I am not sure when it happened. Maybe when he gave my white teddy bear the raspberries during a game of Truth or Dare. Perhaps it was while we were sitting on the moonlit beach talking about our dreams and aspirations. Or when he pulled out that pillow in the middle of Religion 101 and put his head down during the lecture (okay, so definitely not this time--this is when I wished he wasn't sitting right behind me and I wanted to pretend I didn't know him). It could have been on one of our many late night/early morning dessert runs to Denny's with the gang after a long study session. All I know is that somewhere in the middle of all that, I lost my heart to a writer.
Here’s something for Valentine’s Day.
Have you ever fallen out of love with a favorite author? Was the last book you read by the author so bad, you broke up with them and haven’t read their work since? Could they ever lure you back?
We were first introduced in the dormitory lobby; my friend and I were on our way out, and he and his friend were on their way in. We met again in my friend's dorm room one afternoon when he came to tutor her in chemistry. We got to talking and the conversation quickly turned to books and writing. He asked me to read something he had written and I readily agreed. Our friendship evolved from there and seven years later I put on that white gown and walked down the pathway to become his wife.
We did break up once during our first four years as a couple. Almost, anyway. I was scared, afraid of how close we were getting. I did not let people in easily back then. He was the first person with whom I completely let my guard down, and I panicked. He was patient with me, let me have my space, and waited. Fortunately, I came to my senses quickly. Sixteen and a half years later, he is still my best friend, and we are happily married. I still read everything he writes.
Such wonderful memories . . .
I did it again, didn't I? Going off on a tangent right from the start. I think it may have something to do with the fact that it's Valentine's Day and I have my Valentine on my mind. Anyway, the question was not meant to be about me and my writer, was it? It is about my favorite author, of which I have more than one. Perhaps you remember a previous post I wrote that was in a similar vein.
I have fallen head over heels for particular books and then scooped up the author's other books with eager anticipation. Occasionally I have read an awesome book only to be disappointed in books that come after, but I do like to give second and third chances. There have only been a couple of authors who I no longer follow because the disappointment was too much to bear, and, even after giving the authors chance after chance to redeem themselves, I still was not satisfied. This could be for a variety of reasons and cannot always be attributed to the author. It is our nature to grow and change; our interests evolve as time goes by. Other times it is the author's (and maybe the publishers' with all the pressure they put on the authors) fault. The quality of work depreciates, and I am not willing to settle for less.
More often than not, however, I accept that there is bound to be a book by an author I like less than the rest and that could be for a variety of reasons. When I am disappointed, it is generally only a minor disappointment, one that does not impact an author's place on my favorites' list or even necessarily ruin my enjoyment of the book that does not quite live up to the one I liked best. It is just a matter of degree, really, and liking one book more than another might not mean much of anything when I like them both in the end.
Breaking up is hard to do, no matter what anyone says. Even when tired and frustrated, I still am reluctant to totally say goodbye to an author. Of the favorite authors I no longer follow, I cannot say never in response to whether I would find my way back to their books. There's always a chance that I will come across a review of a later book by the author that will pique my interest and lure me back for a taste test, however hesitant I may be.
It is important not to short shift those favorite books whose authors I may not have any interest in reading more of for whatever reason, or those that have only written one book. It isn't really the author that I fall in love with, but the books themselves.
*Not to be confused with my author crushes, which is an entirely different topic altogether.