As a reader, are you disappointed when an author writes a story that has a different heat level than the rest of his/her backlist? I've read more than a few reader reviews where the reader complained that the author didn't maintain the expected heat level in the story. I know one of the reasons readers do repeat buying of an author's work is because they know and like the writer's style and have an expectation for what they're getting.
I understand that. I'm a reader too.
But speaking as a writer, I feel strongly about staying true to the story that unfolds as I write it. The mark of a good writer, IMHO, is the ability to create a truly unique story each time we write a book. When you LOVE the writer's world and characters, cookie cutter stories can be fun through a few books, but eventually you get tired of reading essentially the same book over and over again.
Plug in hero name, heroine name, change the location a bit, and hit print.
Nuh uh. That's not interesting to me as a reader or a writer. I'm willing to give up a certain level of foreknowledge to enjoy the delight of being surprised. I'd be disappointed if every character in a series had the exact same way of looking at life, of dealing with challenges, of falling in love, of acting on that love. Each of us approaches sex differently. We don't all want sex every day...or multiple times a day. Some of us like fairly straight sex with a high level of emotional connection. Some of us like the uber-hot hook-up with a virtual stranger. Some like sex anywhere but in a bed. Some can't stop thinking about getting crumbs or sand in strategic places if we go "off roading" with our intimacy.
Yes, the whole idea of reading is to escape reality, I get that. We read to escape our own reality. The characters in a book have a reality and a unique world view too. They have to honor that world view or the story doesn't ring true. It isn't realistic to believe that all couples in a writer's body of work approach sex with exactly the same heat or creativity.
So, as both a reader and a writer, I work hard to celebrate each unique story on its own merits, with its own world view. I know, first hand, how hard it is to make each book unique and create each character with his or her own set of characteristics. But those are the things that make a story sing and make characters likeable.
What are your thoughts on this subject? Do you get upset if you buy a book expecting a certain level of heat and find something entirely different? Are you willing to give up being surprised to have what you were expecting? I'd love to hear your opinions.
Thanks for stopping by!