Guest Post: – Giacomo Giammatteo – Murder Has Consequences

What Do You Expect From A Book?

I’m writing this post as a reader, not an author. I read a lot of books, although admittedly it’s been sporadic of late. I read mysteries, fantasies, science fiction, history, business, and any others that happen to pique my interest at the time. I’m usually a sucker for a good animal book. And quite often, my reading habits will run in spurts. I might go a month or more of reading nothing but mysteries, but if I hit a run of bad or mediocre books, I’ll switch to another genre to jumpstart my enjoyment.

When I was thinking about this I realized that I expect different things out of the different type books. As an example, if I’m reading a business book, I want nothing but the facts, and I don’t like it when the authors beat around the bush and waste my time. If I’m reading a business book, it’s to learn something, not to be entertained. Not that the two can’t go hand-in-hand, but I like business books to get to the point quickly.

If it’s a fantasy book I want to be whisked away to a different world, or a different time. I’d like to get lost in an imaginary place where impossible things can be done. A science fiction book should make me believe that whatever technology they’re talking about could really happen sometime in the future. A mystery doesn’t necessarily have to keep me guessing, but it should be filled with suspense. I want to be tempted to turn the page at the end of each chapter.

The Negative Side

The things that bother me probably play more of a role in whether I enjoy a book or not.

  • If there are mistakes, like typos, misused words, spelling errors, or bad formatting—I’ll probably stop reading. (A few are okay,
    but more than 6 or so, and I’m through with that book.)
  • If the characters are flat and one dimensional, I’ll probably stop reading.
  • If the plot falls apart or if it has too many holes in it, I’ll stop reading.
  • And if the ending is put together as if they had to trim a puzzle piece to fit that last slot—then I probably won’t read that
    author again.

The Positive

Assuming the book doesn’t have the pitfalls mentioned above, the one thing that all books need to have—with the exception of history and business—is a cast of strong characters. Characters I can relate to and believe in. Characters I understand so well that I know what
they’ll do before they do it. For me, that’s what makes a great book.

What about you? I’d love to hear what you expect from a book?

I live in Texas now, but I grew up in Cleland Heights, a mixed ethnic neighborhood in Wilmington, Delaware that sat on the fringes of the Italian, Irish and Polish neighborhoods. The main characters of Murder Takes Time grew up in Cleland Heights and many of the scenes in the book were taken from real-life experiences.

Somehow I survived the transition to adulthood, but when my kids were young I left the Northeast and settled in Texas, where my wife suggested we get a few animals. I should have known better; we now have a full-blown animal sanctuary with rescues from all over. At last count we had 41 animals–12 dogs, a horse, a three-legged cat and 26 pigs.

Oh, and one crazy–and very large–wild boar, who takes walks with me every day and happens to also be my best buddy.

Since this is a bio some of you might wonder what I do. By day I am a headhunter, scouring the country for top talent to fill jobs in the biotech and medical device industry. In the evening I help my wife tend the animals, and at night–late at night–I turn into a writer.

Go check out the website: Look around, click some links, and, if you’ve got time, tell me what you think.

2 Responses to “Guest Post: – Giacomo Giammatteo – Murder Has Consequences”

  1. Lance Wright Says:

    What a terrific post — an author writing as a reader and what they look for in a book. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us.

  2. Giacomo Giammatteo Says:

    Rick, thanks for posting this and sharing it with your readers. And Lance, thanks for stopping by to comment.