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Hiding from the Light (2003) by Barbara Erskine
Bingo! Randomcaps! I can't really speak for writers in the seventies and before because I was far too young to appreciate the difference between good writing and an entertaining story. I hate to say it but over the past ten years when I re-read books by Barbara Michaels I am somewhat surprised at their overall lack of quality writing. I remember the stories quite fondly, but most of them, even the entertaining ones, seemed to be hack work.

As I reach middle age and read some of the fun old gothics, I do my best to keep in mind that the majority of them were the equivalent of today's series romance: formulaic and low paying. In order to make a buck, one had to really crank them out, which is why we might be led to believe that someone like Marilyn Ross was a "good" writer because we see his name everywhere. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Further along on the gothic branch, I became intrigued with the success of Anne Rice and have picked up books of hers over the years. The Vampires and Witches series were of some interest to me, but I was so overwhelmed by her florid prose that I had trouble identifying any real plot line in her books. I must say both series plummeted in quality over the years. I recently learned through a writer's forum that Anne Rice alleges to have not allowed editing of her books for many years now. She used the analogy that great Opera singers do not have their work co-opted by other individuals. Nothing is farther from the truth. All the great singers continue to work with trainers and coaches throughout their careers. Perhaps if Ms. Rice permitted creative input from editors, she might truly have become the genius that she aspires to be.

Why should we pay eight dollars for a paperback that is of inferior quality? This year, as a form of personal protest against bad writing, I have begun to return books to bookstores for credit or refund, and if asked the reason, I state "sub-standard writing quality." (Heaven help me if I ever get published!)

So, you are not alone with that pet peeve!

sign me,

a very choosy reader!

Messages In This Thread
RE: Hiding from the Light (2003) by Barbara Erskine - by Monique Devereaux - 12-02-2008, 07:06 PM

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