What Would Our Characters Say?

When I told my best friend I’d received a Kindle for Christmas, she called me a traitor. I don’t blame her. A few months ago I’d have called me a traitor, too.  An e-reader? Me?  NO. THANK. YOU. I wanted to feel the book in my hands.  I wanted the pleasure of shelves filled with pages, both read and unread.  Books are my friends!  I like being with them.

And then I started hearing rave reviews for Kindles and Nooks. I wasn’t ready to make the leap, but my husband saw the glint in my eye and got me a Kindle for Christmas.

Traitor or not, I love it.  It’s easy on the eyes. I can enlarge the font, which means I can read without my eyes getting fatigued. Best of all, it’s easy to hold.  After a day at the computer, thick paperbacks are hard on my wrists.  The Kindle gets propped on a pillow and that’s it.  I can read more, read faster and read comfortably. With the built-in light in the cover, I can also read in the dark.

My friend had a good point, though. What about power outages?  What if I can’t charge the battery?  The battery lasts a long time, but my mind flashed to that old Twilight Zone episode where Burgess Meredith plays the sole survivor of some sort of global devastation. He’s actually happy, because at last he can read all the books in the world . . . and then his eyeglasses break.  That episode terrified me as a child and it still does!   

As an author, I see other benefits to e-readers.  My backlist is easily available. That’s a real plus when an author does a series and the publishing schedule isn’t as tight as she would have liked.  That happened with “The Women of Swan’s Nest” series.  It’s made up of four books:

The Maverick Preacher, February 2009

Wyoming Lawman, October 2010

The Outlaw’s Return, February 2011

Marrying the Major, October 2011

I’m glad readers who pick up The Outlaw’s Return will have access to the first two books in the series.  The original “Swan’s Nest” print schedule got juggled when I did Kansas Courtship for a continuity. My first Love Inspired Historical, The Bounty Hunter’s Bride, is a prequel to the series and is also available for download.

So what do you all think?  Have you tried a Kindle or a Nook?  What do you like best? What do you dislike?  And last, can you imagine the reaction of our Old West heroes and heroines who owned very few books and treasured the ones they had?  I can just imagine Mary Larue, the heroine in The Outlaw’s Return, staring in shock at a Kindle and saying, “What in the world!”

Coming February 8th — The Outlaw’s Return

J.T. Quinn would know Mary Larue’s beautiful voice anywhere. He just never expected to hear her singing in a Denver church. The gunslinger comes to town to reunite with the only woman he’s ever loved . . . but the actress he left behind two years ago is gone. In her place is a deeply Christian woman with a successful restaurant, the town’s respect and a pair of younger siblings in her care. J.T. doubts he’ll ever be worthy of Mary again, but he can protect her and her siblings from the threats of a local ne-er-do-well. And with courage and faith, perhaps even an outlaw can find redemption . . . and love.


The Outlaw’s Return is available from Amazon in both print and Kindle formats. Click here to see my full backlist on Amazon.

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30 thoughts on “What Would Our Characters Say?”

  1. I have neither Kindle or Nook,or any ereader,I just have my books,I like having them,so I dont see me changing any time soon

  2. Hi Vickie, It feels good to have lots of books around. I wonder how many we all have on our shelves? Looking in my office, not counting, the books spread around the house, I’m guessing I’ve got about 500. They’re mostly paperbacks with some research books and hardcovers thrown in.

  3. I got a Kindle and luuuvvv it!!! I find I buy some books still in paperback, some for my Kindle. It’s the best of both worlds 🙂 I really had to do something…books were taking over the house LOL

    I’ve often wondered what our Old West heroes would think of ebooks too 🙂

  4. Hi Vicki,
    I am like you. SO MANY BOOKS, SO LITTLE SPACE. My husband, who used to love books as much as I do, finally revolted. Today is his last day on the job–he is retiring–and he says, “When I retire, we are going to CLEAN HOUSE” which means, among other things, we are going to get rid of some books. But books are so dear to me and I have a few that I will never part with–still, the ones I’ve already read and don’t consider “keepers” can go, etc. I bought myself a Kindle for Christmas. I have played around with it some, and I’ve actually started ordering a few books for it! ME, the technophobe! LOL I’m easing into it gradually. I will probably always have both books and now, my Kindle, too. Nothing will ever replace holding a book in my hands–I think I associate that with such good memories as a child and growing up–we always had books and a trip to the library was something I looked forward to with great anticipation. I love your covers, btw, and can’t wait to read your Swan’s Nest series! I’m not a fast reader, and I’m reading Pat’s THE DIAMOND KING right now and just loving it so much, but yours are next, and I am hoping to order them on my Kindle!
    Cheryl P.

