Thoughtful Thursday: How Far Will You Go For An Author?

I noticed recently that bookish questions keep popping up while I am reading. I really wanted to have a space to express some of my thoughts and to get your thoughts on these questions too! I would like this to be a weekly segment, but we shall see how many questions I have. :)

I really want to encourage anyone stopping by to share your thoughts on the bookish question of the week. I am curious to hear what you have to say! There are no wrong answers, and these discussions are not meant to spark angry debates. Alright, so on to the question!

How far will you follow a favorite author out of your reading comfort zone?

Within the past year, I noticed that I read several YA/children's books, because I loved the authors' adult books. For example, I recently read Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School series) by Gail Carriger, because I loved her Parasol Protectorate series. I didn't even think about the fact that Carriger was writing for a different audience, I knew that I wanted to read this series, because the Finishing School series was set in the Parasol Protectorate universe, so I was going to see some of my favorite characters in this new series. Interestingly, Carriger has two fantasy short stories available that are not within this same universe, but I don't seem to be excited to read them. I like Carriger's writing style and the stories sound great, but I always find something else to read.

This pattern also seems to fit with my JK Rowling reading. I have reread the Harry Potter books multiple times. I have also read Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them, Quidditch through the Ages, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard. When it comes to The Casual Vacancy and The Cuckoo's Calling, however, I never seem to find the time to read them, even though they both sound interesting.

On the flip side, I have read books by Neil Gaiman that are considered children, YA, and adult literature and none of them are in the same book universe. It felt perfectly natural to go from reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane to Fortunately, the Milk. It didn't even cross my mind to think that I would not enjoy a children's book by Neil Gaiman. Additionally, I get excited when I discover that Neil Gaiman has penned an episode of Doctor Who that I am going to watch. At the same time, outside of The Sandman, I don't have a burning to desire to read his other work in graphic novels or to read his nonfiction work (BTW, he wrote a biography on Duran Duran).

I have some friends who LOVE certain authors and read everything by them. I definitely have authors that I love, but apparently my love tends to have certain limits. I seem willing to follow an author outside of a demographic (e.g., from adult to YA books), but I can't think of any authors (at least in this moment) that I have followed outside of his/her genre. Wow, writing this post has made me realize that I don't seem to want to make a leap of faith even with authors that I love. I wonder, if I have been disappointed in the past by this type of jump and now I am just blocking the memory out.

Wait a minute! I have made a leap of faith! There was a time in which I read a lot of Nora Roberts books (contemporary romance). Recently, I read Naked in Death, which is a SF-thriller romance, and liked it. Does this count? The books are all romances.

I guess I am a 'fraidy cat.

So, I pose this question to you! How far will you follow a favorite author out of your reading comfort zone? Will an author compel you to leave YA and try an adult book (or vice versa)? Will you leave SF&F for contemporary fiction if your favorite author is writing it? Have you made the leap of faith and have been pleasantly surprised? Have you made the leap of faith and decided not to leap again?

14 comments:

whyicantstopreading said...
November 21, 2013 at 4:22 AM

Oh - I think my answer to that question is...
I don't have a clue (oops).
I think it really differs from author to author. Let's take J.K. Rowling. I LOVED HP. I mean... LOVED it. The problem is, that they are so YA that I don't know if I can read The Casual Vacancy.
Whereas Jamie McGuire's first book I read was a straight up NA and I loved it, yet her other books are more paranormal and I am so looking forward to trying it out.
Where do I draw the line? I really have no idea. Maybe my problem with J.K. is that Harry Potter is such an institution.

Really interesting, thought provoking question.

Chene Sterckx said...
November 21, 2013 at 6:29 AM

Great Post Pamela :) I am pretty loyal, if I love an author I will probably try and read all their books! I haven't had any disappointments yet. A colleague read JK Rowlings Harry Potter books and obviously loved them. Then she tried The Casual Vacancy and The Cuckoo's calling and didn't enjoy either...

I look forward to your future posts on Thoughtful Thursdays!

Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.

kimbacaffeinate said...
November 21, 2013 at 9:47 AM

I tend to follow, although I have met with disappointment. For example Jones..whose Charlie Davidson series leaves me giddy, over-caffeinated, snarky and hot for Reyes..but her YA series, while not bad didn't do it for me. Now Seanen McGuire has a whole other series under the name Mira Grant..totally different voice and genre and I am love-struck by her writing! So yes I will follow, I might not stay but I am down to try.

Aleksandra said...
November 21, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Because I read & love almost every genre & for all ages, I will probably try all the books/series from my fav authors, but if I'll like them & how much depends on the stories themselves. The only exception is non-fiction, which I almost never read, and New Adult - I want to rant when it comes to this "genre", but I'll stop myself. Tried it, didn't like it a.k.a hated it, so yeah, thanks, but no thanks.

The perfect example is - Neil Gaiman. I'd read anything from him when it comes to fiction, and to be honest, I'd be interested in anything that he has contributed in, no matter if it's a book, movie, tv, game or something else. But, that's only because I adore the man & his imaginative mind, and I think he's brilliant, so mostly - Neil Gaiman is the exception.

As for the others, it depends. Some adult fiction authors had written amazing YA books, and vice versa, but some just can't do both, or can't deliver when it comes to different genres, it depends. So, I'll try them, but that doesn't mean I'd enjoy them all.

I am always excited about new books & series from my fav authors, no matter the genre, and as I said, I'll try them, and actually those authors that manage to capture me with their different stories again & again, those are the ones I know I'll return to again & again, and are some of my most fav authorss.

