Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Book Two Blues

MENTAL STATUS: "Worried." My daughter and I have kindergarten orientation today. It's only about an hour or so, but they have the children go through the motions of getting on the school bus and then taking a short trip around town in order to get used to the experience. I don't know how my daughter will react--but maybe I'm being too motherly.

Romancing the Blog's topic yesterday by Karen Gillespie talked about praise for the debut novel of a new author. Check it out. I couldn't have agreed more with it.

I love love LOVE getting my hands on an author's debut book. Not only are you getting a book that has probably entered a few contests, been scrutinized by critique partners, their agent and/or anyone with eyes, but you're getting an original plot and a fresh new voice to boot. This is the book that got them noticed by a publisher and/or agent. The BIG one. This book made them cross the line from wannabe to actual author.

Yay! All good, right? You'd think so, but what about the second novel? What happens when they go and release the second novel?

I can tell you what has been happening to me. I've been getting severely disappointed.

Ugh! I'm telling you it's the worst feeling in the world--next to morning sickness, that is.

I had specifically ordered a certain author's second book--a continuation of their wonderful debut book--to take with me to the Bahamas. I couldn't wait to open it. I almost forgot to breathe as I saw the Chapter One at the top of the page. Finally, after waiting a mere 12 months, I could see the characters I loved in another zany situation. This was going to be the cherry on top of a great vacation.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

The second book was... okay, but it felt forced and not nearly as clever. The characters weren't as likable to me anymore. I wondered about the plot. The author's voice didn't seem as crisp. And I found TWO minor grammar mistakes!


Needless to say, I had to ask myself, Why? Why didn't I like it as much as the first book? Why did that author rush through this second book? Why didn't someone tell the author this book could have been better? And why didn't someone at the publishing house proof read it better?


Well, I'll never have the answer to those questions. All I can say is since this is not the first time this has happened to me, I am now leery of "second" books. I guess I won't set my hopes up so high next time. I feel terrible about that, too.


Does it always have to be this way? No. There have been many authors who have never written a bad book (to me) or have a bomb with their third or even thirtieth book. But for some reason a disappointing second book surprises/frustrates/saddens/ me the most.

But maybe I'm just putting too much pressure on them.

1 comment:

Cynthia Brayden-Thomas said...

Kindergarten orientation! Yippee! You're that much closer to two and a half hours a day (at least) that are all yours! Enjoy it, Mommy. It's a wonderful thing.

Debut novels? I like them most when they're written by friends. :) That way, we can get excited for them and share the joy.

As a matter of fact, I can't wait until YOUR book debuts. :)