Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Disappointing Holiday Reading

I decided to take a holiday from research on a future Mad Max novel. Somehow, digging into gene splicing didn't strike me as a holiday activity.

I roamed through my bookself and pulled out three novels written by brand novelists. All three are early works. As a disclaimer, I grab each new book from these writers and consume the stories in guilty delight. So, I couldn't miss, could I?

Not only could I miss, but I did. Badly. Three for three earned a big :P~~~~~~~~~~~. If you don't recognize the unsmiley, it is a raspberry. Each book screamed "New York Times Bestseller" above the title. Each was by a brand writer today. Each book was either fourth or fifth published in long careers.

Each book must have been part of a multi-book deal. Had these been debut novels, they wouldn't have seen the light of day. All were suspense or thrillers, but I found myself laughing at the plots and groaning over the obvious lack of editing. I don't know why I finished the books. It was like a train wreck. I couldn't stop reading, even though I was dreadfully disappointed.

As a yet-to-be-published writer, this was a huge lesson learned: Never, ever take short cuts with your writing. If a book gets published because you have attracted a readership, and if the book, um, how do I say this, oh, yes, stinks, all the work you've done to gain a fan base can be wiped out in a single page. I vowed to pay attention to every detail, check every fact, research topics outside of my normal range of interests, get the grammar right.

Back to research.

Gene splicing.

Steam engines.

And don't bother asking. I won't reveal the authors' names. The guilty know who they are. The innocent readers should continue with latest releases. 'Nuff said.


  1. Good luck with that gene splitting. I'm currenty researching DNA and dance steps.

  2. What a combo! I have an image of dancing DNA chains, Elizabeth.

  3. What you say is soooo true. I am nearly always disappointed by the "subsequent" novels, a few into the series or along in the author's career. Like "sequel" movies, it seems, for whatever reason the quality just doesn't hold over time and subsequent works. I suppose this is why I always enjoy recommended "debut" novels so much (and hope I will have one of my own soon). Good observations, thank you.