Why we read.

Why do we read? For me, it all started in my youth and when I was a kid, I read a lot. As an adult, I understood that most people read fiction to escape from the problems of life, but as a kid, what was escaping from? I had a great childhood, full and complete with loving parents … so why escape? I was drawn to books about kids my age who were ordinary, everyday type of kids who found themselves in some outrageous difficulty. (I never wanted to know or admit that the book I was reading was just a story … a figment of some one’s imagination, so I disregarded the author. For me these stories were real and I read them slowly to make them last.) Today, as an adult, I still enjoy stories about ordinary guys and gals who find themselves in a life problem through no fault of their own.

They are not super beings with super powers. Instead, they are just like you and me. I’m a dentist by profession and after thirty years in practice, through no fault of my own, I may add, I came down with Rheumatoid Arthritis and after struggling with pain, limited mobility and strength, I had to give up the field of endeavor for which I was so highly trained. I couldn’t just do nothing … it wasn’t in my nature … so I began to write. My heroes and especially my heroines are all everyday people just trying to live their lives when they are forced into an extreme difficulty.

Those who enjoy my novels find that they can escape from their own difficulties and lose themselves in the lives of the characters from my novels. They can identify with the characters because they can see themselves living through the pages as the protagonist. We read because we enjoy the escape and revel in the difficulties and the eventual success of the participants.

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First Thoughts

When I was a youth it was neither unusual nor dangerous for a boy of ten years of age to walk a half mile or so to a bus stop, take a bus to the next town, make a purchase and return home. Obviously times have changed. I was such a boy and the store I went to was a bookstore and, of course, I purchased a book.

The book was not one of the classics … they came later … but it was the next in the series of the Hardy Boys, the Buddy Books or Bomba, the Jungle Boy. Hey, I was just a kid.

I enjoyed being embroiled in mystery or involved in dangerous situations where the protagonist had to extricate himself from difficult or impossible situations. I clearly identified with the hero.

I remember sitting in the bus on the return trip home, taking the book from the bag and beginning to read. I only allowed myself to read just a few pages because I wanted the reading of this book to last as long as possible. It would be at least a month or so before I could save enough money from my allowance and the little I made cutting lawns in the summer or shoveling snow in the winter so that I could make the trip again and buy another book. Also, it may amuse you to learn that I never wanted to know anything about the author; not even his name. I simply wanted to believe that the characters were truly real and not merely fabricated in the mind of a writer.

All that has changed now because I am a writer … an author who still wants his characters to be real and for them to linger in the memory of the reader.

My heroes and heroines are definitely not bigger than life. They are not super beings. They could be you or the guy or gal who lives next door. My protagonists are simple human beings with the flaws we all have and want to overlook. Take the hero in my latest novel, Ultimate Betrayal. Ryce Traden, through no fault of his own, is poor, uneducated and he has no family. He is also gullible and all together too trusting of his fellow-man. And yet he is a character that the reader will love.

All my most recent novels live within the genre of Mystery or Suspense thrillers. Although that may be the main theme, the novels have sub-plots which are either love stories or strong father-daughter relationships. At times my small but growing unit of fans tell me that they can become quite emotional in many of the scenes within my novels.

I have recently began a website, www.GeneLigotti.net, a twitter account, @GeneLigotti, and a blog, www.gligotti.wordpress.com. Please bear with me as I am learning and these are still not yet complete. I’m a work in progress, but, then again, perhaps we all are.

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