Saturday, September 13, 2014

Be Kind To Authors...They Are People Too.

Another new columnist for The Pink Heart Society is author Joss Wood, who is here today to talk to us about generosity of spirit. Can you forgive a favourite author for a book which didn't quite hit the mark? How many misses can they have before they leave your auto-buy list?

Hello from sunny South Africa where spring has arrived with a hop and a skip and already hot temperatures!

Like so many other authors I love reading and it absolutely feeds my soul. Last night I finished a book by an author I absolutely adore. I had been so looking forward to reading this book,  I loved every second of the hero's brother's book and this book was going to be as incredible...wasn't it?

(And no, I'm not going to tell you who the author was - that wouldn't be fair! Suffice to say that she is well known and generally writes amazing books!)

Oh, dear....I finished the last page, put my Kindle down and pulled a face. Ack. 

I felt all those emotions readers feel when the book just doesn't hit the spot. Disappointed, cheated, slightly annoyed. The book had such a good plot and so much more could've been made of the story. Except that it imploded like a cheese souffle. (Not that I have ever made a cheese souffle but I imagine that if I did, it would sink like a stone. Cooking is not a strong point of mine. Anyway, I digress...)

Then I took my reader hat off and pulled on my author hat and remembered that nobody can churn out thirty plus books and have them all be brilliant. Not even the fabulous Ms Still-Not-Telling-Ya! Nobody can hit that emotional sweet spot every time and there could've been a hundred reasons why this book wasn't as good as the rest.

As I write this I am also cognizant of the fact that this is my perception of the book, there are probably hundreds- thousands!- of people out there who adored this book and got exactly the emotional pay off I couldn't find.

But let's, for the sake of my argument, assume that it wasn't one of her better attempts.

Writing is not easy and it's especially not easy to write when you are sick, sick of dieting or you're dealing with teenage kids who make you want to chew your wrists off...oh, wait, that's me projecting again. But the reality is that we have no idea what is happening in an authors life when she's writing a particular everybody else, authors have issues and I believe that a creative person is always influenced by his environment. 

Maybe, I thought, this author was on a hectic deadline, maybe she was moving house or maybe she just didn't like these characters or this story as much as she loved others. 

That happens.

I know that we pay money for books and we expect value for our money and I am not, for one minute, saying that we should be accepting of badly written stories. This story wasn't bad, or badly written or not worth the just lacked a little sparkle. But, for all the other hours of sheer reading pleasure she's given me, I'll forgive her and let her off the hook.

Because maybe, if I do, the Karma Fairy will give me a pass when somebody feels disappointed by one of mine...

Are you a forgiving reader? Have you given up on an author you used to love? In the spirit of this post (not naming any names!), let us know what kept you turning the page or made you want to toss a book across the room...

Joss Wood's first book, She's So Over Him is available world-wide! 

He's back. He's insanely hot. He's absolutely the last person she should date.

Maddie Shaw is a part-time bartender with a never-get-involved attitude to dating and a flair for the perfectly served drink.

Yet when ex-boyfriend Cale Grant walks into her bar, a whole ten years after their massive bust-up, she's blown away all over again by his dark chocolate voice and deep blue eyes. So, just how over him is she?

To find out more about Joss, you can visit her website and follow her on Facebook or Twitter


  1. Hey ya J!

    I never give up on an author. No matter how many times I feel cheated or just generally disappointed, I believe in always trying again, yes the author might fail my expectations time after time but one day is one day he or she will hit the sweet spot again. They might be going through a tough time or just trying something new, just like us readers.

    The point is one cannot simply give up on them because they did not deliver what you are use to, support is the best thing you can give an author through bad and good books. For in life support is all anyone really asks for.

    Desere xx

  2. Interesting post Joss! And I am so with you on cheese souffles and teenagers! But enough of me me me! I have sometimes found that if I am reading a series I prefer some books of the series to others. Or sometimes I feel if an author is writing about the same set of characters I get annoyed if each book is too much the same. Having said that I don't think I ever give up on a series or an author I love! At worse they move down by TBR pile. Nina xx

  3. You know, I think a book series can be the trickiest in these situations. I say that even as I contemplate writing three different series myself! Usually there's one in the mix that doesn't grab you a much as the others, or one that really bowled yo over with its perfection. But I think that's perfectly fine. Different tastes are what make this industry so diverse and so much fun.