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Publishing News: Linda Howard admits health condition affects writing voice

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8/15/2010 to 8/28/2010. Collision Course by K.A. Mitchell

(Let us know in the comments if we have missed any specials)

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Linda Howard writes that a health issue has changed her voice and she’s struggling to return to the voice she had prior to her health issues.   She says she posted, not in response to negative reviews, but in response to a young woman who asked her why her voice has changed since 2005.

This is such an interesting post and I’ve received a number of varied responses via email.   Would love to hear your thoughts.

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Sony may be announcing new readers this coming week.   Google Editions may finally launch.   There are also rumors that the new Apple iTouch with camera and Retina 4 display will be announced within the week.

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Simon & Schuster is reorganizing into teams (paid link):

Each team will comprise approximately two editors, two publicists and a marketing specialist. Karp writes that the teams “will propose, develop, and execute their own publicity and marketing plans, from the moment of acquisition through paperback publication, in consultation with associate publisher Aileen Boyle and me.”

I don’t know what this will mean for the Pocket imprint.   Maybe nothing.

Dilbert.com

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There appears to be a lot of confusion about whether publisher Dorchester will be a digital first publisher or a digital only with select print in the future.

Carrie Lofty pointed out a couple of Dilbert cartoons which make me wonder if Scott Adams has friends who publish at Dorchester:

Dilbert.com

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Michelle Styles blogged a bit about the PAN retreat. The news from RWA can be viewed as gloomy or exciting. Digital books are 8.4% of the entire trade (fiction) market and romance accounts for about 13%. Unfortunately, the speaker at the PAN retreat reinforced what I think is a false statement about ebook buyers:

The big problem for publishers is that there is currently no mechanism that allows the consumer to browse in the same way as they can in a bookstore. The consumer can not be caught by a random book on the shelf above the author they were looking for example.

I’m not entirely sure what browsing is, but if it is looking at books you didn’t intend to buy, what about the “new releases” lists or the “bestseller lists” or the “recommended for you” lists or the “other readers bought this book” lists or your goodreads’ friends updates and so forth? Yes, digital browsing may be different but the idea that digital purchasers aren’t browsing is a falsity, in my opinion.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

41 Comments

  1. Castiron
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 10:21:33

    It’s like the mourning for the replacement of library card catalogs with electronic catalogs, because that’d end serendipitously running across something interesting. But when I’m searching for a book in my library’s electronic catalog, the catalog will return authors or titles in the same part of the alphabet as well as the one I’m looking for, so I still do run across interesting-sounding books that I wasn’t actively looking for. No reason why you couldn’t have that in an online bookshop too.

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  2. Devon
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 10:32:23

    re: Linda Howard. Going through a cancer crisis, I can totally understand how that would affect her voice and creativity. For what it’s worth, menopause can also do a number on creativity and writing style. Maybe that would explain–in part–why many of the older writers we used to love have dried up creatively?

    didigtal browsing: I agree, it’s bull. Every time I’m on Amazon or elsewhere, I’m bombarded by recs. Occasionally, something catches my eye that I otherwise would not have known about.

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  3. Sandy James
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 10:40:57

    RE: Linda Howard

    First — Get well soon, Linda!

    Second — As an author, I struggled with the decision of whether or not to reveal that I am a lupus patient. When I was first diagnosed, I didn’t let too many people outside my family know, not even my students. But as time went on, I realized that having this disease is part of who I am. I also discovered that by sharing my battle with people, I found a new support system. I try not to dwell on it, but I also don’t hide it anymore, mostly because it affects my life so profoundly. And Linda is 110% correct — having an illness DOES affect an author’s voice. I know she’ll find hers again. :)

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  4. Zoe Archer
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 10:50:00

    I think Lou Aronica did mention those facets of online “browsing,” but he felt that the experience was not comparable to the in-store browsing experience, and was considerably more limited. I don’t know if I agree with that statement, but he did mention those online options, particularly at Amazon.

