The inspiration for the topic of this post came from a conversation I had with blog sister Jennelle. In response to her blog post a few weeks back about feeling compelled to finish a book, no matter how challenging it was to keep going, I talked the times when I pushed myself to finish reading a book, even though I was not feeing it. At all. The conversation also veered toward how I am a bit reluctant to try new to me authors, unless I can borrow the book from a friend or library. I can be tight fisted, and loath to part with my hard earned cash on an “unknown entity.” So that led me to think about how I discover new-to-me authors. And since Amy did it-I get to show off my RWA pictures too!
As you may recall from my Intro Post, my first exposure to romance came via Nora, whom I discovered when I was browsing the bookshelves at a local bookstore and her MacGregor books just happened to catch my eye. I’m pretty sure that’s how I started reading books by Judith McNaught, Jude Devereaux, and Julie Garwood too. I was wandering the shelves at my local library and that’s how I found Judith’s Westmoreland books, Jude’s Montgomery/Taggart books, and Julie’s Clayborne books.
But back in 2007, I discovered Nora’s online forum, A Day Without French Fries (which has since shut down). On that forum, fellow Nora fans discussed other authors they enjoyed, and played a guessing game where they would post quotes from their favorite romance authors, and the other board members could guess and be introduced to other authors. It was through Nora’s ADWFF that I discovered Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas, Eloisa James, and Laura Lee Guhrke among others. I read Julia’s Bridgerton books, Eloisa’s Essex sisters series, Laura’s Girl Bachelors, and Lisa’s Wallflower books and was immediately hooked.
Since I was now a big Eloisa and JQ fan, that lead me to join their joint Bulletin Board (which also shut down. Sensing a theme here? Sigh). Their BB was a treasure trove of new authors to discover as well, especially since Eloisa and Julia set up a monthly “Book Club” where debut authors and those new on the scene could discuss their books with board members, and answer questions. I discovered Tessa Dare, Courtney Milan, Sara Lindsey, Sherry Thomas, Tiffany Clare, and many other authors as a result of being a member of the BB.
Being a virtual member of these communities also lead to real life meetings and friendships. I have had the great pleasure and fortune of meeting many of these authors, and they are just as lovely, funny, and kind as you would expect. Back in 2008, Eloisa was at the NJRWA Put Your Heart In A Book Conference, and arranged a dinner get together with members of the BB who were in attendance. I went to the book signing at the end of the conference, and was lucky enough to receive a dinner invitation. That was definitely a night to remember, because not only was I totally star struck by being at the same table with Eloisa and her husband (a real honest to goodness Italian knight!) I was doubly lucky because I got to sit next to Maya Rodale at that dinner. At the time, I had no idea she was THE Maya Rodale, and we struck up conversation and a friendship. We kept in touch, and when she started Lady Jane’s Salon with the other co-founders, she kept me in the loop. Had I not done so, I would have missed out on knowing about Sarah MacLean, Miranda Neville, Juliana Gray, Delilah Marvelle and their books, in addition to many other authors I met via LJS.
Another source I use to find new to me authors is review sites. One of my top favorites that come to mind is The Romance Dish, run by the fabulous PJ Ausdenmore and Andrea Williamson. Through the great reviews and interviews on their website, I discovered Julie James, Katharine Ashe, Lila DiPasqua, Sophia Nash, and Kathryn Caskie. I will always be grateful to them for exposing me to all of these talented authors.
Since joining Twitter about two years ago, I have discovered it to be another excellent avenue to finding and connecting with romance authors. To let you all in on a little secret, I really joined Twitter so I’d have another way of communicating with my favorite authors! Through Twitter, I have met and gotten to know Carey Baldwin, Leigh LaValle, Maisey Yates, Isobel Carr, Maire Claremont, Shana Galen, and Kieran Kramer. It has been a blast interacting with all of these authors online, via Twitter, FB, email, etc and then getting to meet them in person, so I could tell them personally how much I love their books, and what it meant to me.
So, tell me dear readers: What has been your preferred methods of finding new to you authors? What would inspire you to try their book? What authors have you recently discovered that you’re mad about? Let’s talk and share in the comments below!