Girls Write Out
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Nobody Knows Anything is a famous quote by writer William Goldman.  It's about how in Hollywood, just like the publishing business, they don't know what will be successful.  Of course, they can take risks and use their educated backgrounds to guess, but ultimately, no one can tell you why "Shades of Grey" broke out over say, the tons of erotica garbage that's already on the market.

As a writer, that has been one of the hardest lessons for me.  I KNOW why the classics have stuck around.  I can see the storytelling capability, the beauty of words...often in today's bestsellers -- some with people's names on the covers who didn't even write the books -- I can't see why they're bestsellers.

That is frustrating for an author.  Why this one?  What am I missing?  Incidentally, I'm not envious because I feel like God has His plan and He decides ultimately, who will have success.  However, just from a learning standpoint, I get frustrated that I can't understand it.

Have you ever felt like that about a book?  There are books that I haven't liked, but I still see why they broke out.  Here's an example.  I loved "Her Fearful Symmetry" by Audrey Niffenegger, but I couldn't get through two chapters of her breakout book, "The Time Traveler's Wife."

Is there a bestseller that surprised you?  What about one that lived up to its hype for you?  (For me, that would be "Gone Girl" but I know Colleen didn't really care for it.)

posted at 12:49 PM  
  Comments (6)
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At 3:14 PM, Blogger Timothy Fish said...

One thing I know with certainty is that I don’t understand the mind of God.

At 10:43 PM, Blogger Barb said...

I thought the plot of Gone Girl was interesting but that it was just unnecessarily vulgar.

There have been books recommended by friends that have lived up to the hype. One that comes to mind is Hunting Eichmann, about the search for and apprehension of Adolf Eichmann. For a non-fiction book, it really flowed well.

At 11:14 PM, OpenID DiedIYZkspIL2gxc66Y9BMgR5.5WY89FSuY- said...

I'm having a hard time thinking of a bestseller that lived up to the hype. I'm just so happy to find someone else who couldn't stand The Time-Traveler's Wife. I managed to make it through the whole thing... slowly... and those are two days of my life I'll never get back.

At 8:52 AM, Blogger Scraproni Adventures of Single Woman said...

I'm not much for bestsellers but more for favourite authors. I find new favourite authors all the time a couple of years ago its was Julie Lessman, Candace Calvert, Love Inspired authors, then Kristen Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, Diann Hunt, Jenny B Jones and many others. If a story description and excerpt doesn't capture my attention then I'm not likely to read it.

At 10:58 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Tastes are so subjective. For instance, I have read Amish novels in the past and enjoyed them, but that's because the authors could write. Last week I tried to read an Amish novel sent to me by a publisher, and I complained so much about it that Mel asked why I was still reading. So I threw it away. Others apparently love it. You're right, Kris, I just don't get it, but that's why there are so many novelists--because there are so many different kinds of readers.

At 7:14 AM, Blogger Sandie said...

I can't think of a particular book right now, but I think it also depends on the person. What's happening at the time they pick up the book - in their personal lives and in the world around them. Also, their patience. I started reading a book the other day and I was having such a hard time getting through the first couple of chapters. I was confused. But I loved the author and kept at it. I ended up staying up late to finish the book because I was so into the story at that time. However, had I not persevered I would have given this book a poor rating. So I think part of what makes a book successful is the "atmosphere" at the time, what the world is needing or desiring. Of course it must be well written as well. :-)


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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