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  5. Mireya
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 11:03:08

    I can’t give an opinion about an author’s voice being affected by health, and I am not familiar with Linda Howard’s work, as I don’t like suspense (romantic or otherwise). However, I can understand how health issues can affect the writing voice in an author. It’s not just the creativity aspect, it is also the energy level, which can be seriously affected negatively by medication effect, as well as the motivation to actually sit down and write, not only because energy can be affected by medications/treatment side effects, but also the fact that probably the individual’s mind is somewhere else.

    Regarding digital browsing, I have been “browsing” online ever since I started reading romance. I started reading romance in early 2003, when I first discovered erotic romance. How did I discover erotic romance? I was browsing for reading material (print) online, in Amazon, looking specifically for erotica. I was sick, and I couldn’t get to my bookstore, so I wasn’t even looking for ebooks, but rather print books to be delivered to my house. The only two differences I can think of about browsing online vs. browsing in a bookstore are: (1) online, I can not hold the actual book, and (2) online I don’t get that great feeling of being surrounded by books, of looking around and seeing books everywhere, and which I am sure all of you avid readers share with me. Other than that, online I look at the cover, I read the blurb, and to add two extra layers: I immediately look for an author’s webpage and I look for reader reviews , neither of which I can do on a brick and mortar bookstore unless I am carrying with me a device capable of wirelessly connecting to the internet. I follow the same process when browsing for ebooks. So, to me, digital browsing does not only involve ebooks, it involves print purchases as well. Seriously, that person does not seem to browse online for any reading material at all.

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  6. jen armintrout
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 12:12:37

    Until Linda Howard’s post, I never really thought about it, but she’s right. I started my career in 2004, and since then I have developed a chronic pain condition. Numerous different pain killers and a surgery later, I’m really hard on myself for what I perceive to be “lazy” or “stupid” writing. I never thought that my health might be causing it.

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  7. Joanne
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 12:27:10

    Good for Linda Howard for sharing something about her personal life only when she was ready to do so. I wish her well and can’t thank her enough for all the hours of enjoyment I have gotten from her books.

    There are readers who won’t care about an author’s health and others who will offer support and even more readers who will continue to buy that author’s books and be grateful that he or she isn’t writing the same book over and over again. Linda Howard has a different voice? I can’t say I noticed that.

    Ebook browsing? God if I could only get back the hours I have spent looking at new ebooks. Much better then bending my head sideways to see the title/author in a brick and mortar store.

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  8. Ridley
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 12:29:00

    It’s not too hard to imagine health issues changing your writing. I don’t know what her issue is, nor have I ever read her work, but health problems tie into our sense of self, our ability to relate to others and alter the ways we think. If she doesn’t see herself as “normal,” it’s probably hard to write natural characters who reflect the average. She may be trying so hard to keep her inner struggles and insights out of her writing that she’s hamstringing herself.

    In my case, my inability to handwrite things now has made long composition all but impossible. I always wrote outlines, notes and rough first drafts out by hand in notebooks. Now that I can’t do that, I find it a major challenge to write anything substantial. I just can’t seem to make my brain adapt to the new reality. It needs to see my hands write things out and hear the pen or pencil skritching on the paper. So, now I spend a lot of time staring at the blank white screen of a word processor.

    The mind works in mysterious ways.

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  9. John
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 12:33:10

    While I have not read any Linda Howard yet, I have Cry No More on my TBR shelf – and I know it’s one in her better stages.

    That being said, I totally get what she means. While I’m not a professional writer (yet), feeling sick, tired, or depressed does not help me creatively. Some people work fine when that happens, but between ill health and medication, I doubt many work well. It’s good that she’s starting to get more comfortable, and hopefully will return to her older style as much as she can. Hoping it gets better!

    I also agree with the online browsing ideas. I’ve found a lot of paper books through online browsing. At least online I can get a big selection and make a list for my next bookstore trip. It isn’t the same as being in a store, but it works.

