I was eavesdropping at the grocery store the other day when I heard something very interesting. A man came through with a book by NY Times Bestselling Author. The cashier looked at it as she was scanning it and asked him if he'd read anything else by the author. He had. Granted, this is a very mundane conversation, but what surprised me most was when the customer commented that he liked the authors books because his style changes continually.

As writers we are told to define our voice, to create work that is recognizable. The customer was saying that he liked it when the writer mixed it up, chose a different genre (In this case they were suspense and what I would describe as women's fiction, not romance). He said that he got tired of authors who continually write the same book in a different setting.

Good point.

In a world of fast turn arounds, small shelf lives and Guerilla Marketing, the idea of changing your identity isn't something that is vastly promoted... And yet, here was a customer who liked it. Not everyone would, but for those who digest books like breakfast maybe there is something to be said for a little variety.

What do you think?

1 comment:

Nancy Liedel said...

Variety within a style is a good thing. Not all books should read alike. However, if you don't define your voice and have some knowledge of your personal style it will be hard to get a following and find editors who will work well with you.

No author should write cookie cutter works. Still, there are voices that come across in writing and we need to honor that voice.

I suspect what the reader meant was change from book to book without the loss of the voice.

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