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Today, I’m pleased to have a reader from the UK providing his thoughts about reading. Welcome, Richard.

Please tell us a little about yourself. My name is Richard Tearle, I am a retired Civil servant from the UK and I review Historical Fiction for a well known online blog.

In your opinion, what is the power of fiction? At its best, fiction can take you into a world you don’t know, with characters you’ve never met in situations you cannot imagine. Historical fiction gives you insight into that world, those characters and those situations that you may well know something of.

What kind of stories are you drawn to? Any you steer clear of? Mostly Historical Fiction, of course, but also Fantasy and some thrillers.

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’. A style that fits the character or situation, but wouldn’t necessarily work in a completely different book. The abilty to ‘grab’ the reader in the first page and remain ‘grabbed’ until the last.

Which books read in the past year or so stand out for you and why? In all honesty, far too many to list here.

How do you decide what books to buy? What influences your book purchases? I rarely have to buy books nowadays, but any new Bernard Cornwell, Joe Abercrombie or John Connolly are a must. Basically, anything else that attracts my attention but it will generally be Historical Fiction.

Is there anything about where you live or your particular background that influences your fiction choices? I live in Lichfield, Staffordshire, near to Tamworth and Burton-upon-Trent, all of which are rich in Mercian history.

If you’re a book blogger or run a book site, please tell us a little about your focus and features. The site I ‘work’ for (it is voluntary and unpaid’) is called Discovering Diamonds and is run by author Helen Hollick. We deal mostly in Indie authors as they have few outlets of this sort and we believe that Indie authors are for the most part, the equal of established mainstream authors. Its also the best ‘job’ I have ever had!!

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. Reading fiction is rather like watching a dramatisation instead of the equivalent documentary – much more fun but probably not as accurate. I think that e-books are the future, though they may mean the death of libraries, which will be sad. More and more authors are going Indie and self publishing which may have an effect on the way mainstream publishers dictate what they want readers to read.

Sounds like you’re a busy man with all your endeavours, Richard. Thanks for taking the time to be interviewed and for supporting Discovering Diamonds – a very important endeavour that is much appreciated by the historical fiction community.

You can reach Richard at his art site and on Facebook or at the Tearle Family site.