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  10. Sandy James
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 12:43:21

    @John:

    “…feeling sick, tired, or depressed does not help me creatively.”

    Absolutely right! Linda has thyroid problems, having swung from too low to too high. Thyroid affects every single aspect of a person’s life. You’re exhausted and sluggish to the point of barely functioning when you’re hypothyroid. You have trouble sleeping, concentrating, even just sitting still when hyperthyroid. She’d be feeling all the things you describe. I consider her courageous for how hard she still works despite her illness.

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  11. MaryK
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 14:05:48

    “Linda Howard writes that a health issue has changed her voice”

    Bummer. You know I was wondering the other day if she might have some personal problem interfering with her writing. Some authors make a deliberate switch to another genre, but that didn’t really seem to be the case with LH.

    I think Joan Wolf initially stopped writing because of an illness. A couple of years ago I developed a wacky kind of arthritis and just about everything about me has changed; I can imagine what kind of difficulties and heartache that would cause an author.

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  12. MaryK
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 14:16:17

    IMO, most of the people who like to talk about ebook buyers have no clue about ebook buyers. Maybe publishing should hire some people who actually read ebooks.

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  13. vivian Arend
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 14:18:40

    As for the ebook browsing? Tons of time spent (resulting in tons of $$)

    And Joanne made me LOL at this:

    I can picture the last time I was in a brick and mortar store, watching everyone wander with their heads tilted to the side.

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  14. MaryK
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 14:57:09

    @Zoe Archer: I know I’m not an average book browser because I must research books before I’ll pay full price for them. But in terms of just books catching the eye this:

    the experience was not comparable to the in-store browsing experience, and was considerably more limited.

    seems wrong. Bookstore browsing is strictly limited by the finite number of books the store has actually put on the shelves. Online browsing is limited by .. nothing, really, except the amount of time you spend doing it.

    If I bought only books that caught my eye in a physical bookstore, I never would’ve read Nalini Singh’s Angel series, Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews. I never would’ve branched out into Urban Fantasy at all really. Because I never had a reason to browse that section.

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  15. Zoe Archer
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 15:53:01

    @MaryK: Sorry–I didn’t make that comment clear: I was paraphrasing Lou Aronica. His statements about online browsing being more limited than brick=and-mortar browsing are not my opinions. I like online browsing for the sheer volume of titles available, versus the very limited amount of shelf space at a brick-and-mortar store.

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  16. DS
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 16:04:53

    Not disputing LH’s statements about how her thyroid levels affect her ability to function, but this called to mind a discussion I had a few weeks ago with a doctor. He insisted that once one starts Synthroid and the levels were within a range of normal, that there should be no additional symptoms. I suspected he was wrong, at least in the case we were discussing.

    I did wonder if LH’s writing issues were related to her age and the length of time she had been writing. I believe she turned 60 this year and as much as I don’t want to think of that as old– I’m not so far behind– there are times when one gets tired of doing things that even one likes and can do with ease.

    Ever so often I wonder about LaVyrle Spencer who retired in her mid 50′s at pretty much the top of her game. Does she ever look back with regret or is it with relief?

    As for browsing for ebooks– I used to adore physical bookstores, not so much any more. My loss of interest began when I injured a knee and had problems with both standing and bending the knee to look at the bottom two shelves. A friend mentioned the other day while browsing that she rarely finds anything in bookstores she wants to read that she has not already bought online.

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  17. Jia
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 16:07:17

    I can definitely believe that an author’s health affects their writing and their voice. When I was younger, I was a big fan of Melanie Rawn and there was a period of several years where I was waiting for her to finish her Exiles trilogy. I think about 10 years passed, maybe more, with no books coming out from her.

    She recently started writing again and I learned that she’d been battling depression during that time period of silence. The books she’s writing now are nothing like the books she wrote back then and I’ve accepted that the Exiles trilogy is probably never going to be finished since depression does do a number on you. And now that she’s treating the depression, the person she is now is not the person she was then.

    I do regret that the trilogy will never be finished, but an author’s health is much more important.

