Friday, June 8, 2012

Guest Reader Interview: Twelve Questions with Weldon Anderson

Today at the Reader Roundtable I have the pleasure of introducing you to best friend and Dungeon Master Weldon Anderson, whom I've know for nearly twenty years. (That's right, I used to play D&D... because that is what all the cool kids did.) This cat is someone, along with our small group of BFFs, who shared in my love of reading and storytelling even through the angsty teens years. No matter how much time passes, we pick right back up where we left off, and book talk has always been a part of that relationship. My friend... and perhaps the only man my husband would trust to send me alone on a European vacation with (not that we've managed it yet)... Mr. Weldon Anderson.

M: What kind of a reader do you consider yourself? 

Weldon: I consider myself a voracious reader. I read approximately a book a day. It's the way I escape from stress at work and at home. I will read any type or genre of book available but I primarily read science fiction and fantasy. I am able to reread books and series in that genre. I have probably read every one of my fantasy novels at least twenty-five times.

M: As a reader of different genres, what attracts you to each and what does each give you the others don't?

Weldon: While I don't consider myself a specific genre reader, I like science fiction and fantasy the most because I can continually come back to the same story and discover something new every time I read it. The foreshadowing in a trilogy appeals more to me than reading a thriller where, once I find out who committed the crime, the book loses all appeal to read it again.

M: With that in mind, what authors (or stories) do you return to again and again? What makes you pick up a book or author you've never read before?

Weldon: I have multiple authors that I continually reread. Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman in the Dragon Lance series are among my favorites. L.E. Modesitt and the Recluce series, Robert Jordan and The Wheel of Time series, Mercedes Lackey and the Valdemar books are a few of the authors and series I continually read. The excerpt on the back of the cover or the synopsis online is my primary means of finding new books. I also rely on my friends for new book ideas.

M: As a reader, what do you expect out of the author and the story you are reading?

Weldon: As a reader, I expect to be entertained. The story can be extremely technical or a quick, easy read. I find all types of stories entertaining. I really enjoy the evolution of the characters during the story. I continually find the endings anti-climatic.

M: How has the eBook revolution changed the way you read and how you buy books?

Weldon: I have loved the eBook revolution. I didn't think I would enjoy giving up my hard copies of my books but the ease of ordering and reading any book I want far outweighs that loss. I work nights and can't tell you how many times I've ordered and read a new book while at work. I recently went on a cruise. I normally would have brought ten books. Now I just bring my Nook.

M: Film before book, or book before film? Why?

Weldon: I always read the book before I see the film. In fact, there are many times when I don't even watch the film. Even the best film ever done from a book has failed to live up to the book and I am always disappointed.

M: List the five books that stick with you and tell why they do.

Weldon: It's difficult for me to pick a book. I can pick series that I consider all one story. The Lord of The Rings trilogy is the first fantasy series I ever read and it remains my favorite to this day. The way Tolkien created a whole new universe with it's own languages is still amazing to me. The Chronicles trilogy by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman were my first introduction to Dragonlance and the different realms in that massive fantasy setting. The characters from this trilogy became some of my favorites of all time. I still cry when two of the main characters die during the series. The Dragonlance Legends trilogy by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman have always impressed me with the way they were able to continue the evolvement of the characters from the Chronicles. This series took characters that I loved and were able to give me a way to understand them without ever losing the sense of wonder.

M: Some people read, some people don't -- why do you think you ended up becoming a reader?

Weldon: Honestly, I was put on restriction a lot as a child. As I had no TV or radio in my room, reading was the only thing to do. Now, reading provides a means of escape from everything that stresses me in my life. I used to read primarily when I was upset. Now I have to force myself to do all the things I'm supposed to do before I start reading. Reading is the only thing that I can get lost in and forget where I'm at or what I'm doing.

M: What makes a book disappointing to you?

Weldon: I love the journey taken during a book. I don't like when the author takes a character from point A to point B and skips everything that happens in between. R.A. Salvatore has started doing that recently in some of his novels.

M: Do author blurbs, cover jackets, and awards seals matter to you when choosing a book to read?

Weldon: Author blurbs matter a little bit. If it's an author I enjoy reading, I'll usually pay attention if he or she recommends another book. And I don't pay much attention to the Internet of book reviews. I can usually tell within a few minutes of reading if I'm going to like the book. I do have friends that recommend books to me. I almost always try and read those.

M: Favorite protagonist and villain of all time? Why?

Weldon: Drizzt Do'urden is probably my favorite protagonist. I started reading the series at a young age and identified with the self-introspection of the character. Drizzt was much more of a thinking character and his thought processes and sense of identity intrigued and impressed me. I'm not sure if Raistlin from the Dragon Lance series counts as a villain. He ultimately redeems himself at the end but only after staining his soul black. If so, he is my favorite. He was easy to identify and sympathize with.

M: Have there been books you didn't finish reading? Explain.

Weldon: The only series I never finished was the Game of Thrones. I started reading it when it first came out and remember feeling depressed while reading it. The sense of despair throughout the first several books never appealed to me and I never finished reading the series.

Weldon Anderson is thirty-three years old and works as a RN; in the emergency department at Ocean Springs Hospital. Besides reading, he likes to fish and golf and is an avid sports fan. He recently moved back to the MS Gulf Coast after travel nursing for several years.

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