Reader’s Parlor: An interview with super reader Kathy Heare Watts

Why should authors get all the glory? If it wasn’t for readers, most authors wouldn’t be writing. Today kicks off a new feature called Reader’s Parlor in which I interview readers. My first guest is “super reader” Kathy Heare Watts, who reads 700 books a year. She writes reviews under the handle Redrabbitt, and was recently named an Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer!

Please welcome Kathy Heare (pronounced “hare” like the rabbit) Watts.

Cara: What do you like to read?

Kathy: I am rather eclectic in my reading, about the only thing I won’t read is horror and true crime.  I can go from reading a sweet clean romance to the next book being explicit erotica.  Some days, I want to get into a long drawn out story that will take me all day, and other days, I am in the mood for maybe tackling a couple of novellas.  It is all contingent on what is coming due with ARC books.

No matter what, there isn’t a single day that goes by that I don’t read.  If I have company, traveling, or appointments, I may only get a few chapters in and other days, I will read and review a couple of books.   I write a review for every single book I read and leave reviews at Amazon, BN, Goodreads, which links to my Facebook page, plus I note it on Pinterest and send out a tweet and tag the author.   I joke, my business hours are from about 10:30ish am to about 3:30 am.  I am a night owl, and I read until I go to bed.

Cara: Why do you read? What do you enjoy most about reading?

Kathy: Reading has been a lifesaver for me.  I am one of those people that suffers depression in the winter, better known as SAD.  For some reason, since I started reading every single day, I am not affected.

My mother taught in private school and would tell her students that “readers are leaders.” I have always loved reading and can get lost inside a book.

I love getting into a story, the mystery, the characters, the interaction, and even a sci-fi or fantasy can take me away with the images author details in a story. I find reading a great way to continue learning as an adult.   I watch no television at all.  I read an average of six or more hours per day, averaging two books per day.  From the time I get up until I go to bed, I have the computer on, checking email, Facebook, and reading. I prefer to write a review as soon as I finish a book.

Cara: What do you love to see in a story? What are your pet peeves?

Kathy: I want a story, even a fantasy or sci-fi, to have a sense of believability and consistency.  That also goes for an erotic story, and trust me; I had read stories that I had a headache afterward from rolling my eyes and saying, “Nope, not happening!”

Believe it or not, I catch what some people might consider silly things.  If you tell me the person is in the Marines and then later you have them in the Army, I notice.  I want consistency in the characters. I’ve even caught changes in names or spelling of the characters within the story.  I guess if I care enough to buy the book, read it and review it, I want the author to care enough to keep things straight too.  One author told me I needed to re-read her book when I complained about the doctor in the story because she had them as a Pediatrician and other times as an Obstetrician.  They are different fields.

Cara: What’s on your TBR list right now?

Kathy: That list honestly changes from day to day.  I read ARC for a large group of authors and a couple of publishers.  I keep not one, but two calendars, several lists, and I often check to see what is coming up, what I need to get read, and who is next in line, based on release dates  As a list-maker, I find great satisfaction in marking items off as complete.  I have my 2018 calendar already with books for January and February marked.  I know there is another anthology in January around the 2nd week.

Hunted By The Cyborg by Cara Bristol for January 9th
Mountain Rose by Cheryl St. John by January 15th
2 for Caryl McAddo January 15th & 23rd
2 for Lauren Marie in January whenever I can work them in

Cara: When you’re not reading, what do you like to do?

Kathy: My husband and I love to go antiquing, we have even taken trips with this as our main intent.  When we travel, we spend many hours in antique stores.  Just this past summer, we took a trip to Missouri to see our son and his family, and we bought a large tote to put the various items we found in it.  I love that I don’t have to work and enjoy cooking and baking.  I also find such joy being around my grandchildren; they help keep me young.

Cara: If you could meet one fictional character, who would it be and why?

Kathy: Oh my, I guess I would love to be there in the barn with Avery listening to Charlotte and Wilber, along with the other animals conversing.

I’m sure I read the story more than eight times as a child, then introduced it to my children, and now my grandchildren.  I have more than one version of Charlotte’s Web as a movie too. The live version is my favorite.

Quick five:

Ebook, print or audiobook: Ebooks

Your favorite place to read: In front of the computer

Number of books you read in a year: Over 700, all with a review

A favorite childhood book: Charlotte’s Web

Favorite beverage while reading: Water

Kathy Heare Watts

 I am 59 years young and have been married for 41 years to the love of my life, Steve. We are blessed with 3 children and 10 grandchildren. Our two daughters are here in TN, and our son is military and in Missouri.  I was an Army brat, so I lived many places including MD, WV, AZ, NC, CO, Germany twice, and TN. We live in Sevierville, TN which is at the Foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Besides reading, I enjoy cooking, antique shopping and spending time with family.  I have two feral female cats (both spayed) that I can pet now.  I laughed never thinking about their names until I was calling them one morning, Smoky and Bandit.

