Last night on the Grammy’s L.L. repeated an interesting quote, “Never meet your heroes.” Otherwise they are sure to let you down. But what happens when we read a book and our expectations are crushed, or we find that that author whose books you love maybe isn’t what you would’ve expected.
For example, Richelle Mead recently released a press release about her new adult series. Check out the post here. The reaction on goodreads was mixed, and at times quite harsh, but not toward Mead’s new direction. It was mainly from reader’s disappoint about the endings of her previous two adult series. I see the ending to Shadow Heir as an opening for a spin off, but I can also understand how fans would have wanted a less open ended conclusion to the series. I haven’t had this experience with Mead’s work, but after reading Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series, I can empathize. The man totally shattered my ideas about love overcoming all. I was in a depressive state for months and to this day I am reluctant to read books by male authors. I just don’t believe they can get the love story right.
Last week I finished listening to WIld Thing by Josh Bazell, while it was a departure from his first book, more readers might be turned off by the overtly political tone of the sequel. I am not a fan of Fox News and found his fodder fascinating, but I can see how others will read it. The author let us know a little of him through his writing. Kind of ballsy, because most people will either love it or hate it.
One author who did disappoint me was Rachel Hawkins. I really liked her first book. What the first lacked in an overall series set up, she made up for in the sequel. Unfortunately this made the second installment drag a bit for me and made it hard for me to get into. Plus the nice romantic thread that began in the first was lacking in the second. But all these things are forgivable, I was still looking forward to Hawkins next book to hopefully correct itself and get back on track. No, the thing that totally turned me off about Rachel Hawkins was her twitter tirade against bloggers. I thought that was in poor taste, especially for an author signed to Disney.
I don’t think any author can be completely anonymous. They bleed through their work. As we the readers get to know an author’s style, personal views, or character flaws how does that change our enjoyment or color our perception of their work. Can we retain the fantasy if our heroes are revealed, or is the vision ruined?
What do you think?