What book reviewers want: An interview with Janie Felix


Once again this week, Written Words turns the tables on the book reviewers by asking them questions. In this instalment, Janie Felix agreed to let us in on the secrets of book reviewing.

What genres do you review?

I review most all genres — whatever I read, because I find it helpful when I read others reviews.

I like mystery/police/ action genres.  They challenge my mind, hold my interest and allow for escape from normal life.  I like some romance, but not ” bodice ripper” types.  I like reality in romances, not necessarily happily ever after … realism.  I enjoy some sci-fi if it is relatable.

What do you look for in a book that you review?

What I look for in books is believable character development by the author.  I like surprise twists.  I also look for good beta reading (I really hate misspelled words, poor grammar and bad syntax.)  When I find an author whose style I enjoy, I veraciously read their books.

What is the worst mistake that an author can make in a book?

The worst mistake and author can make: boring, long convoluted explanations by a character.  And shabby proofreaders.

What is the worst mistake in your opinion that an author can make when trying to promote a book?

Promoting a book can be tricky. I’m not sure I dislike most book promotions. I really LIKE when an author of e-books offer their first one free. Very often if I like their style or characters, I will continue to follow them and buy more just by the “credit ” of their name alone.

Which is more important to you: the plot/story, characters, or the writer’s style?

Characterization is probably the most important part of a book for me.  If the characters become real, you can put them in most any plot and they survive.  ‘Course that all goes back to the author. So it is circular.

Name a classic book in the genre you favour most that you think today’s writers should aspire to equal.

The Stand is a book with great characters the writers can aspire to.

Desert island question: name three record albums you would take with you if you were stranded on the island from Lost (where they had vinyl records and diamond-stylus record players).

Albums: David Brubeck’s Take Five,  the 1812 Overture or any Tchaikovsky work and anything by James Taylor.

All about Janie

 IMG_1051Janie has been married for 52 years to her best friend, Gary. She is a mom of four a grandmom of seven, a Wiccan High Priestess, a clinical herbalist and an avid reader.  She is 72 years young and loves to quilt, preserve what her husband grows and teach others about her knowledge of Wicca and herbs. 

About the Author


  1. After reading Ms. Felix’s responses in this interview, I am in almost complete agreement with her. Biggest difference for me in her choice of books is my own affinity for reading legal thrillers as opposed to police procedurals. That’s undoubtedly because I’ve spent over 30 years working alongside lawyers. During that time, I’ve worked with most every type of personality that’s possible for an attorney to have. I’ve been employed by fresh-out-of-law-school attorneys who are just beginning their journey as sole practitioners because they want to be the architect of their own private practice. I’ve also been fortunate to have been employed by individuals who’ve practiced law for over three decades and chosen to be part of a large national firm because they want to climb the ladders of opportunity offered to them in that organizational structure. In other words, no matter who the protagonist lawyer may be in any book I read/review, it’s more than likely I’ve been privy on a personal level to similar circumstances. Maybe it’s also because a large number of legal thrillers are written by lawyers with whom I have a lot in common. Based on what is said about Ms. Felix in this interview, I’m only one year older than her, so we’re of the same generation, too. This interview made me realize that I appreciate many of the same things in the books I read as a professional reviewer. Likewise, I am not fond of “boy meets girl; girl falls in love; and they live happily ever after” romance novels. I really prefer reading about the complexities of “real life” relationships. I enjoy SciFi books on occasion, but only when they aren’t so far out of the realm of my imagination that I can’t visualize what happens in them. I guess the most important thing I want to say here is “Thank you for sharing this interview with a woman to whom I can totally relate!”