I'm curious. What element in a novel is most important to you as a reader?
Do you read primarily in one or two genres and anything in that field interests you?
Do you need vivd, life-like characters?
Do you crave heart-pounding, can't-put-the-book-down-suspense?
Do you love imaginitive world-building?
Do you have to have a satisfying romance?
Does humor float your boat?
Do you seek authentic, interesting voices, regardless of plot or genre?
For me, I need, first and foremost, an authentic, interesting voice but that alone isn't enough. I crave suspense, world-building, and vivid characters too with dashes of humor. Also, the book must be well-written. As a writer and former English teacher, I can't help but read with an imaginary red pen. The writing has to be extraordinary enough to make me forget that pen even exists.
The authors that consistently deliver this for me are J.K. Rowling, Tolkien, J.D. Robb, Dean Koontz, Stephen King new authors Melissa Marr and Rachel Vincent, and some of Linda Howard and Janet Evanovitch's works.
So tell me, what do you have to have in a book and what authors do it for you?