So many books fall between the cracks – good books, books that seem like secret treasures to those few who actually find and read them. Sometimes the author only had one good story inside him to tell. Other times the sales just didn’t support offering a second book contract, and the author either changed names or left writing. Death, of course, takes good writers before we’re ready for them to go. We, as writers, never want to think of our work slipping into obscurity that way, but it happens. Lots of reasons for books to fall by the wayside (especially if the changes Faith spoke of yesterday continue.) It’s good for writers to read not only the bestsellers, but the obscure books as well. What did those writers do wrong, or not do at all? What did they do beautifully, and why didn’t it work for the majority of readers?
I scanned my own bookshelf for some of my favorites, and I found:
Frostflower and Thorn by Phyllis Ann Karr
(the first feminist fantasy I ever read, recommended by my first game master)
Harpy’s Flight by Megan Lindholm
(I still miss Ki and Vandien, Robin! Just so you know!)
Phaid the Gambler by Mick Farren
(a rambler and a gambler and a sweet-talkin’ ladies’ man – I love a good rogue!)
Soulsmith by Tom Dietz
(Contemporary fantasy before much of anyone else had even tried writing it – I still love the radio tarot reading)
Jane-Emily by Patricia Clapp
(this short, gothic novel scared the pants off me back in 7th grade, and to this day, I can’t look into a reflecting ball without getting the willies)
I love every single one of those, even though no one I’ve talked to seems to have heard of them. A dreadful shame, that. If you need something good to read, (and you’ve read all of our books already *grin*) try one of the titles above. In the meantime, I’m sure there are a few titles you love that I don’t know about. No longer must they suffer in silence – bring them out into the light! Tell us what books you love that no one around you has heard of or read. Why do you think they’re languishing now?
**Special bulletin!** Stay tuned to this blog for a fabulous guest appearance tomorrow by Alethea Kontis, Ingram Buyer by day, New York Times best-selling author by night!