Anyhoo. There's an author I greatly admire. She writes both erotic romance and regular romance under a different pseudonym. She didn't inspire the forthcoming post, but reactions to her work did.
So far, she has been almost unilaterally praised—at least that I've seen—for her unusual characters and unique scenarios. That praise is well-deserved, IMO. She's not afraid to go places others won't touch. But with her latest book, what I've suspected would happen finally has. The very thing she's been praised for is now a source of complaint. Not too shocking, as all writers realize that not everyone will like their work. It's a lesson hard-won early on. But I think it's...disturbing, maybe, to see the same level of offputtedness (yes, I made up a word) where once there was fervent passion. Maybe reading is kind of like a love affair. When it's good, it's SO good. When it goes bad, watch out!
From what I've seen of this author as a person, this won't change her. I think she'll still write the same way she always has. But I think it's so interesting that the very thing people love often becomes the same thing those people grow to dislike.
For one thing, her characters are usually edgy and real. Sometimes too edgy and real, for those who like their heroes and heroines a little less hard to understand. She takes chances. She “goes there.” Like mine, a lot of her characters proudly wear the quirky badge, usually because they're a mishmash of characteristics that don't go together in typical ways.
By contrast, Nora Roberts, another of my favorite writers, is too often accused lately of all her books “sounding the same.” To me, the experience one expects from reading a NR book is exactly WHY a reader goes back to her. Knowing the road Nora will take me down, even if the turns aren't as tricky as some other authors' choices, is one of the reasons I return to read her again and again. Yet I also like to be challenged, to never be sure what hat the author above will be wearing when I embark on reading one of her stories.
Do you like authors to challenge you by not being sure what angle they'll come at you next—or if they'll even pick an angle you'll enjoy? Or are your favorites your favorites precisely because you think you know what to expect?