Friday, May 27, 2011


Confession: I have never read any of Sarah Dessen's books.

This is probably a character flaw, but my thinking is this: once an author hits the NYT list, they don't need me anymore. I prefer to champion those invisible authors, the not-yet-discovered, perhaps NEVER to be discovered. THOSE are the authors I feel most connected to, those are the stories I like to talk about.

You're probably thinking, well, that's crazy!

I won't argue. It MIGHT be crazy. But I think it has a little something to do with the fact that before a writer is discovered by the masses, I feel closer to the story, like it is mine and mine alone.

I felt this way about Suzanne Collins' GREGOR THE OVERLANDER. Way back before she was famous, I loved Gregor and Boots and Ripred. It pleased me to discover that world and to feel like I had an experience that others hadn't.

HUNGER GAMES? Yes, I enjoyed it. But Suzanne Collins wasn't my secret anymore. The whole world loved her. She had plenty of readers without ME.

So back to Sarah Dessen. There is a fantastic interview of her in this month's Writer's Digest magazine. (Aside: my sister, who is The Most Awesome Sister in the Whole Wide World has bought me a subscription to WD for my birthday for the past TWENTY YEARS. No lie. She is very cool like that.)

She talks about being a "slow" writer. She talks about the slow build of her career. She talks about all the books she's written between published books that will NEVER BE PUBLISHED. Because her agent or editor or gut said, that's not your next book.

As a gal who has written 5 books in the past four years - 2 of which have sold, 2 of which aren't the next book, and 1 of which *might* be.... I loved reading that part of the story.

And it made me wish I'd picked up one of Sarah's books ten years ago, before the rise to bestsellerdom. When she needed me. And I could claim her as my own.

Anyone else out there feel that way about the underdog/undiscovered? Let me hear from you!


  1. I've never quite thought of it like this, but yes, I totally agree. I have read Sarah Dessen, but only one. I do love finding books that need to be passed on, passed around, not just passed by.

  2. Whether authors are NYT bestsellers or have never been heard of, they should all be honored to be claimed by you.

  3. I haven't read any YET but I'm sure I will before the year is out. I've been to her blog a few times and she sounds lovely. I wish her all the best.


Your thoughts?