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Enuf Is Enuf

Dear Authors:

knife in the backI have a hard time quitting you. Even when your series goes south, I still keep buying. But right now, as of today, I am not going to be suckered out of my hard earned money. I am going to try to preserve my good memories and not buy that one next book. In the law, there is a golden rule in cross examination. You should never ask the one question too many. It's something you just to have a feel for. I am learning that skill with books, just like I did with the law. It's taken me several years and several bad turns in series to get me to this point, but I think I have finally got it. Ms. Harris, I am going to start with you. I read the reviews at Amazon.com and, oh, I know that perhaps they reveal too much of the plot and the story, but I am happy for it. It's helping me be strong.

You see, Ms. Harris, you just don't have a very long rope with me. When you killed off the husband of one of your heroines for no good reason other than because you could, you lost me. I didn't buy the next Roe Teagarden mystery even after having slavishly followed her for years. I hesitated for a long time in buying Dead After Dark because of your past but I did and I was glad that I did. I liked Bill and Sookie but I held back. You had this reputation and I didn't want to get too attached. I was glad that I hadn't fallen for Bill. I lived through the demonization of Bill in Book 3 of the Sookie Stackhouse series. I learned to like Eric, Alcide, and Sam. Now, it's time to quit you. Apparently you are doing more terrible stuff to Bill. Sookie has a new flavor of the month, Quinn. And she has gained a special new power: fairyness. It's over. I am going to remember the good times we had in the past and I am not going to sully those memories with any new books.

I know that you have the power to make us love characters and hate characters. To weep with them and exult with them. To long for them. But a reader's affections are not something with which you should toy lightly. We have long memories and we will hold it against you. Don't kill off a character just for the thrills of it (Sandra Brown). Don't take a character down a path that doesn't make any sense (Ms. Hamilton). Don't ruin our memories of a great love fought for and won (Megan McCafferty). Don't leave a genre that isn't selling well to write really terrible mysteries (Julie Garwood). Don't listen to Nike. Listen to me. Just Don't Do It.

Bitter, bitter regards,

Jane

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

14 Comments

  1. AngieW
    May 07, 2006 @ 18:05:45

    I haven’t heard much about the new Harris book, but the last one did give me the feeling that she was following in LKH’s footsteps, playing musical men, and I didn’t care for that.

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  2. Tilly Greene
    May 07, 2006 @ 18:08:45

    Here! Here! I wish I had the strength you have…but I just know I will be purchasing a copy of the next Stephanie Plum book and, if she ever writes one again, Kathleen E Woodiwiss. Although, I gave up on Harris in book 3 and never looked back.

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  3. Jorrie Spencer
    May 07, 2006 @ 18:32:39

    I did enjoy the first Sookie Stackhouse book. But I was inordinately fond of Sam and didn’t want to read more unless he became more important in Sookie’s life. Which doesn’t seem to have happened.

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  4. Keishon
    May 07, 2006 @ 19:07:35

    It is uncanny in that I was going to write a similar rant about authors killing off their characters and the why of it all just so that they can torture their readers. Dana Stabenow killed off a major character in her Katie Shugak series, a series I haven’t read and it’s still a toss up.

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  5. sybil
    May 07, 2006 @ 20:44:49

    ooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    damn damn damn, I shall quit her with you. Which sucks cuz I really liked sookie. I liked Bill too. Of course I use to read LKH as well. But the musical men, so not what I want to read.

    PICK one damn it.

    le sigh… I use to lurve her so much.

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  6. AAR Rachel
    May 07, 2006 @ 21:23:52

    See, I LOVED Bill the Vampire. So I quit the series at book 2 when they were still going strong, but I could see the Anita Blake writing on the wall. I didn’t trust Harris after the Aurora Teagarden nightmare. I still don’t trust her. Lately I’ve been rereading the Lily Bard series, which I do love, but I feel somewhat “safe” in doing so because she’s abandoned that series and Jack and Lily were safely together at the end of book 5. Still, if she came out with a new book for Lily, as much as I love the character, I’d have to read reviews and spoilers first. I just DO NOT trust Harris. She likes writing the soap opera. I also think she likes to write scenarios in which ALL male characters in a series want to get into the female protagonist’s pants. No matter what said female protagonist is like – frowsy, bitchy, odd, whatever – every man in a 50 mile radius wants her with the burning heat of a thousand suns.