  5. Your covers are just stunning, Vicki! All three! Somebody on the art staff must love you.
    (Sigh) I’m still eating worms over my last cover with the wrong heroine.
    As for a Kindle, I don’t have one yet, but wouldn’t rule out buying one. I like the feel of books but can certainly see the advantages of that screen with light and adjustable print.
    Thanks for a great blog.

  6. Hey, Vicki,

    First, everyone get Vicki’s latest book. I have already read it and loved it. Already impatiently tapping my foot for the next in the Swan’s Nest series.

    Timely discussion. I just said to a friend the other day that we both loved our kindles and were bringing down the industry. But we are also building up a new industry too.

    I broke down and got my kindle because I didn’t want to be left behind technologically. The downside is I don’t donate as many books to the library as I used to do. The upside is less clutter. But I discovered another plus that you mention.

    I am reading Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff for bookclub. I got it accidently from the library in large print. It is big, bulky and I can’t make notes like I can with my kindle. That has sold me right there. I can increase font size to my liking. I can look up words I do not know. And I am finally getting used to the % finished rather that page numbers which was driving me nuts.

    I also find I can get many of my keepers on my kindle. The only concern I have is in the whole “virtual property rights” discussion. A book you hold in your hand and it is yours. Ebooks and “clouds” etc leave me a bit befuddled at the moment.

    I think in the long run this will be a good thing for authors. I am hoping with increased profit margins with the ebooks that more publishers will give more authors a chance. And while used bookstores will continue to disappear like the regular brick and mortar, maybe folks will be more likely to buy less expensive first purchase ebooks and the author will get their just due.

    Thanks for opening up a lively discussion.

    Peace, Julie

  7. Hi Melissa, Don’t tell my husband (he moved ALL my books when we moved to KY), but I’m still going to buy some print books. I want to support my local bookstores. I have to say, though, I prefer reading on the Kindle.

  8. Hi Cheryl P, The space issue is a big one. I pretty routinely loan out books and tell people to pass them on, but I’ve got my shelf of favorites that I treasure. We cleaned house big-time when we moved. It felt good to get rid of stuff that we no longer needed, but the closets are already filling up again!

  9. Hi Elizabeth, The Art Dept. has definitely been good to my books. My favorite is “The Outlaw’s Return,” because it’s such a good fit with the story. I feel your pain on the wrong hair color for your heroine!

  10. Hi Julie, I was hoping you’d chime in. We got our Kindles at the same time (along with having kids get engaged!)

    I forgot to mention the “loaning” angle. I know there’s a way to do it, that somewhow I can loan a Kindle user a book for two weeks, but I haven’t looked into it. That’s something I miss . . . the ease of handing someone a print book and saying, “I really liked this. Take it for as long as you want.”

    On the other hand, I’m definitely reading more than I used to. The free Kindle books are a solid marketing tool. I read them and then buy new stuff by the author. I’m a lot more willing to explore other genres when I’m not giving up a romance to do it.

  11. I ordered The Outlaw’s Return from eharlequin and just finished reading it. I loved it. I will be looking for Marrying the Major in October. When you order form eharlequin you get this early so I will probably receive it in September.

  12. My son bought me a Kindle and I love, love, love it. I still read books but with the Kindle you can increase the font size and it makes a big differents. The Kindle is much easier on the eyes and since I am older it helps a lot. I never thought I would like if but I was sooo wrong.

  13. Hi Quilt Lady, We’re on the same page (pun intended). The best part of a Kindle is the comfort factor. That, and being able to download books and begin reading immediately. I like that a lot.

  14. Vicki, I haven’t jumped on the Kindle bandwagon yet but I’m slowly weakening. My granddaughter got one for Christmas and I can see the advantages of owning one. But like you, I love holding a book in my hand, feeling the texture of the paper and cover, and smelling the ink. I LOVE the smell of books. And I love the special fragrance of a library. There’s nothing like it. Maybe a girl can have both if she so desires? That way I wouldn’t have to give up anything.

    I’m sure the settlers in the 1800’s would think it odd to read a book on an electronic device. But then they’d think televisions, radios, microwave ovens and all that kind weird too.

  15. Hi Vicki, I so love the Kindle I got for Mom’s Day. It rests so perfectly on the holder when I ride my exerbike, and as you say, is easy to read in bed. My son teased me just yesterday, though, about “hating” real books. Of course I don’t. I just got a load to read for the RITA’s and am loving it. I also have been asked to do a presentation at our local library. So I’ll to a mix of both worlds. I also like the word games, Every Word and Shuffle. They keep whatever is left of my brain alive and active LOL.

