February 24th, 2006
Where Did the Day Go?

I had such big plans for the day. I was going to get out a couple of my novellas and tweak them, brainstorm to see if I could turn one into a ST, workout, get my car fueled and cleaned, and go to the grocery store. I only managed the last four on that list. For some reason, I was moving slow today. I didn’t accomplish anything on the writing front. Sigh. I hate it when that happens. I think I’m going to take the weekend off and regroup.

On a completely different subject, have you ever read a book by an author and absolutely hated it, only to revisit the author’s work later and love it? That just happened to me.

I’ve tried to read Laurell K. Hamilton a few times and could never really get into her work (The Fae or the Necromancer.). I decided to give her one more try and I’m glad that I did. This time I started with her first Anita Blake book. (I’d just grabbed one of her books the last time and didn’t pay attention where it was in the series.) Now I get why so many readers like her. This is the only time that I can think of that this has occurred. Most of the time if I don’t care for an author’s work I avoid their books. It makes me wonder how many good writers I’ve missed out on.

21 comments to “Where Did the Day Go?”

  1. Now that I’m better able to dissect what I don’t like about a book, I might pick up another book by Author A provided that it was the plotline that I didn’t like, or if it was a first book. If it’s voice, I won’t.

  2. May, When I picked up that first book by LKH, I thought her heroine was a sociopath. I don’t tend to like characters like that. *ggg*

  3. I was actually supposed to get something done on the writing front today – LOL. Just didn’t seem to be the day for it. I’ve “rediscovered” quite a few authors – thankfully. It’s the other way around that drives me a bit nutty (hey, watch it! – I saw that grin). You like the first book, maybe even the second, but every book from that point on is bad. Just when you think you’ve found another favorite author … (sigh)

  4. Eve, From the reviews on Amazon, it looks like I should stop reading LKH around Cerulean Sins or Incubus Dreams. That’s when everyone starts rating her books with 1’s and 2’s. Pity, but I’m okay with that. I rarely finish a series that goes on beyond three books. There are only two authors that I’ve bought their entire series and read them. They are both on my keeper shelf.

  5. I enjoyed Cerulean Sins and Incubus Dreams, but I do understand why readers had a problem especially with the last book; it not only had the least action of any Anita Blake book to date, it didn’t have a bad guy that gets dealt with at the end.

    It felt like a transitional book in the series, setting things up for the next one, but it is not the same “formula” as the other Anita Blake books. Readers of the series have come to expect that, so changing it understandably upset expectations.

  6. Sometimes I give the author another chance if I wasn’t fond of their work the first time. But mostly, I just buy the authors I love (I love Lisa Gardner, so I’ll make sure I’ll have all, or almost all, of her books) – life is too short!

  7. This just happened to me with Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters. My friend gave me one of the books that featured a buff, blonde viking, because I lover paranormal, and I love blondes. But the story left me cold. Great writing, but not my cuppa. Then, about two weeks ago, I picked up one of her newest books – the back blurb was interesting (about shapeshifters, which is another favorite), and the opening grabbed me, so I said: why not, I’m game for another chance. I LOVED THE BOOK. The hero really sold me, so I did what I always do when I find an author and stories I like: I bought 4 or 5 more of the books. I’m reading out of sequence, going backward, but I’m loving the heroes, and the stories. I think because these guys were darker than the hero of the first book. Both H/H were too flip for my tastes. These guys, however, are the scourge and the scorned, and since I adore dark and anti-heroes, I’m sucked in yet again.
    When I don’t like a book, I always ask myself: is it the writing, or is the story just not for me. If the writing is the issue (which is rare) I don’t read the author again. If it’s the story (which is usually the case), I’ll always give them another shot.

  8. Jordan – It doesn’t surprise me that you liked Guilty Pleasures, the first book of the Anita Blake series. *g* All books up to Obsidian Butterfly are excellent. I’d say the second one in the series, Laughing Corpse isn’t as good as the rest, although it still good.

