What brings readers and writers together?
Last night I met with a book group who have judged Hookline submissions for three years. We had a keen discussion, but one of my questions was: Does reading the work of new writers make you consider writing a novel yourself?
The group were flabbergasted at the idea, and "no way" was the definitive response. Many in the group said that reading the work of new writers made them appreciate the elements that go into a good novel - stretching the scale of the plot, ensuring consistent character development, good word usage, keeping the readers' interest and a good ending.
It was interesting because with so many people penning novels, it is easy to think everyone is doing it and it was heartening to realise that there are many readers who so appreciate the intense work that goes into writing a novel.
It was also heartening to hear the group talk about their connection with Hookline novels - "We helped choose that," one reader said of a title. "That's our book," said another.
I, personally, love this sense of ownership that some Hookline readers feel toward the novels they helped choose for publication.
That is what Hookline is all about.