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  18. MaryK
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 16:17:29

    @Zoe Archer: Oh, I’m the one who didn’t make it clear. I knew it was a quote. I should’ve pulled more text in to show who said it. Sorry.

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  19. Jennifer Estep
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 16:21:59

    Divorce, health issues, a death in the family, taking care of elderly parents … there are tons of things that can affect an author’s voice. Authors aren’t immune from the stresses of everyday life. You just never know what might be going on in someone’s personal life.

    I browse on Amazon all the time, but I have to admit that I still like going to the bookstore and wandering up and down the aisles much better. I like holding the books in my hands, seeing the covers, and being able to flip through and read a few pages. Yeah, you can all that stuff online, but it’s not quite the same to me.

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  20. Lori Devoti
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 16:38:06

    I think what Lou was talking about is the (for lack of a better term) unguided browsing. I browse at ebook stores too, but there is always something routing me from one book to another, some list or recommendation. There is almost always some unseen hand nudging me along.
    In a bookstore I’m as likely (once I’m past the paid placement shelves) to pick up a book by an author who got zero support from her publisher (or at least just enough to get her on the shelf) as one who got a ton. The odds of me stumbling across such an author on Amazon or B&N isn’t as likely.
    Can you even shop by genre and alphabetical list of author name? Once you click “romance” isn’t it always then in order of “bestselling” or some other online store decider?
    Now on the plus side, you get authors at online stores whose publishers don’t get them widespread distribution in bricks and mortar stores. I like that.
    Things change. It will be good for some and not so good for others.

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  21. Mary D
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 16:41:52

    Well, of course chronic illness affects Linda Howard’s writing voice! I have a chronic condition myself, and while it is different, I can easily relate. I do a lot of brainstorming and technical writing in my job, and my ability to generate new ideas and to write coherently are the first things that are affected when my illness flares up.

    Pain is the obvious problem, that can distract you. But there are so many other things. Painkillers take pain away but make me feel “high”, either dizzy or feeling like I drank too much coffee, and unable to focus on anything more than a couple of minutes at a time. Then there is fatigue and loss of energy, that are the price of dealing with your body’s behavior which is no longer normal; and then there are all kinds of difficult emotions that come out at most inconvenient moments.

    And this reminds me of something else. Since I fell ill, I can no longer stand many stoic romance heroes who deal with impossible pain and, at worst, snarl at their servants who joyfully tolerate that. While I know there are people who achieved amazing things despite disability, many of those heroes now seem fake to me. They still seem to possess boundless energy, and never seem to experience the daily drain of dealing with pain. They may moan about being useless, but make themselves supremely capable and never seem to have to deal with drawn-out and ever changing process of accepting your limitations, dealing with often unpredictable body responses, and carefully planning ahead and listening to your body, because you can no longer do everything you want. Maybe it is just me, but they make me mad, because they seem to be inhumanely powerful and not burdened by small and large losses that come with permanent injury and pain.

    I say it as someone who leads as full life as possible – friends, job, hobbies. So I know that there is happiness even with chronic illness. But, at least for me, it comes with daily, ongoing struggle to keep it all under control, and the seeming superpower of those wounded heroes does not make me inspired – just depressed and frustrated that I could never be like that.

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  22. Carin
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 17:55:21

    Bookstore vs. online browsing: One of the things I thought of was that in a bookstore I shop by the spine of the book – that’s what catches my eye. Then the title, if I lean in.

    Online, I shop by cover. I also shop by bestseller, best reviews, popular this week, etc. Online, there’s also the benefit of reading a review, being interested in the book and buying it in one minute or less. (Ok, I’ll admit, it’s rarely less than a minute, as I compare prices, too.) Since I started buying books online, I’m buying more books than I used to. Part of that is the endless temptation. The online bookstore is ALWAYS there for me to browse.

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  23. DS
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 18:21:35

    @Lori Devoti: “Can you even shop by genre and alphabetical list of author name? Once you click “romance” isn't it always then in order of “bestselling” or some other online store decider?”

