The Readers Speak! My Interview With a Reader, Cindy Young-Turner

Writers, listen up!  Here we find out what the readers really think.
  1. Why don’t you introduce yourself? Where do you live? What do you do for a living?

Hi, I’m Cindy. I live in Maryland but I was born and raised in Massachusetts. I like to think I’m still a New Englander in spirit even though I’ve been away for a while. In my day job I’m a technical editor and proposal coordinator for international health and development projects.

  1. What’s the first book you remember reading?

The first chapter books I remember reading are Charlotte’s Web and the Little House on the Prairie series. I absolutely loved those books and read them so many times my parents put them away for a while so I’d read other things as well.

  1. What is your favorite book/author?

Hmm, I’m not sure I can pick just one. Here’s a couple favorites: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, On the Road by Jack Kerouac, The October Country by Ray Bradbury, The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

  1. What’s the biggest influence on what you read? Word of mouth? Cover art? Price?

Word of mouth is probably the biggest. A lot of my friends are big readers and I trust their suggestions. I’m also a sucker for interesting cover art. A friend introduced me to the Ballantine adult fantasy series at a great used bookstore and I bought several of them just because I loved the covers. Price isn’t as much of a factor because I don’t buy new books for myself very often. Usually I get them as gifts.

  1. Does advertising have any affect on what you read?

Not really. I ignore most advertisements. But if a book starts getting a lot of press, I might check out the blurb or read some reviews to see if it’s worth checking out.

  1. What’s something authors do that gets on your nerves?

Bad writing really irks me. (Dan Brown, yes, I’m pointing a finger at The Da Vinci Code.) I’ve been an editor for a while so things like grammar and spelling errors also bother me. Authors who don’t understand point of view get on my nerves as well.

  1. What’s your opinion on so called “mature” themes? Sex, violence, foul language? Do they affect whether you will read a book?

They don’t bother me. If they’re used just for shock value I might be annoyed, but I’m an adult so it’s no big deal to me. I’m not a big fan of extreme gore, though. It’s just not my thing.

  1. Writers do a lot of spamming on social media sites. Annoying or influential?

Being a writer myself I’m finding the marketing aspect challenging. It seems like most readers don’t like authors who promote themselves at every turn and I agree with that. I think you have to put on your reader hat and participate in the discussions as a reader. Otherwise you’ll alienate your potential fans.

  1. Is there any genre you would never read?

I’m willing to try everything at least once. There are so many sub-genres out there these days that you’re bound to find something you like. For example, I’m not really into mysteries, but I became interested in the Brother Cadfael books by Ellis Peters because I saw the series done on PBS a while back and I’m fascinated by anything medieval.

  1. If you could be a character in any book, what would it be?

This is a tough one. So many choices! Today I think I’d like to be Lyra Bellacqua from Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass. It’s such a richly developed world and she is a feisty heroine who has some amazing adventures. I wish the series had been around when I was a kid.

  1. Have you ever considered writing a book?

Actually, yes I have. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. My first fantasy novel, Thief of Hope, was finally published last year. I’m embarrassed to say how many years I spent working on it. I hope the next book won’t take as long to write.

  1. If you were a writer, what kind of book would you like to write?

So far I’ve been writing fantasy, but I wouldn’t rule out other genres once the series is finished.

  1. Do you have a blog where people can follow you?

I do:

  1. What book are you reading now/next?

I’m currently reading Blood Soaked and Contagious, a zombie novel by James Crawford who is a good friend of mine. I have Game of Thrones waiting on my Kindle and I have heard so many good things about The Hunger Games that I think it needs to be bumped to the top of my list.

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