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One of the questions in this year’s reader survey invited participants to be interviewed about their reading and give additional feedback. Today, Andrea is the first participant to explain her views.

I was struck by her email signature, which gives us an insight into how Andrea views the world.

We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. ~~ Joseph Campbell

Please tell us a little about yourself:  Andrea: 62 year old, disabled retired ordained minister. Married 17 years. Pastor at lBorn in Rhode Island USA. Have lived in New York State for 20+ years USA. Read 150-200+ books across genres every year (links at bottom of email) and review every one.

In your opinion, what is the power of fiction? The power of fiction is to expand your mind…to broaden your horizons… to challenge and teach… and to entertain 

What kind of stories are you drawn to? Any you steer clear of? It’s easier to say what I steer clear of: Horror, (s)exploitation, zombies, some shifters, most reverse harem and all sports jock stories, most billionaire stories- except Belle Andre. I love intelligence, which is why I love paranormal and scifi.

What aspects of an author’s writing make you feel like you’re ‘immersed in the novel’s world’ and/or ‘transported in time and place’. The author needs to talk to the reader as an equal, or tries to teach me so at least I’m not clueless. Descriptions help.

Which books read in the past year or so stand out for you and why? Drawing Lessons  by Patricia Sands was my standout women’s fiction last year. I loved it because I was just along for the ride…I was there…it was understandable and believable.

A Piece of the World  by Christina Baker Kline is Historical Fiction about Andrew Wyeth and his paintings. It was absolutely fascinating and since I am a huge fan of Wyeth and have read everything I have been able to find, I found the story understandable and wonderfully written (and I did not like her first book at all.)

Ritter Ames, Marie Grazia Swan, Jennifer L. Harte, Anna Celeste Burke and Carolyn Haines all write amazing mysteries that bring you in like you’re in on the secret.

How do you decide what books to buy? What influences your book purchases? I’m an Avocational Reader- “I read for books”. I have so many eBooks my iPad and kindle groan at the thought and I doubt I’ll ever run out. As a former professional chef, I know we “eat with our eyes”, so covers are important first looks. I read across genres so suggestions from other authors, websites and the like. On a fixed income, free is always a good thing – but can’t guarantee a good read.

Is there anything about where you live or your particular background that influences your fiction choices? As I get older, I find less tolerance for erotica and bad language. I also will address punctuation issues directly with an author.

If there is anything else about reading fiction, the kind of books available today, or the way reading is changing that you’d like to comment on, please do so. Indie publishing has put some real c**p out there. Please authors, find good editors.

Many thanks for your thoughtful comments, Andrea. I’m astonished at how many books you read!

You can find Andrea at GoodReads.com/AndreaStoeckel , at Avocational Reader/Reviewer  https://rokinrevreview.godaddysites.com/  or on Instagram @rokinrev .

FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION FOLLOW A WRITER OF HISTORY (using the widget on the left sidebar)

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.