Monday, September 10, 2012

Escapism or Not?

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by Vanessa Barger

Hello! Thanks to Decadent for letting me crash the blog today!  I’m asking you all something particular this time – whether you want to be entertained while you read, or entertained and made to think.  Don’t know what I mean? Well, think about it like a movie. There are some awesome movies out there – A Beautiful Mind, The Pursuit of Happyness, etc. They’re great movies. You laugh, you cry, and you come out on occasion feeling emotional and maybe even a little drained.

I must admit, these are the movies I see once and generally never watch again. There are times when I want a movie that challenges me. But honestly? Not very often. I, like many of you, work in a job where there is enough “reality” every day. When I read a book or see a movie, I want to be entertained. I want something funny, that draws me in and makes me care. If it makes me think without making me realize it, great!

I think that’s a challenge sometimes. It’s harder to write a book where the message is in there, but the readers aren’t aware until the end. Being heavy handed about it is sometimes easier, especially when you’ve warned your readers on the blurb that it’s coming. But which do you prefer? Are there times when you sit down and want an emotional, dramatic read? Are you looking for a more light-hearted approach?

I always try to make sure I write my books with some underlying themes and enough drama to capture everyone’s attention. Do I ever dream of writing the next great dramatic novel? Sure, sometimes. But if a reader comes away happy with what they read, that’s more than enough for me.

What are some of your favorite “light” reads? What about your more serious favorites? Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of one of my books at Decadent Publishing. Don’t forget to leave your email address so I can contact you!


Barbara Elsborg said...

I think most of the time, I read to be entertained and I don't want anything too heavy. But I'm in a book club and we tackle more tricky novels in that, and I like the balance. The problem we've found is that what is a light read for one of us, is a hard read for someone else.
You before me - by jojo moyes - almost broke my heart. I knew from the blurb it was going to be an emotional read and usually, I don't go for those, but my husband bought it for me, so I read it. It was brilliant but not an easy read - about a quadraplegic guy and his carer. I'm very glad I read it but it's a once every six months type book for me - just too emotional. But I'm now working my way through everything she's written and she's very good. I finished The Ship of Brides last night - fairly light and educational too. I like it when I learn something!
The very light reads - Susan Elizabeth Phillips - she can't be beaten for me.

Debby said...

Historical romance is my favorite read when I need something that will entertain because I can escape into another time. Julie Garwood is one of favorites. For serious reading it is always something scientific.
debby236 at gm ail dot com

Vanessa Barger said...

Barbara - You bring up a good point - sometimes what is light for one isn't for another. I'll have to look at You before me. :)

Debby - I always enjoy Julie Garwood as well. I think her highland books are always a fun read.

Thanks for stopping by ladies!

Tina Moss said...

I enjoy the movies and books that make me think, but like you they are the once-in-awhile treat. Most of the time, I just need something that will allow me to escape reality for a spell and jump into something light and fun. Even the paranormal romance and urban fantasy I read - while dark - often end happy. If I'm emotionally drained throughout the book, I prefer a satisfying ending over a disturbing one.

Rebekah Purdy said...

I prefer light reads/movies. I don't mind more in depth things, but like you the day job gives me more than enough reality.

I love reading Janet Evanovich and pretty much any YA book! And I LOVE LOVE LOVE movie spoofs!