    Oh yeah. Using advanced search on Amazon allows all kinds of ways to search including keywords, genre, publisher and even reader tags. I will just browse around looking for books that look interesting. When it comes to B&M bookstores I’ll often go home and read reviews before I buy a book unless it’s on sale or I have a coupon.

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  24. sallah
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 19:19:07

    disconnected… thats what LH said she felt at times with her writing and thats exactly the problem I had with several of her books lately… Like Cover Of Night, it seemed more like a primer on survivalist and back country training, with no real connection to the characters themselves… Good technique, but real heart and emotion (which her older books had tons of)….

    I hope she can reconnect, because when she is on, she is AWESOME… Open Season, After the Night, Mr Perfect, all keeper books of mine (and I don’t keep a book if I don’t reread it at least once a year)…

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  25. meoskop
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 19:19:17

    There have been writers whose books took a sharp drop toward the end of their lives or changed in tone with life changes. This is a complex issue for me, because I’ve had serious problems with LH’s books recently and they are not the kind of problems a health issue causes.

    So to LH the person, I wish all the best (as with anyone ill)

    To any author with an illness, it’s beside the point for me. I know a large % or readers will then say that person is above criticism or that concessions must be made (seen it before) but $ for product is not about anything but is the product worth my $.

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  26. MaryK
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 19:44:07

    There’s always a balancing act between “book as product” and “book as art.” With this issue, I tend to fall on the “book as art” side of the fence and will probably still buy (in paperback) out of loyalty to the artist.

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  27. Mezza
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 20:16:57

    I browse through book blogs like this, as much as looking through the catalogues on e-bookstores. In fact that blogs give me a good sesne of authors I will like and books coming out to look for. The promo threads for new books or reading now always give me something to try. The only thing that gets me cranky with e-bookstores is if I can’t read an excerpt, because when I pick up a book I want a sense of the writer’s voice. Most provide this so there isn’t an issue really.

    I too have chronic illness and I just want to second and third the many insightful comments made above about how it messes with your head.

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  28. Suze
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 22:57:46

    I’ve had my Sony e-reader for just over a year, and I’m starting to get used to on-line browsing, but it’s definitely different from in-store browsing. Add in the crazy pricing and geographic restrictions, and it’s even more different. When I browsed in a bookstore, I’d buy. When I browse on-line, I consider, and often forget about a particular book by the time I get through all the links. I definitely buy fewer books now.

    On voice change: I was on Synthroid for 10 years, and have been off it for about 12 years. I’m a rarity in that I didn’t have any problems coming off it, but I continue to struggle with depression and apathy and lack of creativity and drive. And excess facial hair, god damn it. Freaking hormones.

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  29. cate
    Aug 16, 2010 @ 02:06:24

    Re :- Linda Howard.
    Of course chronic illness affects creativity. It affects
    every aspect of your previously normal life.
    From a professional point of view, I would have to say.Stop,
    give yourself time to recouperate. Your voice will return
    when your body heals.And, even though the last few books have
    been erratic & patchy by LH’s standard. I will continue
    to buy,because when LH is on form.She is an outstanding
    author of romantic suspense.
    Good luck,& get well soon
    As for onling browsing – yes I do it, but there isn’t the
    satisfaction,or the delight that I experiance when I’m
    mooching around a bookshop.
    And Amazon certainly would’nt’ve recommended
    the book that has become my stand out of the year
    so far. That one, I spotted in a bookshop, & was so
    delighted by the title( The Guernsey Literary and
    Potato Peel Pie Society) that I bought it…..what
    a joy !!! Best romance of the year for me.
    So, the bookshops still have the edge for me
    (I know,Iknow….I’m a luddite!)

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  30. Mary D
    Aug 16, 2010 @ 04:21:47

    @Cate: LHs health problems are chronic . She will not recover (and as someone with a chronic condition, I can tell you that hearing “get well soon” hurts).

