Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Giants and Underdogs

This week we are blogging about the great authors of our time or our favorite authors. I fought with myself for days for what to write about, but finally in the wee hours of Monday morning, the spark of inspiration hit me.

 I always root for the underdog - in any arena. I prefer reading books by not so well known authors. Don’t get me wrong, I read anything that looks good. But in a book store, I try to find the books by authors I haven’t heard of or books with new authors. (You can tell these by opening the covers and not seeing the page with lists of other books they have written, of course.)

 Even with that thought in mind, I still don’t really pay attention to who the author is when I’m reading the book. If it looks like something I want to read, then I buy it. I’ve read so many books and I promise you I can’t tell you the authors to any one of them without looking it up.

 I have favorite books but not favorite authors.

 Well, I take that back. There is one author I love so much that I’ll read anything she writes, just because she wrote it. And that is Mary Higgins Clark. The first book I ever read by her was A Cry in the Night. I was browsing through my local used book store and asked the clerk to recommend me something. (It was a shameful tactic just to talk to the good looking guy, but…) I told him I liked mysteries and suspense thrillers and he didn’t hesitate to point me toward Mary Higgins Clark’s stories.

 I was hooked! Her ability to grab readers and make them literally sweat from the suspense is magical. I now have a small collection of her books on my shelf and I read them over and over again! I long to have more but it’s not feasible at the moment to go diving into dusty used book stores any more. (An active toddler really takes the joy out of shopping for anything.)

 Are there other authors that top my list? Of course. None of them are published yet though! I would read any story written by Greg, C.J. or J.D. here. Why? They take a hint of mystery, a dash of magic, a dose of technology, a spoonful of sex, and a heap of imagination to craft worlds that are just so REAL. Their characters jump off the pages and laugh, cry, and gasp right along with me. I love it!

 That is what makes an author great in my opinion. If I can read the story and cry actual tears, laugh out loud, and feel like I just lost a friend when the story ends? I’ll be a die hard fan for life.

 I had the privilege to read their WIPs (Greg’s Land of the Blind, CJ’s Vampire Vacation, and JD’s Dark Heirloom) and I can’t wait to see the official copies in the stores.  All three of them have inspired me and my own writing is all the better because I met them.

 What do you think makes a great author? What authors grab your attention and keep you up late at night to read just one more chapter?

In the spirit of great authors, you have the chance to win a copy of A Cry in the Night by Mary Higgins Clark! Leave a comment on this post and subscribe to this blog to enter. This contest will run for two weeks and I'll announce the winner on my next post!


  1. Love the title of your post, BTW.
    Yeah, the underdogs are fun. I like to be surprised, and I do enjoy discovering new talent. One of the great benefits of being involved with so many wonderful writers, following blogs and attending classes is there are new authors I'm "meeting" every day. I'm enjoying James' Dance on Fire (now that I have my Kindle back). I'll read across genres if I like what the author says on an interview, or post. But my TBR pile is sure big. Now I worry I've promised more than I can deliver.

    On the spoonful of sex, well, I do like a full cup or two, and yes, that is a pun - and it can go both ways.

  2. I think I need a judge's ruling on that last paragraph!! On second thought, I think we'll just skip it. Lol!
    Good morning and thank you for the kind mention, Sharon. It makes my day.

  3. Sharon, my TBR pile is growing too. My problem is not have the funds to buy them all! Lately the only books I have read are the free author copies authors have been nice enough to send to me. Which is aweesome of course, but still not getting far into my TBR list.

    James, I'm going to look up your book that Sharon mentioned for sure! I have a gift card for Barnes and Noble so I hope I can find it there!

  4. Ana, thanks for the post. My wife and I don't read as much MHC as we used to, but those first few certainly got read rather quickly! I should probably take another look one day and see what she's up to. The books became a little too formula-driven there for a while, so we moved on. Thanks for the reminder.
    I will answer your last questions with my post on Friday. Take care.

  5. Thanks James. Formula driven huh? I haven't come across that yet, but then again, I might be biased since the first book of hers I read just captured me like no other LOL

    I am looking at your personal blog now! Mwahahah! Now I can stalk you hehehe

  6. Thanks, Ana. Good morning. It is at B & N under their e-book category. Thanks for your interest.

  7. Ana, that's so sweet of you to mention us. I also love, love, love C.J.'s writing. I'll have to get a hold of James' e-book as well. Perhaps all the Wicked Writers can just mail me a copy of their books? Hehe.

  8. Oh I would so love that too Jen! I found James' on B&N - maybe I'll buy you a copy too! Woot!

  9. Thanks for the kind mention - both Ana and J.D.! It is my sincerest hope that one day soon readers from everywhere will get to read it, not just the ones I've strong-armed (joking!).

    I'm thinking we should give e-copies for free to each other so we can write reviews for one another and boost sales. Ever the crafty one, that's me ;-)

  10. CJ - Of course I mentioned you! In fact, I read the first sex scene from VV to my husband the other day and even HE liked it (and he's like SUPER picky about what he reads - in fact in the four years we've been together, I've seen him read like maybe two books - both by James Patterson).

    Oh and CJ, you and Jen both know that if I read your work, you get an interview spot on my blog too! I think the review thing is a great idea! I'd need to learn how to give an actual book review though, but that's no biggie.

  11. I am also a huge Mary Higgins Clark fan. Last week at the VA, I picked up four of her works. The vets like her books.

    Mario Acevedo was an unknown when I first met him. Now he's a star.

    I met Brian Keene years ago. Unknown then. No more.

    Naomi Clarke is a talented writer I'm reading right now. She spins a good yarn. A little more press and she'll be on her way.

    I have been combing the various small presses looking for ' undiscovered talent ' , buying their works, and really enjoying a great, refreshing read. You have got a great point here, Anastasia: new writers will have to fill in the void left by retiring or dying writers. They are stepping up to the plate.

    And yes, there is much talent here. Get your novels out, good people. I want some great reads.

  12. And she's not kidding about the strong-arm part.

  13. Excellent post as always, Harley. And thanks for the mention. I'll have to send you a revamped version of "LotB" when I'm done.

    I haven't read MHC, but I love Eric Van Lustbader, C.J. Cherryh and Samuel Delaney. And, of course, the masters of the Golden Age of Science Fiction -- Asimov, Heinlein, Del Rey, Van Vogt, Doc Smith and Hubbard.

  14. Oh, I forgot Eric Van Lustbader - I love his books too. Do you think that is his real name?

  15. I'm trembling with excitement to read "LotB" again Greg!