Author Elliott Turner Takes On “The Rapid Fire Book Tag”!

Yesterday I reviewed Elliott Turner’s debut novel, The Night Of The Virgin. If you didn’t get a chance to read my review, you can do so now. However, the novel won’t release until June 2017, so keep it in the back of your mind and add it on Goodreads for now!

Elliott has actually guest posted on Read Diverse Books a few times. The collaborations started during Latinx Heritage Month, when he talked about what he took away from talented Latinx authors. He also wrote a long and eloquent review for Juan Pablo Villalobos’s Down The Rabbit Hole. And he contributed to my post, The Value In Saying Latinx.

When I published my own responses to the Rapid Fire Book Tag, Elliott expressed interest in answering the book tag questions as well. If given the opportunity, I will gladly interview authors on my blog before or after I review their books. In this case, I figured doing the book tag would be a more fun way to get to know Elliott, as opposed to doing yet another traditional interview.

Working with Elliott over the past few months has been great. Consider following him on Twitter for interesting and thoughtful tweets. Especially if you’re into sports! But soccer in particular.

Elliot went ahead and changed up the wording of the original questions. If you want to try this book tag, you may check out my original post, which has the full questions. 

Without further ado…


The Rapid Fire Book Tag

by Elliott Turner

—eBooks or Physical Books ?

I am so torn on this question. On the one hand, I love a big, meaty physical book. On the other hand, when traveling, I adore having a ton of longish novels at my fingertips on my Kindle. If I only had physical books, I couldn’t have Infinite Jest, Moby Dick, and A Naked Singularity all at my fingertips. 

Still, I am an obsessive when it comes to the size, weight, smell and feel of paper in paperbacks, and also a book’s trim, fonts, and format. Thus, physical books

 — Paperback or Hardback ?

Hardback. I like my books like the people in my life: you need a strong spine that won’t bend too easily and will give resistance when pushed. 

 — Online or in-store shopping ?

In-store. As if staring at a computer or device screen could ever be as engaging as the smell of coffee roasting in a cafe, the chatter of other customers, or the cool piercings/tattoos of the bookistas who often give great recs. 

 — Trilogies or series ?

Neither, but, if a gun is aimed at my head, series. Trilogies often seem artificially short or too long. 

 — Heroes or villains ?

Villains. I do enjoy a good anti-hero though. 

 — Book you want everyone to read —

I object to this question, and this question alone, because I wouldn’t want anyone else to force a book down my throat. Reading interests diverge among people and even within a single person. Read what you want, when you want, how you want. 

If this question is really a masked “pick your favorite book of all time”, then I also pass. I’ve fallen madly in love with at least 50 novels, most of them literary fiction. And I can’t pick just one. 

 — Recommend an underrated book —

Light in August. I know, I know, Faulkner is a big deal and gets lots of deserved love. Still, this novel is a fantastic gateway to the world of W.F. and has such a great plot and cast of secondary characters. The Sound and the Fury won the awards, but this tome is worth your time. 

— The last book you finished —

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. It was very much “rich people’s problems” in terms of plot, but I loved the character and landscape sketches. 

 — Used books, yes or no ?

Yes. Books are like people – sometimes they need to float around a bit before they find the right “for life” match.

 — Plot or Character ?

In my twenties and beforehand, I was obsessed with plot. As I’ve gotten grayer, I can now appreciate more “domestic” novels with really detailed character sketches. 

— Top three genre s—

Literary. Detective. Horror/Suspense. 

— Weirdest bookmark — 

Tie: I have used a printed, white rectangular boarding pass (for years) and still use one of those green and white square USPS postal receipts (for a decade). 

— Borrow or buy ?

Buy. I like to own and display my books, like the pompous ass I am. I also re-read them a lot and write in the margins. Margin-writing is looked down upon in most libraries. 

 — Long or short book s?

Long. I can appreciate some of the 200 page novellas, but anything under 60K words feels underweight at this point in my life. 

 — Long or short chapters ?

Short. I am needy and have no attention span, so I need that constant gratification one feels when finishing a chapter. 

— Name the first 3 books you think of — 

La Sombra del Viento. The Alchemist. On the Road

 — Humor or sadness ?

Humor. This question ignores the Socratic belief that tragedy and comedy are two sides of the same coin, though. I like to laugh and cry, when possible. 

— Reality or fantasy ?

Reality. I do adore comics and science fiction, but too often the technological advances/super powers are a masked Ex Deus Machina. 

— Are covers important?— 

Kinda. Some of my favorite novels had pretty bad first edition covers, while others, like The Great Gatsby, had iconic covers. I make most of my purchase decisions based on recommendations from friends or GoodReads or a trusted website.

— Audiobooks?— 

Not my cup of Joe, though as an author I’ve sold quite a few. I have a few cool bookish and sportsnerd podcasts I rely on for my daily commute, but a book for me is a block of text, a string of words. 

Book, Movie or TV —

Depends. I view the audiovisual language as distinct from the written one, so I can say I loved The Shining the book and also the movie. I actually detest it when a movie/TV sticks too closely to the written text of a book and the audiovisual product suffers.

I do prefer reading to watching TV, but the event of going to a movie with my family is still fun albeit expensive.

 — Series or standalone — 

Standalone. Ideally somebody important dies at the end, so I can get a sense of closure.


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About the author:

Elliott goofs around on Twitter and loves futbol. His debut novel, The Night of the Virgin, comes out in 2017 and has been called “interesting and nuanced.” Read more about it here.


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13 thoughts on “Author Elliott Turner Takes On “The Rapid Fire Book Tag”!

  1. “Hardback. I like my books like the people in my life: you need a strong spine that won’t bend too easily and will give resistance when pushed.”

    I LOVED this answer so much! I may just steal this from you Elliott!

    1. The only disadvantage to used books (often bought off Amazon) is when they have a public library sticker and you sheepishly ask an author to sign the front page.

  2. I still need to do this tag. I probably would have given all the same answers as Elliott, though. He seems like a very sensible person. (No trilogies or series. Standalones all the way!)

  3. I love the idea of using this tag as a new kind of interview 🙂 It was really interesting. Sometimes I want to know something slightly different but still bookish from authors and this works perfectly.

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