    She can learn to live better with it, that’s for sure. After some time one can arrive at a point where things are reasonably managed, and you can do work to your usual standard. If you are lucky, it’s a few months. If you are unlucky, it’s years. If you are really unlucky, it never happens and then you have to change your expectations and change careers.

    The challenge is what to do in the meantime. I admit, I am not likely to pay money for books that I don’t like, no matter what the underlying reason. So producing below-standard work will lose readers. And yet, study after study shows that people who stop work because of chronic illness tend not to come back. Those who persevere typically do better. I was lucky because my skills were valued and my boss and coworkers were patient while I got myself together. Unfortunately for LH, her work is on more public display, with more long-term consequences. It’s very hard to judge what is the best in such situation.

    I think if LH felt the need to keep going, she probably should, and hope that even not-so-good books help her keep some of her writing skills current, and then she gets better reviews and readers who come back once things have settled and she can go back to her previous voice, or, rather, to a new voice that has the creativity that readers like.

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  31. DS
    Aug 16, 2010 @ 06:10:23

    I stopped reading LH’s books before her thyroid went into overdrive and for reasons both technical and philosophical. However, I also assume that she had contractual obligations to her publisher that she had to meet.

    Also, I agree about the value of keeping at the job.

    Having looked at how her last few books were received by readers, I do wonder why someone along the path to publication hadn’t tried to put some effort into fixing some of the issues.

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  32. BH
    Aug 16, 2010 @ 11:58:47

    @Devon: From what I read, I don't believe LH had thyroid cancer, but hypo turned to hyperthyroidism with removal in 05. It was LJ who had her thyroid removed in 2007 due to cancer. It's the 6th comment down so please correct me if I'm wrong in interpreting it as LJ writing it. The FB article is confusing with both of their names attached to the comments without saying whose doing the replying. I can totally sympathize how thyroid issues can mess up everyday functioning. I haven't read any LH books, so I don't know how its impacted her writing. I hope she can cope and adjust.

    As for ebook shopping. I get ‘caught' with way too many random books and blow my budget every month. It's easier to go online, get recs, and hit the ebook stores hard. I'm limited in bookstores as to what's on the shelf. I can't glombuy an out of print backlist there.

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  33. Monday Morning Stepback: Hasty, rambling and ill advised edition « Read React Review
    Aug 16, 2010 @ 12:33:25

    [...] I first learned of this through this discussion at Book Lovers Message Board, and then Jane at Dear Author posted about [...]

  34. Kathleen O'Reilly
    Aug 16, 2010 @ 13:48:59

    I think the mentality of browsing has changed via online vs bricks & Mortar, and that might be causing some of the issues. For instance, the importance of the cover. In bookstores, it’s probably number two after placement, but in online browsing, where does the cover rate? It seems like in online browsing (at least for me) author names, targeted searches, and recommends will get me most times versus cover. And also, there was an article a few days ago about how people are more inclined to buy when they touch a physical product, as opposed to not picking it up. I would be curious if there is some sort of “touch” equivalent for online. Reading a sample? I don’t know.

    And as an aside, I can say that sometimes a really obnoxious recommended for you (that guides me away from where I want to be) can annoy me.

    I think my preferred way of buying online is hearing recs from my friends or browsing the review sites whose taste match my own.

    Would be interesting for Amazon or B&N online or some other to start having author or celeb recommends list. I always love when they put an author’s recommended reading list in the post. It’s sort of fun to see what other people are reading.

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  35. Jennifer
    Aug 16, 2010 @ 15:28:15

    @DS:

    The only internal comment I had with regard to Linda Howard’s admission/illness is to wonder why her publisher/editor didn’t make adjustments with respect to format, etc. Howard maintained a book-a-year schedule, and she continued to publish in the expensive hardback format. And yet the author acknowledged that her work wasn’t her best during the years when she was struggling the most (although it was the best she could produce at that time).