Facebook | | Redrabbitt’s Books & Reviews | Goodreads  | Twitter @heare2watts | Tumblr|  Instagram


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46 Responses to Reader’s Parlor: An interview with super reader Kathy Heare Watts

  1. Kathy Heare Watts says:

    Cara, I am honored that you picked me to be your guest.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Thank you so much for being my debut reader interview. I’m amazed by how many books you read.

      BTW, I loved Charlotte’s Web, too! I CRIED when the spider died. (I hope this isn’t a spoiler for anybody. Lol.).

  2. Jean says:

    Nice interview, Kathy. When it comes to reading, you are the energizer bunny. Congratulations on your reading accomplishments.

  3. Lisa Medley says:

    That is an AMAZING reading schedule!!! I am super impressed!

    • Cara Bristol says:

      And she reviews all the books she reads!

    • Kathy Heare Watts says:

      Thank you, Lisa. I know that reviews can help an author, and also a prospective reader. We are in the day and age of millions of books to chose from. I have bought books based on previous readers rave reviews and I have bought books from watching a book trailer on YouTube. I appreciate that I can have a voice by sharing a review and supporting authors.

  4. Lea Kirk says:

    700 books–with reviews? You are a machine, Kathy! Great interview. Glad to “meet” you. If you need more books to read, let me know. 😉

    Congrats, Cara, on the beginning of a super cool feature! This is a fun idea and I’m looking forward to the next installment.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Thanks for visiting, Lea. I hope this feature can pick up some steam!

    • Kathy Heare Watts says:

      Thank you, Lea. I am so honored that Cara chose me to start this new installment. I had the privilege of meeting Cara last year. I have set my 2018 Goodreads goal at 700 again, and I’m on book 10 for this year.

      Thank you for the offer of books. Be sure to accept my friend request on Facebook and we will see what we can do on a future Redrabbitt review.

      ps. I went to Amazon and liked your page and also over at Goodreads to follow you.

  5. You are a great friend to us writers, Kathy. Without you, writing would be far less rewarding. I love how many books you can read in a year. Thanks for the post Cara.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Kathy is a great friend to authors. She writes very thoughtful reviews.

    • Kathy Heare Watts says:

      Thank you, Rachel. I love that I have had the privilege of reading and reviewing many of your books over the past few years. I’m also looking forward to reading and reviewing this year, and the years to come.

  6. In the days before the internet, when I was a young mom, and before I gave into the lure of writing my own stories, I would read every minute my life allowed. I sometimes miss that immersive kind of reading. I “met” so many amazing new “friends” and traveled to fun and exotic locations without having to leave home to do it. Thanks for the peek behind your reading curtain! What I did not do is write reviews! Holy cow! That’s impressive! Congrats on becoming a Top Reviewer and thank you for your amazing support for authors.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      I think many authors became authors because of their love of reading. I know I did.

      I first got to “know” Kathy when reviews by “Redrabbitt” would show up on my books. That was back in the early days when I was hard pressed to get any reviews. Her reviews meant a lot to me (still do!).

  7. K.M. Fawcett says:

    What a great idea interviewing readers, Cara! This was a fun interview. I am in awe of Kathy’s ability to read over 700 books a year and to write reviews for them all!! That’s fantastic!

    • Cara Bristol says:

      It’s truly impressive, isn’t it? Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    • Kathy Heare Watts says:

      Thank you, K.M. I am so honored that she asked me to participate. Receiving the TOP 1000 REVIEWER badge at Amazon has me in awe. I am also ranked in the top 40 of reviewers at Goodreads, with over 3000 reviews.

  8. Elsa Jade says:

    Thanks for this series, Cara! What a fun glimpse into other readers. And I think this symbiosis is so cool: We write all night, and Kathy reads all night. A perfect match!

    • Cara Bristol says:

      I think we’re all going to have to write a little faster to provide Kathy with more books!

    • Kathy Heare Watts says:

      Thank you, Elsa. You are right, I do read until the wee hours of the morning. It’s a joke that I went to bed early if it is before 3 am.

      I will have to acknowledge that I have an awesome husband who doesn’t complain about my crazy hours and reading.

  9. Cara Bristol says:

    I think we’re all going to have to write a little faster to provide Kathy with more books!

    • Kathy Heare Watts says:

      Cara, when I answered the Q&A I had a few things on my calendar for January and it has filled up fast with ARC. That does not include the books I read for a publisher, that is on a separate list.

