Wednesday, January 02, 2008

2008: To The Undiscovered Novel

No sooner is 2007 behind us and the lists shift, from the favoured works of the last year to the anticipated reads of the coming year. And some comments I saw left me thinking it's already too late to have a memorable work of 2008, because some seem convinced of what will be the best of the coming year already. And can there be anything more depressing for an author (especially one with two books coming out this year) to be given the impression you can't even dream of making the list because your work hasn't been read and approved of yet? I mean, I don't write for lists - you can't if you want to stay sane - but it's still pretty depressing.

Then a friend sent me a quote from a forum, which put it in perspective for me.

To quote Matt, from Fantasy Bookspot:
"People are creatures of expectations. The "good" that we didn't expect thrills us in a way that "good" where we expected greatness does not. How much better, then, the "great" that we didn't expect? For that reason the book I'm most looking forward to in 2007 is the one that I didn't see coming. Maybe it'll be a new author, maybe it'll be someone already published who does something more, different, than their existing works had led me to expect. Maybe the story will be something new and special, maybe it will be a product of ground that proves the old masters knew where the best crops could be grown. Either is a risk, and this book will acknowledge and embrace that risk, using the written word to present character, plot, theme and setting with assurance and style, in a manner self-contained and yet relevant. It'll be one of the best books of the year, and I love the fact that right now I have no idea what it is."

To the undiscovered novel, with thanks to Brian.

1 comment:

norby said...

I find that the books I enjoy the most tend to be the ones that aren't on the bestseller lists or the most anticipated of the year or whatever. They're the ones I stumble across here or there.