Monday, January 04, 2010

Ten Writers for 2010

As 2010 opens not only a new year, but a new decade, it is time to do the Janus bit and look both backwards and forwards. Like most people, I have done this with my life, my career (largely sacrificed on the alter of motherhood, but still...) and with my reading. Since Pam’s Pages (my version at least) isn’t about quilts or time management, but is actually about reading and writing, here are two lists of authors. The first one is a group of writers who have, by and large, finished the body of their work. Some have passed, others are retired (or should be) but these are writers whose works I  read early in life, and have returned to frequently.

Five to look back upon:

Robert A. Heinlein— He’s known as a science fiction grand master, who wrote some great stories and novels, along with some real duds. Still, I have learned quite a bit from his thoughtful, humorous, and cautionary views of the future of man in the universe.
Peter O’ Donnell— I discovered this author while I was still in high school, at the local public library, as mom handed me a suggested volume, The Impossible Virgin. O’Donnell is far better than Fleming at writing the tongue in cheek British espionage yarn, and when he deals with technology he’s far more entertaining than Ludlum or Clancy. Oddly, he also wrote some gothic romance under a pen name, Madeline Brent.
Mary Stewart— Another writer that mom prompted me to read. While most of Stewart’s suspense stories are somewhat out of date, when I re-read her, I enjoy her delicious prose blended with suspense and a dash of romance. Readers of fantasy will enjoy her series on Merlin, which does not suffer from the passage of time, as is the case with her romantic suspense yarns.
Margaret Mitchell— I read Gone with the Wind in the eighth grade, under great pressure from mom. Once I finished, I asked for more Mitchell and was sorely disappointed. To this day, I wonder why did she only write one freakin’ book?
Janet Dailey— I’ve not read much romance, but I view Dailey as a great romance writer who ran out of material and committed the ultimate sin of plagiarism.

The second list is a group who are either beginning or mid-career, and who have great promise for the future. I quit reading the “best seller” list a decade back, so it is fitting to look at these newer writers who are not on any bestseller lists that I know of, but when any of them publishes a new book, I am eager to put it in my “to be read” stack.

Five to move forward with.

Elizabeth Bear— I enjoyed her fabulous debut novel, Hammered, and she is young enough to have a great career. The sequel is in my TBR stack.
Pauline Baird Jones— while I did not find her earlier works compelling, I have put The Key on my list of stuff to read again and again. This mostly ebook author has yet to be discovered by the big guys, but she has great writing ability.
Travis Taylor— I saw Dr. Taylor (and he does have a doctorate) on the History channel recently, discussing the future of weaponry. He is smart, authentic, and youthful, so he should also have to great career as a writer. He’s certainly got the energy, and since he has partnered with several writers, from John Ringo to Darrell Bain, he is certain to grow his craft.
Linnea Sinclair— She is one of the writers who managed to flit from ebook publisher to ebook publisher as that industry was just beginning, then managed to sell all of her old novels as well as some new books to a big time publisher. I have re-read her Accidental Goddess a couple of times, and it is available in mass market paperback, along with other titles, both new and recycled.
P.C. Cast— She began with a novel (Goddess by Mistake) published by Hawk Publishing. I lost my copy (original edition, with the original cover art) and have not replaced it; I apologize for not doing enough homework before I wrote about her publishing history. Hopefully, this update and Cast's comment below will clarify which publishers do carry her current offerings.

Some of my favorite writers didn’t make either list, but happily many of them are mid-career and reasonably successful. As you readers make your New Year's resolutions, perhaps you will resolve to read off the beaten path. My Ten for 2010 list of authors is a place to begin looking for something different, whether you look backwards or forwards.

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At Jan 4, 2010, 11:11:00 AM, Blogger Pauline B Jones said...

Hi, Pam! It was so cool to get my google alerts and find this lovely mention of me and The Key! I thought Mondays were doomed to be awful! Thank you for making my day!

Pauline Baird Jones
The Key
Girl Gone Nova, 4/2010

P.S. Totally understand about the spammers. Got hit by them, too!

At Jan 4, 2010, 11:21:00 AM, Blogger Pamela J. Dodd said...

I loved The Key. You'll have to tell me about "Girl Gone Nova" sometime. That's quite a title.

At Jan 4, 2010, 3:18:00 PM, Blogger Pauline B Jones said...

I'm getting some really great feedback on Girl Gone Nova from my early readers. I'm pretty excited to have it releasing this year. It picks up two years after The Key and features some new characters and some from the The Key. It is stand alone, though I think reading The Key will enhance the fun. I hope!

thank you so much! Mary Stewart is also a favorite of mine. Will have to check out the others on your list (except for Linnea, whose books I also love!)

At Jan 4, 2010, 8:50:00 PM, Blogger PC Cast said...

Hi Pam,
I appreciate your support of my work, but it's important to note that I was never self published. The first book I had published, GODDESS BY MISTAKE, was released by a small press, which is absolutely not self-publishing. My other novels have been released by New York houses: Berkley, St. Martin's Press, and Harlequin.

All the best,
PC Cast


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