SBD

So the post-election day-after-the-party let-down is coming along nicely. In the cold grey dawn of our collective Monday, everyone's still feeling scared of the economy and the terrists and health care and the future. Yup, fear fear fear. And since I'm someone who freaks about stuff like leaving my maze, I know from fear. I'm a Fear Expert, dudes. My advice? The usual stuff, like exercise. Letting go of the stuff you can't control, oh, jeez blah blah blah.

But really the best thing is escapist fiction. Srsly. Skip the news, go for the fluff. Or rather, no, no, we're grown ups here. Read the news but clutch that fluffy book in your other hand. Drugs and rage help too.

But I'm speaking of fluff and practicing what I preach. I've been reading Julia Quinn like she's going out of style. I"m punctuating it with some other stuff because I've missed heavy reading, too. But fluff, baby. And I'm also reading Edith Layton--and the contrast with Quinn is interesting. Layton's stuff, the earlier anyway, is meatier and the characters can be more complex. Her people come in a greater varieties. I wonder if that hurts her sales. When you pick up fluff, you expect predictability. You want to know that the writer will deliver the sort of book she always gives you. HEA is important but if you write light drawingroom banter, people aren't going to like it when you shift to battlefields.

Huh. For some reason, my SBD isn't turning out particularly profound this morning. Maybe I should go on about a particular book, but they're all sort of merging into a big blob at the moment. Okay then, I'll go for a message....I said it yesterday and I'll say it today. Edith Layton is underrated. Her descriptions are clever or even lovely; her people worth your time. Heroic but not dull or cardboard.

I haven't read her very latest stuff and I'm sort of scared to. I thought the series she got some acclaim for (the C series) wasn't as good and while I don't mind when some writers aren't up to their usual standard, when a Layton or Ivory or Kinsale doesn't deliver the excellent goods, the world rocks on its axis and I get scared. Eeek! So I ran away and haven't been back.

But then I started rereading a couple of her books and if I want her to keep writing--and by God, I do--I better get on the ball and grab her stuff.

You buy her books, too. Buy them new so she gets the money and stays in the business. If you get a chance to get her older stuff, buy it and clutch it tight to your fear-filled bosom. There, there, dear hush hush tweet tweet, nothing to fear....Ms. Layton is going to help entertain you.

Comments

  1. You've given me a fabulous idea about a blog! I've never read Edith Layton, but I have read nearly everything by Julia Quinn, though I've slacked off in the last couple of years. Oh, I still have the entire collection of books, but none have captured me quite like Dancing At Midnight. It is by far my favorite as I have favorites of Lisa Kleypas, and Teresa Medeiros and others. I don't write historical, but I love reading them. Eh, that's not true either. I have a couple of historicals plotted and a bit written on each, maybe... I find that the I prefer much of the older stuff of these authors and others more than their new stuff. Maybe it's cardboard characters when years ago they weren't so flat to me. I'm not sure, but I certainly appreciate the food for thought!

    ~lissa

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  2. oooo, that's a good point--that it's the reader who changes.

    The first time you encounter a stock character, say a sinister smoldering hero with deep dark secrets about how his mother hated him, you see him as an original. By the time you're on your tenth sinister hero and you've guessed correctly that his mother neglected him, it's all cardboard from there.

    I'm mostly sneering at the secondary characters that pop up all the time: the waspish old ladies with hearts of gold, stone-faced butlers who raise only an eye-brow to express strong emotion (Jeeves did it better, dude!), giggling pretty debutantes who don't have brains etc.

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  3. I've read Julia Quinn (and likes) but never read Edith Layton... Guess I'll just be adding her to my TBR pile ;) Thanks for sharing.

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  4. I definitely do think that readers change and have found that most of the authors I started out reading, haven't changed. You're right, too, that by the time you're on book 10 and you know the characters by heart, even though they have different names it kind of gets...boring.

    Susan Johnson comes to mind...she had me lock stock and barrel with the red leather dildo and the naughty things her heros did with jewels, but...I've read the same basic hero of hers in every book. I want a new one...

    ~lissa

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