What does it take for you to try out a new writer? Does the cover catch your eye, or are you a book jacket reader? Does a starred review grab your attention right away, or would you pick up a book because you’d seen the author online or in the media? Or is it because the writer won an award?
When I’m searching the shelves for a new read, be it in a bricks-and-mortar bookstore or on the virtual shelves of my favorite online store, I do it the old-fashioned way, even in a new-fashioned world. First of all, the title has to appeal to me, then I like to read a summary or the jacket copy and a couple of reviews by reviewers whose opinions I respect. This system works for me—has for years—and I’ve found many a new author to take pleasure in reading from cover to cover, including the writers’ backlists. I’ve also found a couple of lemons, but hey, that happens!
Right now, I’m test driving Peter Turnbull’s No Stone Unturned and it’s a neat mystery so far. I’ll see if he can keep me from figuring it out until the end, though! Then I have another new author to check out – Julie Carobini.
It’s fun to read a new novelist, especially a mystery writer. The mystery writer must engage you, challenge you to solve the whodunit and have a style that appeals to you, in addition to telling a good story with fully developed characters, just like authors in any other fiction genre.
So, if you find yourself sticking to the tried and true all the time, explore and give a new-to-you author a chance. You might just find you’ve discovered a new must-read, and if you’re lucky, s/he has a nice deep backlist for you to enjoy.
Romance with an edge