1. What's your favorite genre or type of novel? (i.e., Suspense, Mystery, Western, Romance, etc)
Science Fiction is the genre I consider my favorite, although a lot of the new stuff being published lacks any resemblance to science and a few authors I have come across are still working up an understanding of "fiction."
2. Who is your favorite fiction author and why do you like this author more than any other?
Robert Heinlein is still my favorite for his ability to weave a tight plot with good characterization, a discernable POV and the ability to tolerate other world views without wavering from his own. Spider Robinson is slowly supplanting Heinlein.
3. When you're in a bookstore and you're trying to find a book to read, how do you decide to buy one if you haven't already heard of the book before?
The title has to grab me; then I read the fly cover excerpts. If intrigued, I go to page 95 and read the entire page. If I like what I see, it comes home with me.
4. How long does it take you to read the average novel?
I have four different reading places - each one varies in the amount of time it takes to finish a book. I keep a novel going in the car and these days it takes about 3 weeks to finish a book while I wait to pickup the wife from work. The novel in the bathroom usually takes a couple of weeks. The one by the side of the bed can take upwards of six weeks as I tend to conk out when my head hits the pillow these days. And, if I carry a book around with me all day to read in snatches I'll finish it in a day or two.