It’s autumn in the north. The season where everything dies- to loosely quote a friend. That made me laugh. And it’s true. So that has me thinking about change, change of seasons (spring down under- happy rebirth!) and also changes in wardrobe, changes in habits if you are associated with education, changes in what’s local and fresh at the supermarket. My favorite stew calls for butternut squash. Guess what we are having for dinner tonight!!
Not everything changes with the seasons, but most things change over time. Children grow up, parents grow old, hair greys, homes get repainted, trees grow larger, and sometimes our favorite authors change their style!! Ack!! What’s that? How could they??! But artistic change is good. Seriously. Artists are always developing their craft. Sometimes this means moving in a direction not everyone loves.
Earlier this week I was asked on FB what I love about a recent book by an author with a large backlist. This person preferred the author’s earlier works and was curious why I like the newer books. In the case of this author, I love the complexity her newer books have taken on. They are still gorgeously written romance novels, but they also have more depth, the characters have issues and feel even more real. These newer stories speak to me even more than the older ones.
Before I discovered WLW fiction I read a lot of Jude Deveraux. Then suddenly her books had ghosts and paranormal stuff and I clutched my old books and re-read those. She gained new readership, I’m sure, and more importantly, I hope she felt renewed and enriched in her craft. I’m still clutching my copy of The Duchess and re-reading it every now and then.
Karin Kallmaker, whose first book came out when I was still in college, is issuing a 25th anniversary edition of Painted Moon, one of my favorites of hers. Thankfully the changes to the edition are additional chapters in the characters’ lives. Painted Moon is a favorite, but so is Captain of Industry, written two decades after Painted Moon. Jackie and Leah appear in Captain of Industry, as do several other characters from earlier books. It is a fun exercise to read the books with the characters who have cameos in Captain of Industry in order of publication.
I love watching the growth of artists, whether I enjoy their newer work or not. Sometimes I prefer the new stuff, sometimes the old stuff, and sometimes every single book has something to adore.
I’ve changed as a reader. I’m more adventurous. I read books that have some adventure along with the romance. I recently listened again to Ladyfish by Andrea Bramhall. It’s a good romance with some thriller aspects to it. I was listening while painting and let’s just say there are few mistakes in the paint where I jumped when the bad guys appeared in the book.
New books I’m excited for:
Radclyffe Cost of Honor, because it’s the Honor series!
Georgia Beers One Walk in Winter, because I love her newer stuff even more than the old.
Lola Keeley Slammed, because her ballet novel was electric and I want to see what she does with tennis.
Anna Burke Compass Rose is not new, but I am working up to reading it. It is outside my usual genre and I have heard enough good things that I’m going to read it. Soon.
Whose work do you love? Who just keeps getting better and better in your opinion in terms of storytelling? Have your reading tastes changed over time?