We’ve all got our favourite authors, right? I love the classics, Jane Austen, L.M. Montgomery, Georgette Heyer, for example.
About grade six I discovered Cherry Ames and Nancy Drew. My grandmother gave me all of Louisa May Alcott’s books. When I started reading category romance Essie Summers was a treat. I loved the way she led me through New Zealand, almost as though I were on a mountain road, climbing to the snow cap, then dipping down to a bay of blue-green water.
Agatha Christie, P.D. James, Elizabeth George and Mary Higgins Clark made my list of mystery authors.
But times change. I’ve out-grown Nancy Drew and I’ve read everything Georgette Heyer wrote, so, like all readers, I’m constantly on the look-out for a new-to-me favourite.
I love roaming the aisles of a book store, the old-fashioned kind, with a front door, paperbacks on the shelf and a knowledgeable clerk who seems to have read every volume in the shop. I’m tantalized by the cover, then the back blurb and finally by a few sample paragraphs. By the way, I’ve heard that as well as page one, a reader should read page 100, to see if the author is able to sustain the momentum of the story. I’ve used that little trick and saved myself a few dollars and a lot of disappointment. Still, there’s nothing like the look and feel of a brand, new book to lure me to a new author.
With e-books, it’s a lot harder. I can’t touch the books displayed on the screen. I can’t leaf through the pages and those tiny icons can’t compare to a full-size cover. And while my bookstore holds more volumes than I can properly peruse, the internet holds millions. How can I find my true love in such an avalanche? Here is where recommendations from trusted friends are helpful. Or reviews. Authors crave reviews nearly as much as they crave chocolate. In the ocean of books clamouring to be read, a review helps narrow the choice. If you read a book you love, encourage that author (and keep her writing) by posting a review
The recent Booksweeps event I was part of is another way of finding new-to-you authors. I hope everyone who participated found books they can read and enjoy. I hope one of those books is mine.
I checked out all the authors on the list and found a few I want to know better. Davalynne Spencer writes rollicking historical westerns with a good dose of bad guys in the mix. Shana Hatfield writes sweet westerns with lots of humour. If you want something with more spice, try Cynthia Woolf.
I discovered all these authors through the Booksweeps.
What about you? What’s your best tip for find a new author you love?
Leave a comment and your name is entered in the draw for a free copy of my e-book collection of Christmas short stories. Winner announced Nov. 1, 2017