Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous book prices
Or to take arms against a sea of banal writing
And by opposing end them. To buy, to read—
Heh, I’m too lazy to do the whole soliloquy. I’m sure you get the gist of it.
Anyway, Maili’s Romancing the Blog post today hits right at the heart of many of us biblioholics: Autobuy authors who have been struck off the list.
I have quite a few romance autobuy authors who have remained on my list ever since the first book of theirs that I read. Right now, they are:
Laura Kinsale (biiiig surprise there)
Loretta Chase (I know, another surprise)
Jennifer Crusie (the shocks keep on coming!)
Barbara Samuel/Ruth Wind (romance only, not women’s fiction)
All these authors (with the exception of Kinsale) have in their past written a couple of stinkers, but to date, their good stuff far, far outweighs the turkeys. Once an author makes the autobuy list, I can be quite preternaturally patient, and none of the authors on this list have tested my patience too much.
As many of you probably know, an autobuy author who broke my heart when she stopped writing romance novels is Patricia Gaffney. Pat, come baaaaaack! No, there’s nothing wrong with women’s fiction, but dammit, it’s not a genre I care for particularly, and as always, it’s all about ME and MY NEEDS. (Or at least, it should be, waaaaah!)
Anne Stuart and Lisa Kleypas are two autobuy authors who were knocked off the list for a period of time, then reinstated in a blaze of glory. When I first started reading them, they came out with a slew of brilliant books and got me hooked, but then somewhere down the road slipped into the Slough of Crappy Writing and wrote a streak of mediocre—or downright bad—books (Stuart when she switched from Avon to Zebra for her historicals, Kleypas with Somewhere You’ll Find Me and Because You’re Mine). They have since redeemed themselves (Where Dreams Begin, Shadow Lover), and while the quality is of their books can be quite uneven, I’m toughing it out because they’re still producing more good stories vs. bad ones.
Some authors that stopped being autobuy include:
Mary Jo Putney
Vicki Lewis Thompson
Susan Kay Law
I dropped Putney and Brockway not because the quality of their books became worse; it’s just that certain aspects of their work that never used to bother me (the rather modern tone, the tendency for Putney’s characters to engage in extremely modern talk therapy and self-analysis) starting bugging the shit out of me. It took me a long time to give them up, especially Putney; I gave up on her just this year, and really, there’s no guarantee that I’ll be able to resist temptation when I see a new release of hers at the library or at the bookstore.
The others became autobuys based on one or two books (or in McNaught’s case, four) that I really enjoyed, but I eventually realized that all the subsequent books of theirs that I read got nothing stronger from me than a big old “meh.” McNaught’s heroes also started blurring together for me; the only distinguishing feature about them was their eye color.
Who are your autobuy authors? Are there authors whose books you automatically buy even though you know they, well, suck, and have been sucking for all this age? (Yes, HelenKay, this is an invitation to come on out and ‘fess up in gory detail to your addiction for biscuit-lovin’ Texas Rangers.) Are there autobuy authors who have never—or almost never—disappointed you?