    However, after Obsidian Butterfly, her stories have gone down in terms of quality. She is more focused on Anita’s sexual life than in the story. Her latest stories are into how many wereanimals and vampires can Anita boink at one time and in how many places and positions, and the whole issue of her powers sometimes becomes secondary. It’s like watching a porn movie in which you have Jenna Jameson as Anita Blake doing all these bunch of guys. (Just like in Laurell K. Hamilton’s fey series, Meredith Gentry. Lots of sex, no plot. Or if there’s a plot developed in the first 3 chapters, then it’s lost to all the chapters dedicated to sex, and at the end she tries to wrap up everything so fast that it leaves you …duh?…)

    I bought recently Incubus Dreams, and I can’t drag myself to finish it. Her latest, Micah will be released this Tuesday, and I’m debating whether I should buy it or not.

  9. Jordan – Hmmm, I think I’m like you – maybe I’m missing out on some great authors because I didn’t like the first book of theirs I read. Since I have so little reading time since I started writing, my reading time is precious and I’m very picky about what I pick up. So, unless I hear someone say a book is ‘wonderful’ or the back blurb really catches me, it either goes lower down on my TBR list or is in the ‘don’t bother’ pile if that author has let me down before. Hmmm, may be time to rethink that approach.

  10. Jordan, I do try to give authors another chance, sometimes even on the same book. I’ve had a copy of some book, I forget the title offhand, for a couple years now, because people keep recommending it to me. However, every time I’ve started it, I couldn’t get into it. I still hold out hope that eventually I’ll read the book, and maybe I’ll even enjoy it the way others have.

  11. If it was the voice I didn’t like, then I might give the author another try under another pen name…ie, another genre or format of writing might work better for me.

    If it was the plot/storyline, then I’ll read the blurb of another book and if that blurb grabs me, I’ll give it a try.

  12. Silma,

    I don’t give writers a lot of chances. Once the writing changes or becomes focused on a storyline I’m not interested in I drop ’em. Their voice isn’t speaking to me any more, you know? Had that happen with a book series that suddenly took a serious religious turn. Yikes. At the same time I keep them on a possible list. They’ve written stuff I liked before. Maybe they’ll do so in the future.

  13. Charlene, Incubus Dreams is really getting slammed on Amazon. The reviewers all say the same thing, sex, sex, and more sex with no plot. I’ll probably still read it and see, but it’ll take me a while. I’m only on book two.

  14. Silma, It says something about her writing abilities if you are still considering the new book after being disappointed by the previous work. I’m sure there’s a level of hope that everything falls back into place.

  15. Olga, I’m finding that I am starting to do that too. I don’t want to be disappointed so I don’t bother. At the same time, I have a lot of online friends that publish. They’ve given me new authors to love. 🙂

  16. Ursula, I’m glad you gave Sherrilyn’s series another try. They are fun books. You’re right, there’s always the chance that the book you grabbed just hit you wrong. You have to pick up another to be sure it’s the characters and not the writing.

  17. Tina, My reading time is limited too. I don’t want to waste my time. At the same time, I don’t want to miss out on a good read. It’s a fine line.

  18. Danica, I hear you. I tried reading LKH on two other occasions. First one of the Anita Blake books and then one of her Fae books. I didn’t care for either. I did listen to one of her Fae books on tape. There was a lot of shagging. *g* So it’s a miracle I went back and tried a third time. I don’t normally give an author that many chances. If so many people didn’t rave about her, I probably wouldn’t have.

  19. Patrice, That’s the weird thing about LKH with me, I thought it was the voice I didn’t like…until I read the first book in the series, Guilty Pleasures. I am incredibly picky about first person, so I was surprised that I enjoyed it. If it’s plot, then I don’t have a problem picking the author up again.

  20. I tend to give up on series, too. Somehow they tend to lose freshness between book 3 and 5, get overwritten (where’s the dang editor?) and lost in meaningless details. *cough* Gabaldon and Auel (I could have killed her with a sling, lol).

    If I don’t like the voice of a new author, I won’t give him/her another try – I’m too much a sucker for style. If it’s the characters/plot, I’d go for a different book, but warily.

    And sometimes I like most books of an author and dodn’t read some others because I’d be sure I won’t like the characters/plot/world. Fe. I love W. Spencer’s books, except A Brother’s Price which doesn’t sound like something I’d read. But I’ll get her new one as soon as it’s out. Which makes it 6 out of 7 of her books. 🙂

  21. Gabriele, I hear you on voice. It’s such a tricky thing. I only have a couple authors on my keeper shelf who are part of a series. (Stephanie Laurens’ Cynsters and Christine Feehan’s Dark books)