I didn’t get to see Madonna’s performance last night-or watch the Superbowl, for that matter because, well, I’m lame and live in France where the Superbowl doesn’t air until after midnight and had to work early this morning:(
I hope all of my fellow Americans enjoyed their buffalo wings and jello shots and yelling at the tv screen. *sniff* I swear- you don’t know whatchya got ‘till it’s gone… *wipes away a tear*
Instead of enjoying Superbowl festivities, I was curled up with the latest book from one of my favorite RomCom authors. I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though her main characters are starting to meld together in my mind and share many of the same quirks and catch phrases- But the author didn’t fail to surprise me, make me laugh and even cry! (all great RomCom’s do, don’t they?)
Hearing about Madonna’s performance made me think about longevity. You always hear that when agents sign you on, they want to know you have more than one book in you- more than one idea. They wanna know you have what it takes to sustain a career in the ever-changing market place.
I have to admit, when dealing with an author who has published several books in the same genre, it’s hard not to compare the book you’re reading with their past work.
I know that there have been some romance authors who I enjoyed up until the third or fourth book and then my interest wavered. I felt like I was reading the same story over and over again- given in different settings with different characters. Thus the dangers of using ‘a formula’.
And it made me wonder- how to authors like Meg Cabot and…um...uh…(nope, she’ s the only example I can think of right now just because she’s written so many different books, in various genres and each one of them is SO unique. But please feel free to give me any other examples that come to mind) are able to make it in today’s market?
Is it their name (already established in a specific genre) that gives them the freedom to jump genres and explore ideas that really ‘speak’ to them? Are they setting the trends? Or following them? – (like, does their agent or editor say ‘Hey! There’s a demand for middle grade books about man-eating smurfs! How ‘bout you write it?’ )
Or is it a little of both?
What do you think plays a roll in an author’s long-term success?