Meet BLB team member, Lisa Scott

Lisa ScottLisa Scott is a former TV news anchor who now enjoys making up stories for a living instead of sticking to the facts.  She lives in upstate NY with her husband, two children, dog, cats, and koi fish.  When not writing, she works as a voice actor on projects like audiobooks, apps, narrations, voice mail systems, commercials and more.  As an anchor and reporter, she worked for TV stations in Bangor, ME, Rochester, NY and Buffalo, NY.  She loves chocolate, hates sushi, and spends much of her time gardening.  (But truth be told, she can’t keep an indoor plant alive to save her life.  You don’t want to know how many orchids have perished at her hands.) Lisa is the author of the “Flirts” series. See Lisa Scott at Amazon.

Oh, Favorite Books, Why Do I Love Thee So?

by Lisa Scott

When I find something I like, I don’t often ponder why I like it.  Books, movies, TV shows, food—I just enjoy them.  I read the last Harry Potter book in two days.  Thai food goes down the gullet without entirely understanding why I dream about it.  I was late to The Office and watched four seasons on Netflix in two weeks. When I love something, I love it. But I’d like to better understand why I cherish certain movies or devour books from a particular author.  Otherwise, my reviews might read like a bad fifth grade essay.  “It was really, really, really good.  I liked it very, very, very much.”

I read a diverse selection of books: contemporary romance, historical romance, business books, self-help, children’s books, YA, paranormal.  (I write in different genres, too.  Romance and middle grade fiction. As they once said on The Simpsons, “Nuts and gum, together at last.”)  But certainly, all these books have something in common.

So what do my favorite books contain—the ones I prattle on about to strangers, demanding a signed pledge that they will read it?  The first thing that I remember about these books are the characters.  My favorite books always feature people I care about.  Characters who seem so real, I wonder what they’re up to when I’m not reading the book.  That’s one must for a favorite book.  Like Jamie and Claire in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.  (That’s a book that deserves its own post at a later date.)  Quirky, real characters, like Stephanie Plum in Janet Evanovich’s series.

Next, take me to a place or time I’ve never been, and I’m in.  Memoirs of Geisha swept me away to a world and a culture I knew nothing about.  The circus world of Water For Elephants was as intriguing as the characters. Teach me something I don’t know; show me something I haven’t seen. This isn’t a must, but it is a plus.

I also love books with callbacks. Jokes throughout the book that reference something mentioned at the beginning.  Good comedians do this often, closing their show with a joke that touches on something they talked about earlier.  In my Holiday Flirts! short story collection, there is a running gag through the five short stories about a santa costume.  I’ve heard from many readers who loved that.  And while I love funny books, I like emotional ones, too.  I think the key is making me feel an emotion deeply, whatever it is.

I also drool over beautiful imagery in books.  Jodi Picoult is a favorite.  She has so many wonderful descriptions that just resonate; passages you read over and over again to enjoy their beauty one more time.  Some of her sentences contain more truths than you’ll find in entire books.

And for better or worse, I like all threads to be tied up.  When the Lost TV series ended I was miffed, because I felt there were so many plot points left dangling.  No Country For Old Men?  I was livid when it ended like that.

Basically, when I finish a book, I want to hold it against my chest and sigh.  That’s when I know it was a good book.  The ones you can’t stop thinking about long after the end.  The ones you tell your friends about.  The ones that change you.

Not much to ask for, huh?  What about you?  What things excite you about a good book?

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13 responses

  1. Lisa, I agree with you on your reaction to a good book. I, too, love a complete ending…even in series…give the next book it’s own story.

    1. Hi Mary–Your Valentine Pendant is on its way. Let us know when it arrives. Maybe post a picture on the Facebook page. Hope it is fairly nice!

    2. Cliffhangers are a great way to keep readers coming back to a series, but they drive me crazy. Do you read the Outlander series? Her last book had a crazy cliffhanger–and she takes years to write her books.

