Guest spot on how I choose what to read next, and why a reader might choose "Solid."
I pick up books for a gazillion different reasons.
Of course, like everyone else, I have a “list” that has been years in the making and will only ever be read-through if: A. I make it my full-time job to do so, and B. I stop adding to it. Yes, more often than not, when I go looking for my next read (online, at the library, wherever), I end up with 5 new titles I’ve never even heard of. Seriously; I’m such a random book-selector that I might as well play eeny-meeny-miney-mo in the bookstore!
I’ve been known to pick up a book because of its color (The Toss of a Lemon – Padma Viswanathan), because it covers a subject I know nothing about (So, You Want To Join the Peace Corps: What To Know Before You Go), or because the author’s name started with my two favorite letters: Q and X (Qui Xiaolong).
So if I were to use my own particular (or peculiar? Tomato-tomahto) guidelines to convince readers to pick up my book, I could say that the cover image color is (I think) the perfect shade of purplish-blue, or that my last name starts with “W” – probably a thin section on many bookshelves, unlike “C,” “R,” or “M.” From a more traditional point of view, however, I’d say that what sets Solid apart from every other series is that the story is unlike anything else out there (that I’ve come across, anyway).
Solid is not based on vampires, shape-shifters, fairies, or any other trending theme besides that the characters are different – and not just from “normal” kids, as you’d expect, but also from each other, both in who they are and what they can do. But I needed more than just an original plot; I meant it when I wrote the tagline: What if you discovered you were the product of a secret genetic experiment? I wanted every reader to be able to see her/himself in one of the roles (if not more – I can connect with every character at some point in the story). From the sarcastic heroine to the shy, loyal friend, the jock, the indie, the know-it-all, and the Renaissance man, I worked to create a hugely diverse cast…and that’s before they develop their unique super-abilities. Book two – Settling – introduces even more new faces, personalities, and abilities, as will Sound (2012).
I truly believe that every person has a “super-ability” and that the key to life is finding yours, so I hope readers enjoy sharing the discovery process with Clio and her Solid friends. ;)