Saturday, November 27, 2010

There's One Born Every . . .


By Lonnie Cruse


Was it Barnum or Bailey or both who said: There's a sucker born every minute? Hour? Whatever. Well, that's not what this post is about. Because it seems like there is a new author born every minute, judging by the number of books that come out each year by new (at least to me) authors.


And what a lovely thing that is. New books, new author's thoughts to read. New mysteries to solve or romances to sigh over or vampires to be scared of. Or whatever. But it is much easier to write a manuscript today. No dipping the quill into the ink pot and hoping it doesn't spill. And HOW did they correct mistakes back then? Or move/delete whole paragraphs? Whew!


I confess, as a writer, the computer is the loveliest invention known to woman. Well, besides the microwave, if you want to be technical about it. But being able to make changes so easily, to save our work, to keep it safe on multiple thumb drives (yes, I'm THAT paranoid) to be able to submit it to a publisher, to receive and return contracts online, to do edits via email, to see a nearly finished product thataway, and finally to have royalties drop into one's bank account automatically, ahhh, that's grand. Where was I? New authors.


New authors are on a learning curve, so we need to give them a little leeway (or enough rope? Just a thought.) Some hit a home run the first try, but often the second book is better than the first, and so on. And they need new readers, readers who are willing to branch out from the best seller list and try someone who would probably be number one million, if the list went that far. They need encouragement. They need to be read.


Writing and getting published is a VERY tough business. I've had three publishers and also done some of the dreaded self-publishing so I know whereof I type. Many writers, good writers, get discouraged and give up. Others hang in there, maybe even some who shouldn't. But it's all a matter of taste. I learned that quickly when I joined a book club. I hated the books they loved and it was mutual. But the food was good and the gals were fun. Sigh.


Is there a point buried in here somewhere? Yes. Give new writers a chance. If you can't afford to buy, borrow from the library. If you enjoy the book, pass the word. If you hate it, well, maybe someone else will love it. And if you are considering writing a book, go for it. Don't let the difficulty discourage you. Someone is bound to want to read it, even if it's just your mom. Or me.


As always, thanks for stopping by. Read any good books lately? By new authors? Feel free to let us know.

20 comments:

Paul said...

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is one of the best books I've read this year. If this is the new direction American fiction is taking (as many say) then I'm happy to be along for the ride.

I've also been fascinated with the (difficult) writing of Roberto Bolano. After I finished The Savage Detectives I felt the urge to rush out and read more of his writing. Only later did I learn this is a common phenomenon among his readers. There is a sort of addiction to him. Not for everyone, to be sure, but worth the effort required.

Both are new writers to me, and I'm glad I gave them a try.

Sandra Parshall said...

I haven't read it yet, but a friend of ours, Laura Alden, has a first mystery out titled MURDER AT THE PTA that got a glowing review in the new issue of Mystery Scene magazine. Cozy lovers will definitely want to look for this one. Another first novel that's received a lot of praise is THE LONG QUICHE GOODBYE by Avery Aames, a mystery featuring a protagonist who owns a cheese shop.

Alan Orloff said...

One of the best books by a debut author I read this year was THE THINGS THAT KEEP US HERE by Carla Buckley.

Elizabeth Zelvin said...

I just finished Laura Joh Rowland's The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Bronte, and I'm eager to read the sequel, Bedlam.
I met Laura at Sisters in Crime meetings in New York, but hadn't tried her work, which includes a long-running series featuring a samurai detective, until I heard her read from Bedlam at a SinC event.

VR Barkowski said...

THE PERICLES COMMISSION: A Mystery of Ancient Greece. Smart, clever high stakes murder mystery couched in fascinating history and politics. Nico, the son of a sculptor ends up an unwitting detective when a dead body—Ephialtes, early leader of the democratic movement in ancient Athens—lands in front of him on the street. Great debut by Australian Gary Corby.

Diane said...

