Thursday, 7 October 2010

Finding a new author

I knew nothing of Gunnar Staalesen until I read Yours Until Death, which I reviewed for Tangled Web UK, and more briefly for this blog the other day. But he is certainly an interesting writer. Born in 1947, he published his first book at the tender age of 22. His titles include At Night All Wolves are Grey – terrific title! An author I shall look forward to revisiting.

It’s always a good feeling when you find an author new to you whose books really appeal. It’s even better in a way if they have been around for a long time, since then you know that there are plenty of other titles to devour. Of course, they may not all be of the same standard, but most good writers are worth reading even when below their best.

Over the years I’ve made plenty of such discoveries. Among those I remember with great pleasure are Cornell Woolrich, whom I first encountered in the early 80s, and the great Frenc duo, Boileau and Narcejac, whom I first read about four years ago, though I’d seen Vertigo many years earlier. And reading Ruth Rendell for the first time was another great experience - I started with A Judgement in Stone, still one of the best novels of psychological suspense that I’ve ever read. I can even remember reading some of it in Kew Gardens, of all places...

Equally, I must admit that I get a kick out of reviews where someone has come across my work for the first time, and expresses enthusiasm for reading more of my work. This means a lot to a writer, and such a response always puts me in a good mood for the rest of the day! On the subject of reviews, by the way, I have now updated the Lake District Mysteries page on my website which contains reviews of The Serpent Pool. Reaction to that book has exceeded even my expectations, and I’m truly delighted by the critiques. The publishers tell me the paperback is due out in January - looking forward to it!


Anonymous said...

Martin - I thoroughly enjoy discovering a new author, too. I like starting with the author's debut, too, if I can. I enjoy seeing the way authors develop over time, and how their work evolves.

And I completely agree with you about A Judgement in Stone. A classic of psychological suspense.

Dorte H said...

Discovering a new author is wonderful, especially if they have written 3-4 books in a series so it is still possible to buy and read them in order.

I understand that you must feel thrilled when a reader stumbles on your books and decide to read a whole series, and The Serpent Pool deserves every bit of praise it gets.

Maxine Clarke said...

I agree, Gunnar S is a very good crime author: classic mould in terms of plot and theme, but updated in terms of ambience and the issues addressed.
Well done on the PB of Serpent's Pool - when is the next one coming out?;-)

Have you tried reading Elly Griffiths yet? I think you'd like her novels, Martin. (Dr Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist.)

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Margot and Dorte!
Maxine, this weekend I hope to complete the first draft of The Hanging Wood.
Haven't got round to Elly G yet - I need to make a few changes to get more reading time!

Unknown said...

Through your blog, I've become acquainted with many new writers. I wish I had the time to read them.