Thursday, January 12, 2006

First-time novelists reviewed

USA TODAY recently reviewed the upcoming works of three first-time authors.

The first author is Galt Niederhoffer, who wrote A Taxonomy of Barnacles. Reviewer Bob Minzesheimer calls the book clever and melodramatic. It is about a rich, eccentric Manhattan family with six competitive sisters. Niederhoffer is an independent film producer and Minzesheimer says her novel could have the makings of a good movie.

The second author Minzesheimer reviews is Justin Tussing for his novel, The Best People in the World. He says the novel is an oddly engrossing tale that ultimately succeeds because of the original voice of the narrator. It is about 17-year-old boy from Kentucky who runs away from his ordinary home with his not-so-ordinary 25-year-old history teacher.

Finally, Minzesheimer talks about George & Rue by George Elliott Clarke. Minzesheimer calls this book powerful and haunting. The book was inspired by a brutal real-life murder committed by two of the author’s cousins. Clarke writes that his ancestors were physically free but were "forced to work like slaves, basically, for that was their function in the Nova Scotian economy and society, and it remained our reality, until well into the 1960s. (Nova Scotia is a displaced Mississippi.)."  Minzesheimer calls Clarke’s writing raw but wonderfully descriptive.

I haven’t yet read these books, but they are on my ‘to buy’ list. I think it’s wonderful that first-time novelists are getting media attention, although the review mostly just describes what happens in the books.

If you’ve read any of these books, I’d love to hear what you thought of them. Also, do you think first-time novelists get enough media attention?



Unknown said...

Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog. You know I think how much attention a first time novelist gets depends on the publisher, the author, and the genre.

I haven't read these books but they sound interesting.

Melissa Amateis said...

I think it depends if the book is truly a "breakout" book. Publishers are willing to pour more money into a publicity campaign when there has been a lot of buzz generated over a book, especially if it's a first time novelist.

In the romance genre, there are so many "first" novelists that they really don't focus on a particular one, unless the story is REALLY break-out. But that's hard to do in the romance genre, IMO.

The literary and mainstream genres have the penchant for creating more buzz than any other genres. I think the other genres - mystery, romance, sci-fi, fantasy - have a hard time creating as much buzz for first time novelists.

Anonymous said...

That's FANTASTIC! It gives me hope for succeeding when I snag a commercial publisher (perhaps it's presumptuous for me to assume that I'll get commercially published, but I can't help but be optimistic) to read that those first-timers got some buzz.

Anonymous said...

My short answer, as a first time novelist, is no. *g* However, I agree with what Melissa said about it being really hard to expect a lot of coverage as a first time romance novelist. The introvert in me is really okay with this.