And since you mentioned JK Rowling, I have to say something, although it's off topic. I don't consider myself a JKR fan. I mean, I adore the HP books, and the world she created, and like you, I've read every book again & again, including the additional 3, and I know I will never get enough of them, and I think she's brilliant for creating that world & for writing them, but until I read her other books, I can't say I'm her fan, I'm just a fan of her Harry Potter series, but if I love her other books when I'll finally try them, then I will claim myself as her fan. Yeah, I'm weird like that :)

And there are some other examples like that:
- I loved Unwind by Neal Shusterman, but only after reading & thoroughly falling in love with his Skinjacker trilogy, too, I decided I'm his fan;
- I loved Cinda Williams Chima's Heir Chronicles, but I knew I'll read anything else she writes when I read the 1st Seven Realms book The Demon King, and now she's one of my fav fantasy authors;
- I've read lots of books by Gena Showalter, both adult & some YA, and I always have a blast when I'm reading them, so of course she's also one of my favs, and I'll try anything she writes;
- Laura Bickle - she has written 3 duologies so far: 2 adult (1 written as Alayna Williams) & 1 YA, and I loved all of them. They were all really different (even the 2 adult, even though both are UF, they're different), and of course The Hallowed Ones duo, which is post-apocalyptic horror, but what I love about them is her unique worlds & stories, so I can't wait to see what she comes up with next;
- and my last example: Seanan McGuire - I absolutely love her InCryptid series, the novels & the prequels, but I still haven't tried her October Daye books, or those written as Mira Grant, and until I do that, and of course if I love them, it depends if I'll become her fan, now I'm only fan of her InCryptid series.

And I can go on & on, sorry about the long comment, I tend to forget myself like that :)

Pabkins said...
November 22, 2013 at 1:37 PM

While I have favorite authors I will not read something that I have no interest in. For example I LOVE Kelley Armstrong and she wrote the urban fantasy series Women of the Otherworld series - so I of course read her YA series in the same world. But she always has a mystery detective type series called Nadia Stafford. I just have no real interest in reading those. So just because I love the author's work doesn't mean I'm going to read something that I have no true interest in. Is it probably good and worth ready - Yes I'm sure it is. But why am I going to pass up reading other books I'd much more rather read. If I forced myself to read something I had no true interest in then that to me would turn my reading experience into a chore.

I am in a book club and in that club I'm 'forced' to read titles that I would never otherwise pick up. That is how I get my dose of reading outside of my comfort zone and its only 1 book a month so I'm not opposed to it - I just know where I would rather spend my precious reading time.

Now if the author I love writes aimed at kids, YA or adult - I'll read anything written within my genres I love targeted at whatever audience. But I also consider my genres to be rather broad. I read SF, Fantasy, horror, some thriller/mystery occasionally. I went through a phase of that years ago where I read a handful of them. But ultimately they didn't hold my attention long. Oh yes and a very few contemporaries (usually in the YA genre for those). Other that

Nara said...
November 22, 2013 at 11:38 PM

Ooo interesting discussion!
I have to say that if it's an author I love, then yes, I probably will read all of their books. Then again, I'm a really really wide reader- I basically read every fictional genre except erotica: contemporary romance, paranormal, sci-fi, horror, dystopian, high fantasy, whatever, so it's not really going out of my comfort zone per se if I read other books in other genres (but yeah, I definitely draw the line at erotica. Just not my cup of tea.)

For example, I've read literally every single full length novel that Richelle Mead has written. Adult, YA, whatever. Read them all! Some of her adult ones were pretty racy, but I guess I was generally okay with it because I honestly just skipped past the really graphic parts lol.

Pamela D said...
November 23, 2013 at 10:08 PM

Isn't it interesting that we have a different line for different authors? I think you might be right about series institutions. Maybe once I fall in love with one author's institution, I am not willing to try something else by him/her.

Pamela D said...
November 23, 2013 at 10:13 PM

That is good that you haven't had any disappointments. I guess I need to be more adventurous! I am glad you like the segment. I will have to keep it going.

Pamela D said...
November 23, 2013 at 10:23 PM

I didn't mention Mira Grant/Seanen McGuire in my post, but she is another author that I have yet to jump genres with. I have read books by Grant, but I haven't read anything by McGuire yet. I have all the books, I just haven't made the time. At the same time, I wonder if I haven't made the time, because I am worried about a different voice and not liking it. I am glad to hear that you will follow. I think everyone's comments is giving me more confidence to take the leap.

Pamela D said...
November 23, 2013 at 10:55 PM

I am impressed that you have read all of Mead's full length novels! She has written a lot of books.

I agree with you about erotica. It is not my cup of tea either.

Pamela D said...
November 23, 2013 at 11:03 PM

I think I am in the same boat as you. As much as I love certain authors, I won't immediately read a book by him/her, if the book doesn't call to me.

Pamela D said...
November 23, 2013 at 11:28 PM

Thank you for all of your thoughts and opinions. I find it really fascinating to see how other folks feel about books and authors.

I like your point about being a HP fan, not a JK Rowling fan. I think that is an important distinction to make: series fan versus author fan. I don't think that is something that we, as readers, talk about a lot. It looks like based on your examples, however, you seem to like a lot of different things that your favorite authors write. :)

Jessica @ Books: A true story said...
November 24, 2013 at 12:06 AM

You know I tried genre switching with JK Rowling, and I didn’t enjoy either of her books. I liked Cuckoo’s Calling better than Casual Vacancy, but I think I’ll stick to genres I like no matter the author.

Pamela D said...
November 24, 2013 at 11:16 PM

I think a lot of us have been disappointed by favorite authors when they jump genres. It makes sense to stick to genres you like.

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