I know to expect great writing or a fascinating story!  

I can't wait to read your book, the cover and description has surely caught my interest!  I'll be looking out for it.

Unfortunately, the cover of a book does influence my decision to buy a book or not.  If the cover appeals to me, I am more likely to purchase it.  But, I am learning NOT to judge a book by its cover!  Several books that I have read at the prompting of a good friend have ended up being favorites and I would not have chosen them solely based on the cover.  There are very few books that I have started and not finished.  Some that have started off rather slowly end up with the best parts in the middle or end.  If I am not thoroughly engaged in a book by at least 1/3 of the way through, then I will put it down, although there have been a few that I couldn't make past the first chapter or two.

How far into the book do I read before I decide whether I should go on or not.

I read the few pages at the beginning of the book, and then the back cover

As a reader I do like to know the villians motivation.  Many times the villian is the most interesting character in the book.  Often he has done things in the past he just cant forgive himsrlf for and he feels there is no redemption for him.  Acting out is his way of dealing with the problems.  LOL maybe it's because I'm a villian inside, but I do know I have redemption.


I do look at the cover of a book. Especially if it is as cool as this one.

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?

A cover isn't what influences me.  I normally read the description on the back and 1 of the middle chapters.  If that has me hangging then I go and buy it.  Just have to figure out what caused the issues in the chapter I'd read by starting at the beginning and then read until I see what the outcome of the story is.  Normally, covers never are what catches my eye, it's the title and then description.

1. Not so much.  The villain is normally hurting and hurting can be manifested in so many different ways, including appearing evil.  I would much rather see them work through the hurt and be healed.


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Created by Phred St Laurent May 27, 2010 at 11:35pm. Last updated by Phred St Laurent May 31, 2010.

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