Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Favorite Authors

As everyone who loves to read, I have my favorite authors. You know the ones you'll buy as soon as their next book hits the stands and you pick up without even reading the back blurb.

I had one favorite I had read since the late seventies. Loved her books until about four years ago. I picked up the book and started reading it and realized it was an old plot I had seen tie and time again back in the seventies. Where two sisters fall in love with the same man. One sister is shy and a goodie-two-shoes, and the other a total bitch. Of course, the bad sister pulls a dirty stunt and gets the guy for part of the book. Well, I didn't even finish the book. I felt the author had an old manuscript sitting under her bed she pulled out to meet a deadline. It wouldn't be so horrible if she could've updated it. Not sure how, but I haven't picked up another book of hers since. Nearly thirty years, and one book did it. Truthfully the last two or three books I hadn't really been that happy with.

There's another old time favorite (since early eighties) about to fall to the wayside. Out of the last seven books she's written, I've really only enjoyed three. She had another book to come out before Christmas and I haven't even bothered picking it up. I'm waiting until it comes out in paperback. I've heard several people complain that they believe she pulled an old manuscript out and sent it in to meet a deadline. It was more suited in length and depth to a series imprint.

Then a new time favorite's (this decade) last book, a new series, was too long with a lot of narrative that could've been cut, making it a faster pace and a more interesting story. Her original series had floundered in the last two or three stories, but I was hanging in there. I heard the next one in the series is about a character everyone expects to be great. I hope she doesn't disappoint me. I do know I doubt I will read her new series.

I think what's happening with the authors is 1) pressure from their editors to produce books quickly and often has hurt the quality of the books. That certainly can hurt your creative side. 2) Once an author is successful, the editor doesn't want to take the chance the author will become angry and not sign the next contract. So they let big tomes be published. You and I know that 9 times out of 10, a good chunk can be taken out and still tell the same story with the same depth. Usually making the story better and a quicker pace. 3) The cost of living is up and authors are living in bigger homes, expecting more and they know if they write more, they can make more money. That kind of pressure has to be tough.

Something else I believe is that I'm growing as a reader at the pace I am as a writer. Now that I understand goal, motivation, and conflict, and how narrative can slow down a story and how to rack up the tension, I expect more out of books. Yeah, I'm getting picky about the books I read and I have certain expectations.

No. I'm not reading so called literary literature. I'm still an one song type of girl. I love romance. May it be contemporary, paranormal or historical. I've got to have my boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy and girl break up, boy and girl decide they cannot live without each other and they marry. Basic, but my kind of book.