I recently read and very much enjoyed two mysteries by a new author: Joan Dahr Lambert. Her 'detective/heroine' is an American professor of Female studies who - both times - was in England to guest lecture 'at university', and doing some touring just before her lectures. The first is 'Walking Into Murder', the second 'Babes in the Baths'. She has also written some historical - really pre-historical - novels, 'Circles of Stone' being one of them.

Katreader said...

I love discovering new and new to me authors. I recently met Lisa Bork, a local author and I'm about to start the first in her Broken Vows mystery series, For Better, For Murder.

Peggy Gaffney said...

The quote "There's one born every minute" is from P.T. Barnum.

Anonymous said...

Right now I cannot put down "L.A. Heat" by Pat Brown. It is very well done & I'll read the rest.

"Mirror Image" is the first novel by Dennis Palumbo and I found it fascinating and will read his next ones.

Great thread! There are so many more that I should be name as well.

--Brenda

Anonymous said...

Excuse my typo in my previous post.

Rennie Airth's "River of Darkness" was his first book, I believe, about that particular protagonist and I could not put it down. I am so delighted he has written more and I simply must have everything he has written.

Laura Alden said...

A friend recently convinced me to read Alan Bradley's "Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie." Loved it! The same friend also recommended Craig Johnson and I have a copy of his "The Dark Horse" coming to the top of the TBR pile.

shirley said...

My favorite new author is Rachel Brady who wrote Final Approach and will have a new one out next month ... at the top of my Xmas wish list.

Rachel is a NASA scientist and a Mom skilled at skydiving, guitar playing, marathon running, and of course, writing mysteries that are both witty and exciting.

Sandra Parshall said...

I became a instant fan of Bryan Gruley after reading his debut novel, STARVATION LAKE (paperback original), last year. It was nominated for an Edgar Award, nominated for TWO Anthony Awards and won one of them, and it won a Barry Award. His second book, THE HANGING TREE (also paperback original), came out recently and the combination of all the award nominations/wins and praise for the second book seems to have created a new surge in sales for the first novel. If you like mysteries set in small towns with big secrets, give Bryan's books a try.

Elizabeth said...

SHOOTERS AND CHASERS by Lenny Kleinfeld. I can't wait for the next in the series. Everything felt real about it, wasn't over the top, characters were characters, not caricatures. Not that I don't like a wild and crazy mystery, but I really enjoyed the style and
flow of dialogue and the connection between the partners.

Beth Kanell said...

Two "first books" from 2010 that are so good that I keep having to purchase more copies: Rock Paper Tiger by Lisa Brackmann, set in today's China and involving online gaming!; and Bulletproof Mascara, by Bethany Maines, a terrific action spoof of a favorite cosmetics company that will do anything to rescue a woman.

petemorin said...

Have to agree with Oscar Wao - but after all, it won the Pulitzer in 2006.

I recommend LOISAIDA, by Marion Stein. It is a chilling, gritty account of life on the streets of that lower Manhattan village. A narrative so realistic in its portrayal of the streets, it'd make Jimmy Breslin jealous.

Sheila Connolly said...

How new is new? I was blown away by Tana French's first two books In the Woods and The Likeness, which were unlike each other but compelling, and her third book is waiting on my TBR pile.

The same for Bradley's Sweetness (that sounds like an apple variety, doesn't it?). I know some people found the protagonist improbable, but I could definitely identify with her.

So many books, so little time!

Jean Henry Mead said...

Alan Orloff's debut novel, Diamonds for the Dead has received rave reviews and a great blurb by John Gilstrap. His interview is up this week at Mysterious Writers:
http://mysteriouspeople.blogspot.com/

Lonnie Cruse said...

WOW!!! Great suggestions from each of you. And I LOVE it that all of you are so passionate about reading! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments!

jenny milchman said...

Shoot, is it too late to suggest Nadine Doolittle's ICED UNDER? This is a terrific read by a Candian debut novelist who creates atmosphere and a budding sense of ominousness better than anyone I've read of late...