    As for Hamilton, I got my (enormous) frustration with Anita out writing this. What a pointless ho-bag LKH turned her into.

    I share your pain and disappointment about Authors Gone Wrong. In fact, I’ve been toying with writing a small segment for AAR called “Know When to Fold ‘em” because I feel like lately I’ve been playing those cards too damn long and getting burned.

    I’d rather read no new books and still have my memories of Bill, Tatiana, Alexander, Marcus, Jessica, Anita, etc. left shining and stainless.

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  7. Jane
    May 07, 2006 @ 22:15:01

    Rachel – I feel that way about Harris too. That’s she living out some unfulfilled fantasy of being irresistible to every guy who walks the pages of the book. It gets irritating after a while. No one truly likes a character like that. I hate projecting an author’s personal life onto her writing (except for LKH because she has made her personal life soo public) but I can’t help but wonder if Harris didn’t get to date enough/sleep around enough so she is trying to make up for it in her books.

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  8. Jennifer
    May 08, 2006 @ 01:29:53

    My mother, being the impulsive sort, bought Sookie number one, loved it, and bought All the rest. And gave them to me.
    I read number one and thought it was cute (Everybody Loves Sookie!)
    But after book 2 the Everybody Loves Sookie-fest just got to me. I wonderef if it were just me because everyone I talked to loved these books (maybe they’d only read number one?)
    This thread is making me feel normal again. I can give my mother her books back.

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  9. jmc
    May 08, 2006 @ 08:50:16

    I’m not giving up on Harris yet, although she’s off my autobuy list, especially at hardback price. I wasn’t enchanted by Roe Teagarden’s husband: I thought he was kind of selfish and secretive in a lot of ways. I liked Robin originally, was sorry to see him disappear and glad to see his return to Roe’s life. Same with Bill the Vampire re: secretiveness. In fact, I kind of wondered at the appeal, beyond mental silence. Every time Harris wrote about his cold, sweet voice, I thought “ick”.

    The small amount of fairy blood that Sookie learns she has isn’t something that she acquires a la Anita Blake’s expanding repertoire and it doesn’t come with any power at all — rather, it seems to be an explanation for the attraction that she has for vampires. I got the impression from that and from other things that occur in Definitely Dead that Harris got the message that readers were irritated by the everybody loves Sookie situation, and was trying to write her way out of it.

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  10. May
    May 08, 2006 @ 09:26:39

    Yeah. I’m learning this the hard way too. I really just need to kick the Dark-Hunter habit and it’ll do wonders.

    I gave up on Harris after the first book.

    That said, killing off characters I love isn’t (or at least isn’t yet) a dealkiller for me.

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  11. Jane
    May 08, 2006 @ 09:40:58

    jmc – I may check into the library version but I just can’t see spending my money on this stuff.

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  12. Karen Scott
    May 08, 2006 @ 15:31:13

    As long as JD Robb doesn’t try to kill Roarke off in her In Death books, I’ll be happy.

    Patricia Cornwell tried to kill off Wesley Benton in her Kay Scarpetta books, but I think there must have been a backlash, because she brought him back to life a couple of books later!

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  13. Keishon
    May 09, 2006 @ 09:45:10

    As long as JD Robb doesn’t try to kill Roarke off in her In Death books, I’ll be happy

    *snort* Your safe. He’ll be around forever and ever (echo)

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  14. Karen Scott
    May 09, 2006 @ 15:30:30

    Keishon wrote:
    *snort* Your safe. He’ll be around forever and ever (echo)

    Hater! *g*

    ReplyReply

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