    Best wishes with Outlaw’s Return. I have Wyoming Lawman where…in my Kindle! oxoxoxxo

  16. Hi Vicki, I so love the Kindle I got for Mom’s Day. It rests so perfectly on the holder when I ride my exerbike, and as you say, is easy to read in bed. My son teased me just yesterday, though, about “hating” real books. Of course I don’t. I just got a load to read for the RITA’s and am loving it. I also have been asked to do a presentation at our local library. So I’ll to a mix of both worlds. I also like the word games, Every Word and Shuffle. They keep whatever is left of my brain alive and active LOL.

    Best wishes with Outlaw’s Return. I have Wyoming Lawman where…in my Kindle! oxoxoxxo

  17. My sister has a Kindle and loves it. I have been tempted to get one, but haven’t yet. I usually buy books from Amazon, but I think I would prefer a Nook to a Kindle. I like the idea of reading magazines in color on the Nook, and my local library can lend ebooks to a Nook or ereader but not to a Kindle. If Kindle would make those changes, and I imagine they will in later versions, I would buy one in a heartbeat.

  18. Hi Linda, it would be a sad world if electronics completely replaced books. Here’s another thought . . . what about children’s books with illustrations? I can’t see reading “Dr. Seuss” on an e-readers and having it be the same experience for a toddler.

    Howdy Tanya, I love both those games! I use to do crossword puzzles at night. Now I play Scrabble. I love it!

  19. Hi Vicki,
    I have a Kobo and enjoy it, especially when I’m sitting and waiting for something or someone. It’s great to be able to tuck it in my purse, but I think I’ll always prefer a paper book.

    And what would our characters say! A couple of weeks ago I found a quote from the head of the U.S. patent office in 1889: “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” Imagine what that man would say if he could step into 2011. I also wonder…if our characters had to live in our time, what (other than people) would they miss most about their own?

  20. Hi Jennie, The gentleman from the US Patent Office had shocking lack of imagination. Love your question about what our characters would miss . . . I bet they’d miss sitting together at the dinner table, maybe listening to stories read by firelight.

  21. Hi Vickie,
    I have a Kindle too, but I can’t say I love it. It’s okay for fiction but a book is so much more convenient when doing research. I can quickly flip through a book to find what I want.

    I recently heard someone use an unholy word while trying to read the Bible on a Kindle. Maybe some things are best read the old-fashioned way.

  22. Hi Margaret, I totally agree re: research and the Bible. I’m doing a “read through the Bible” in a year, and I definitely don’t want to do that on the Kindle. I scribble notes in the margins and love looking back at them. I know you can make notes with the Kindle, but I like imagining future generations finding a family heirloom with a personal touch.

  23. YOU CAN READ IN THE DARK?????????

    Okay, sorry. I’m yelling. I got excited there for a minute. 🙂 Well, longer than a minute.

  24. My husband got me the case with the built-in light. It works great. I could never manage a book light with regular books, but this is cool. Just to clarify, the Kindle isn’t backlit. This is an itty bitty light that shines down on the screen.

    Just watched American Idol. First time this season . . . I’m hooked again.

  25. My husbands a light sleeper and a heavy complainer.

    I started watching American Idol last year. I think we’ve both missed the cresting wave Victoria, but I really like Steven Tyler and J Lo, Randy, too. I mute the singers a lot though, especially later in the year. And read a book during the songs.

    that might be wrong

  26. The Literati ereader has a night screen – black background with white words. It has a regular screen, variable size print, and color. I am still trying to decide on an ereader.

    I love my books, but they have taken over our house. 40+ bookcases and boxes and piles waiting for a home. I do like and collect old books. They have such special qualities and tell us so much about the time they were printed. We will loose that with the ereaders. With the new books, I try to loan out or donate books when I read them, but I do have a large keeper shelf. Add to that my TBR mountain, the cookbooks, and all the children’s books and there are probably a couple thousand+ books here. I used to loan books to the library where I worked so they could loan them out to patrons I trusted.
    My husband is all for me getting an ereader. He is tired of the piles. I always drag a box of books when we travel and an ereader would certainly help there. I just need to decide which one to get.

  27. I tried both the Kindle and the Nook. I didn’t like the Nook.I had a Sony,but started having issues with it and could not get any help. So my daughter brought me a Kindle 3G.I love it.I always said I did not want one,only wanted the real thing(the Book)but I find I do enjoy the e-reader, and it saves so much space.I still get the actual books,especially for the authors I love. I guess it is what you prefer.Now their are so many out there,but I still like my Kindle.

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