  10. Jean Davis says:

    That’s a massively impressive number of books to read and review, Kathy!

    This is a fun idea, Cara. I look forward to getting to know more readers with your interviews.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Thanks for visiting & commenting, Jean.

    • Kathy Heare Watts says:

      Thank you, Jean. I agree I think it is a great idea to see what the life of a reader and reviewer is like. I take reading and reviewing as serious as an author does on writing a story. I think they go hand-in-hand.

      One of my “biggest” challenges in writing a review, is to be so careful not to say too much or reveal critical items. Just a brief affirmation of the story, and maybe a teaser to entice other readers. Most of my reviews are one page long in a word document, and I save all reviews on my computer.

  11. Sela Carsen says:

    What a great interview! Thanks to both Cara and Kathy for doing this. Writers are still readers, but we don’t often have the time to read as immersively as Kathy does anymore. And writing all those reviews, too?! That’s amazing!

    • Cara Bristol says:

      I knew Kathy was a voracious reader, but I didn’t realize how much she read. And reviews! Thanks for visiting, Sela.

    • Kathy Heare Watts says:

      Thank you, Sela. I am amazed at the number of books that I notice authors read too. Not everyone can read most of the day and into the night like I do.

      It is amazing at how many fantasies and worlds I visit in a weeks time. This past year, I included sci-fi and shifters in my reading. They were two genres I really didn’t read much of before. I do love romance, but now some of it includes aliens, fantasy worlds, and shifters! 😀

      Sela, I sent you a friend request on Facebook, liked your Amazon and Goodreads page. You, my friend, have an impressive number of books written.

  12. Laurel Lasky says:

    WOW! I loved the interview, and this new feature Cara. Kathy is my hero, she is so wonderful, I can’t say enough things I love about her. Kathy, you rock lady.

  13. Kathy Heare Watts says:

    Oh, Laurel, you are so sweet, precious lady. Thank you for those kind words. I am honored to have you as one of my friends.

  14. Maggie Ryan says:

    I agree that without readers, I’d have no audience for the stories in my head. I loved reading this interview with Kathy who is a super reader! I love her love of reading. Great idea to talk to people who love the written word!

  15. Chula Stone says:

    Wonderful idea, Cara! And great place to start. Kathy is amazing and her reviews are a pleasure to read. They are so insightful and well-worded.

  16. Awesome start to a feature that is sure to be a favorite. Nicely done.

    Kathy–so inspiring and I loved Charlotte’s Web too. I think one of the saddest things is when people tell me they don’t read or they don’t like to read. What a shame.

    Question—do you read on an ereader or do you read on your computer, maybe with a Kindle App?

    I’ll confess that I don’t read as much as I used to and spend way too much time reading online content instead of enjoying a good book. But, you’ve inspired me.

    • Kathy Heare Watts says:

      Thank you, Celeste, for stopping by.

      I read on a Kindle, and I am on my 6th one. I started out with a 1st Gen KF in 2012 (gave it to my sister), to a KF HD (gave it to my husband, and his KF to my Mom) to KF HDX I won in a contest on Facebook, and went through 3 of them (1st one died before end of warranty, 2nd didn’t hold a battery and was replaced with 3rd which still works) I just bought me a Kindle Fire 10″ on Cyber Monday and took out 3 years of protection. They weren’t designed to read 6-10 hours a day like I do. I also have a Nook Color but don’t read on it often.

      I agree it saddens me when people say they don’t read. My husband and I both read, and so do all 3 of our children. What thrills me is that our grandchildren love to read. We have a nice library in our home for the Grandchildren to enjoy and have introduced them to books since tiny babies.
      For children to come in our home and go straight to the bookcase and find a book and sit down to read, that says a lot.

      • Cara Bristol says:

        I find it interesting that you’ve used up so many Kindles. I’m on my 2nd, a Paperwhite. My first one was a 2nd generation. I almost extinguished it once(the 2nd gen) by spilling a whole glass of water on it.

        A former neighbor, age 60 at the time, once had told me she hadn’t read a book since high school. It shocked me. I was embarrassed for her, actually. I thought, man, if I hadn’t read a book since high school, I wouldn’t tell anybody!

  17. Wow, what a spectacular start to the Reader’s Parlor! Thanks for yet another fascinating series, Cara.

    I’m in total awe of Kathy’s reading and reviewing achievements. Are you sure she isn’t one of your cyborgs that you haven’t told us about, Cara?!

    Bravo, Kathy ☺️!

  18. Wow. It’s easy to see why Cara calls you a ‘super reader’. Way to go, Kathy!

  19. I was so proud of my 200 books a year. LOL Congratulations! I’d love to just talk to you and hear what you think of various stories. That would be a fun discussion!

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