Wednesday, February 25

And Now for Something You'll Really Like

When I was a kid, I always got excited at the point in the Rocky & Bullwinkle show when Rocky said something new was coming up. I always knew it would be fun. I always knew it would be different. I always knew it would make me laugh. I always knew I'd be surprised.

Now that I'm grown up, I find myself looking for those Rocky & Bullwinkle moments in the books I read, the movies I watch...and in my own writing. Which is why, I think, I choose some of the same authors. As an adult, I'd like to be completely surprised with some really new and different. But, as an adult with job responsibilities, home responsibilities, as a mom, a wife, cook...the list goes on, I know I don't have time to waste with things that I won't really enjoy. So I find myself going to the same shelves, the same authors time after time after time.

This sameness makes it all the more fun when I find a new author to add to my Buy-the-Backlist list. I recently found one of these authors, someone knew to me but who had been writing for a long time. I've seen Jude Deveraux's name on bookshelves for a long time and always passed her by in favor of authors I already knew and loved. Then a friend recommended a book to me and after about the 100th time she told me to read it, I did.

I loved it. Jude has a way of describing a scene and makes it appear on the page, wiping out the words. She made me look at the romance formula (I know, a bad word) in a different way. A way that I'm trying to work into my own writing, not to copy her voice or style but to emulate her ability to surprise the reader at least once each page.

That element of surprise keeps me turning pages as a reader and, even though I'm finding it a little clunky right now, I think that element will take my writing to the next level.

What makes you happy as a reader? Surprise? Familiar territory? A little of both?

3 comments:

  1. I like both, but I definitely lean toward familiar territory. It's part of my whole loving anticipation thing...it's coming! It's coming! :-) Great post, Kristi.

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  2. The older I get, the more I stick with the tried and true. I usually only read new authors when there is no book out by one of my favorites. But the same thing happened to me with the Outlander series as happened with you and Jude Devereaux. It had been recommended and recommended but I just didn't think it was my cup of tea until one time I was at the library and couldn't find anything else so I picked up The Scottish Prisoner (which was about number 4 in the series but could be read as a stand-alone) and fell in love. Now I can't wait for each new book from Diana Gabaldon. Like you, I also read for entertainment as well as trying to "see how she does it".

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  3. As much as I love my tried and trues--I also love finding a new author--especially one with a backlist that I haven't read. Kristan Higgins comes to mind as a recent discovery. And Jude's A Knight In Shining Armor is probably one of my all-time favorite books.

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