Next at the Reader Roundtable with M is Lee Mayet. I was actually introduced to Lee by our common friend Melissa Garrison. (Funny how we all find and connect with each other – us reader types.) Give Lee the floor and find out how a nonreader became a reader.M: What kind of a reader do you consider yourself?
Lee: I swore after college that I wouldn’t read another book. And for years that was the case. Besides technical manuals and business books for work, I didn’t read a single book. Then a friend of mine, Melissa Garrison, let me borrow Fablehaven by Brandon Mull. I read it on a cruise and caught the reading bug right away. Since that time, I go through about a book a week and consider myself an avid reader.
M: What kinds of books do you read and why?
Lee: Most of the books I read are in YA fiction. I guess I’m a still a kid at heart and the fantasy and discovery of YA still appeal to me. I like a few of Terry Goodkind’s books for adults but I keep finding myself YA section. I pretty much will read anything Brandon Mull and Rick Riordan. Their stories are a good mix of fantasy, folklore, and just cool story telling.
M: As a reader, what do you expect out of the author and the story you are reading?
Lee: I have to be able to picture the book in my mind. If I can’t get a good picture with my mind’s eye, I’m done. After that the book has to flow. I have to get angry with the turns a book takes. If I’m not a little agitated that the author did something bad to my favorite character then I’m either not emotionally invested enough in the story or the character is not being challenged enough to make the victory worth it. I like being surprised with a book. If I can figure out the ending a hundred pages into it, I’m usually disappointed at the end.
M: How has the eBook revolution changed the way you read and how you buy books?
Lee: None. I like to turn a page so most books I read are in print. In fact I prefer a good hard cover if I can get it. Have no current plans on changing that.
M: List the five books that stick with you and tell why they do.
- Dragon’s Eyes by Stephen King. This was the last book I read in college before I quit reading for fun. I can still picture the story in my mind and that was 20 years ago. I need to find a copy of it and re-read it.
- Fablehaven by Brandon Mull. This book blew me away. Its mix of fantasy and quick moving story had me hooked from when they drank the magic milk. It got me interested in reading for fun again.
- All Quiet on the Western Front by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Read this in college and loved it. It was one of those books where I just felt the despair in the writing. It was a powerful book.
- Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull. Read this with my son. We both loved the action and the thought of mixing magic with candy and wizards with candy shops.
- The Hunger Games by Susan Collins. I loved the pace of this book. It is a great story and awesome start to the series.
Lee: It is where my true mental state lies. I don’t believe I ever grew up, so I continue to read Young Adult. I have tried a few adult titles and I just didn’t care for the themes. I find the YA writers have more freedom with what they can write about. Most Adult titles I have read have been too eager to use profanity, sex or violence for my taste
M: Does the internet (Facebook, Twitter, Good Reads), book reviews (blogs, Amazon, and B&N), or any media buzz influence your desire to read a book? How or how not?
Lee: Not at all. I understand their job is to hype and sell a book. I put little stock in what they say. A recommendation from a friend carries much more weight.
M: Some people read, some people don't -- why do you think you ended up becoming a reader?
Lee: I was part of that “don’t read” crowd for nearly fifteen years and then I was given a book that I was really able to relate with. I think most people would be a reader if they would just take the time to get a good book. But, I think places like Barnes and Noble and Books-A-million are part of the problem. If you are a non-reader, those places make it a bit intimidating to figure out where to start.
M: Have you ever read a book that surprised you, one you didn't expect to like but did?
Lee: Laws of Nine by Terry Goodkind. A friend recommended Wizard’s First Rule to me and I read it but wasn’t too thrilled with it. After another friend recommended Goodkind again, I unenthusiastically picked up Laws on Nine. It was one of those “I need something to read” decisions. I read it and liked it. It flowed so much faster than Wizard’s First Rule, which was what put me off on that one.
M: Favorite Protagonist of all time. Why?
Lee: Seth Sorenson. He is one of those kinds of characters that cause ninety percent of the problems. But when the chips are down, he gives everything he’s got. Not the biggest, strongest, or most popular, but the average everyday guy who reacts to bad situations. (Even though he accidentally caused most of them).
M: Have there been books you didn't finish reading? Explain yourself.
Lee: Yes. The Spellman Files. I just didn’t get into that book. I had hoped it would be funny, but the humor just didn’t hit home. I still plan on trying it again. I try to give any book I buy a chance.
M: Favorite villain of all time. Explain yourself.
Lee: The Sphinx. I liked him as a villain because he is shrouded in secrecy and deceit. He is not evil in the purest sense but by his warped point of view. I like villains that if they were given different circumstances they could just as easily be the guy shooting pool next to you. Always makes you wonder what it was that made them snap.
Lee Mayet was born in Cut Off, Louisiana and resides in Gulfport, Mississippi. He has a B.S. from Nicholls State University in Computer Science and has worked in the technology field for twenty-two years, mostly in the banking industry. He’s currently unpublished and working on his second novel. (He says he probably owes Michelle twenty red pens from editing his first attempt at a novel). And, he loves to read.