    If Howard herself noticed that her books were not up to her standards, surely her editor noticed it, too. And certainly the fans noticed it — I can’t go to ANY message board on which her name is mentioned without reading posts about how people have given up on her in the last several years.

    Perhaps she wouldn’t have lost readers or inspired so many “I don’t enjoy her books anymore posts” if she had switched to a less expensive format while her writing product was, by her own admission, not her best. I do realize it’s neither here nor there at this point. It’s done. But that was the thought I’d had when I’d read about her health problems with respect to her writing.

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  36. MaryK
    Aug 16, 2010 @ 15:49:48

    @Jennifer: My understanding is that authors have very little control over format. (I think Nora Roberts has said she doesn’t have a say in hardback vs paperback?) Probably the marketing department wanted to ride the wave of LH’s popularity as long as possible.

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  37. mistressnonny
    Aug 16, 2010 @ 20:47:04

    @Jennifer:

    That wouldn’t be up to her. That would be the publisher’s decision. And, even if the book is not up to LH’s standards, if the editor passes it through, they’ll publish it with what they think people will buy — which is, in her case, hardcover.

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  38. KristieJ
    Aug 16, 2010 @ 22:04:16

    While I’ve enjoyed almost everything Ms. Howard has written, I have noticed a change in her writing.
    I’m just glad that she found out what wrong. Having had an overactive and then underactive thyroid myself, I do know that it really messes with you and if I forget to take my medication for more than 2 days in a row, I really notice the difference so I can imagine the frustration she has been going through trying to get it regulated.

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  39. HeatherHolland
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 04:35:37

    I can agree that illness and health affects writing. Medication can factor in as well. I go long periods of time where I just don’t feel like sitting down to work on it, or there’s no desire to write. Then it’ll suddenly pick back up for a while before it drops off again. I think it’s also made me view the things I write in a different way, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    As to the other. If not for online browsing, I’d be SOL when it came to finding new books by new authors. Why? Impatient husband and ADHD young child do not mix well with a book store. Add in my inability to stand or walk for long periods of time due to aforementioned health issues, and yeah, it makes it difficult. It’s not unusual to see me sitting in the floor at the bookstore just so I can see what’s on the lower shelves, then my husband having to drag me out of said floor because I have trouble getting up on my own. Then, on the days I have to be in my chair, you have the issue of things being beyond your level of sight and out of reach that hinders your browsing ability. Yes, I could ask for help, but if you can’t see what’s on the shelf, how can you ask to have it handed to you for a closer look?

    Online, none of that matters. I can kick back comfortably in bed or the recliner and browse at my leisure. And now with the Kindle app on my iPod Touch and on my Mac, my browsing abilities have gone one step further with the preview feature. I’ve found many new to me authors this way, and I’m trying books this way I wouldn’t have even noticed previously.

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  40. Mac
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 16:27:47

    @DS: He insisted that once one starts Synthroid and the levels were within a range of normal, that there should be no additional symptoms. I suspected he was wrong, at least in the case we were discussing.

    It is wrong, as a general statement. It’s true, some people just get better with the meds. Others, like me, don’t. I’ve been known hypothyroid for seven years and we only got that fully back under control a couple of years ago, only to find out that I now have more endocrine problems.

    For me, getting my levels as high as possible, but not going into hyperthyroidism was absolutely key. My TSH should be between 0.5 and 1, absolutely, as well as watching all the actual T3 and T4 levels. Also, we found that despite the numbers looking good, I needed added T3 to feel human again. T4 breaks down into T3 and is usually what people supplement (Levoxyl, Synthroid, etc.) Some of us need the extra kick, though.

    Like everything else medical, a one size fits all approach doesn’t really work.

    ReplyReply

  41. REVIEW: Shadow Woman by Linda Howard
    Jan 01, 2013 @ 12:04:10

    [...] Running Wild, your collaboration with Linda Winstead Jones, I felt perhaps you had gotten your writing mojo back.  While Running Wild wasn’t the Howard writing of pre Open Season, it was still an [...]

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