Faith in writers is a two-way street. As a writer you have to have faith in your writing. Yes, I’m good enough for an agent or editor to buy my book. Yes, my writing is good enough for someone besides me and my family to want to read.
As a reader, faith in a writer is important too. Especially in genre reading, the reader expects certain things, and a writer needs to deliver. In a mystery, a killer needs to be found. In a romance, there must be a happily ever after. In horror, the reader will be scared, horrified, or plain grossed out, as Stephen King says.
So, what happens when a book doesn’t meet your expectations as a reader? Some get tossed against the wall, some cause a reader to never read something by that author again. But sometimes, magic happens and a reader discovers a new favorite author.
One of the joys of RWA National is free books. A couple of years ago, I went to National and a Debra Webb book, Traceless was in our bags. I had never read Ms. Webb so had no idea what kind of writing it was or anything. I was intrigued by the characters and the small-town mentality portrayed, but the plotline was so gritty and realistic it was uncomfortable to read. The subject matter touched places I didn’t want to go. So I put it down and away.
Fast forward to another year. Some authors I know and admire have a blog. They decided to add some members to the list and one was Debra Webb. Since I admire my friends, I decided to give Ms. Webb another try. I’m so glad I did.
I finished Traceless and bought and read Find Me. Ms. Webb does not write fairy tale romances. Her characters are people traumatized by life, victimized by circumstances, and in need of major healing. So, by having faith in her abilities as a storyteller, as an author, Ms. Webb delivers with a whollop, a happily ever after, just not always the way you expected it. And isn’t the fun of reading being surprised?