  2. BLB is a great idea. My favorite books are ones in a series where I get to visit towns where I know the people who own the shops and the families who live there. I read a lot of romance novels because it takes me away from my life and into someone else’s. I find I care about the people and I like really strong characters, especially women. I look for crazy friends and relatives. I’m a big fan of the “Stephanie Plum” novels because the characters are so vivid and real and we know them so well. I have recently discovered Kathy Dunnehoff and the women in her stories are ones you won’t forget. The first book hit me hard because I have been where the character was in her life, it was a little overwhelming, I could relate so well and that doesn’t usually happen. I love Lisa Scott because she makes me smile and feel so good every time I finish one of her books, I don’t want them to end. I have a little following at work and we all love the “Flirts” and can’t wait for the next one. In a day when the stress of work gets to me I can’t wait to pick up my Kindle at lunchtime and read for an hour. Then I’m ready to get back to work and finish my day so I can come home and get back to my story.

    1. Hi Elaine–I’m with you, Elaine. I love a home town setting with characters you are curious about in book after book. I need to check out Kathy Dunnehoff. I turned to romance novels when I was working in a divorce law office. That was a depressing place. I needed the HEA of romance novels to keep my spirits up! I agree that Lisa has a real knack with her “Flirts” series–and she’s just getting started as an author! Dana Taylor

    2. Thanks Elaine! I wish I could write them faster for you. 🙂 Thanks for telling your friends!

  3. I’m an avid reader and my tastes change from day to day, but once I find an author I love, then I gobble it up like it’s good smooth chocolate. But my tastes are eclectic, from Lee Child thrillers to Beatrice Small romances and J.R. Ward paranormals and everything in between. I think what gets me tangled up in a book is a heavy combination of characters and plot. For me, what makes me crave to read every last book the author has ever penned is… instance connectivity to story. If the book can transport me into its space immediately then I’m lost. Good and lost, and loving every minute of it. And you’re right, once I hold it to my chest and feel contentment then the author has done their job. Really not much to ask for… 😉
    Deb Diez

    1. Deb, I love finding an author who already has a backlist! Then you can gobble up book after book with no wait time. It’s funny to think how long it takes an author to write a book–and how quickly we consume them!

  4. Ahhh, books! I read about four books every three weeks–a little more than a book a week, essentially. I’d say the most important issue for me in a book is the writing. If the writing is good, if the author is excellent at his/her craft, then almost everything else follows. There is a good, strong plot, many supporting sub-plots, the language and descriptions pull me right into the story. I’m there! I can smell, feel, see what is happening. The transitions are smooth. (Poor writers can pull you right out of the story with a sloppy transition.) The characters are my best friends. I thrill when they’re happy and cry when something bad happens to them. A good book is the best “away time” ever. And I’m “away” a lot!

  5. I love twists and turns. I can’t stand predictability in a novel (or a movie!). Give me something fresh and unexpected. Don’t force the character to do something stupid simply because you need it for a plot device. I want a credible character who makes a sound choice that turns out horrible. I want to read about men who act like men and women who act like women. And the conflict that creates. I don’t mind stereotypes (they can be fun!) as long as they aren’t cookie-cutter. Give me a new perspective on them. And most of all, I want to like the character I’m sticking with for 300 + pages.

    Great post, Lisa!

  6. Lisa, you covered most of what does it for me so I am not surprised that we share a few favorite authors.
    For me a good read also needs pacing. I can’t pin point it but if I find myself flipping pages to see if this flipping chapter is ever going to end, I know the book doesn’t have it.

    i also like some emotional variety; wit and woe. No matter the genre, the most tragic story needs a few light moments and the goofiest slapstick plot needs a serous thought or scene.

    is this too much to ask?

  7. I love seeing other people as passionate about “good writing” as I am! I am especially taken when an author can describe a setting, sound, or scent in a totally unique manner and makes the image come alive.

  8. Interesting characters and how they became interesting. I want to care what happens to them. (Even if it means the baddie gets his/her comeuppance.) I want my ending to be logical, and complete. (Unless we are laying the groundwork for the next book.) I, also, want the ending to not be convenient or a stroke of luck. Character XX cannot just die to make it easy for YY and ZZ to be together. I want a world I do not live in. (Perhaps, why I love fantasy.) This world must make sense and follow basic rules. They don’t have to be the rule I know, but they must be logical. And, when on the major quest, I would love it someone, anyone, actually had to go to the bathroom.

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