Have you ever discovered an author? Not literally, of course, but felt so swept up by their prose it’s as if the story was written for you alone? While that feeling is one of a kind, it can be crushed by one thing, and one thing alone. That same author’s seeming refusal to pen another book. It’s like a personal assault to the senses, an unbearable ache. And unfortunately for me, it happens far too often for comfort. On this list I have compiled five authors I love, who never a. wrote again or b. wrote what I wanted them to. What can I say? I’m a fickle beast. So lets gather under the unity of this tragic phenomenon and reflect on authors gone by. Without further ado…let’s cut to the books!
You would think after the gargantuan success of The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins would be giddy to get back to the drawing board. After all, where’s the fun in only having one multimillion franchise? Eager fans however, have yet to see their wishes come true. Granted, Collins was responsible for writing the screenplay used in all four THG films, no small task that definitely explains her absence. It’s been nearly a year though since Mockingjay: Part 2 premiered, giving Collins ample time to draft an idea for a new book. Just the smallest carrot of info would be enough to mediate this bookworm, and I need details! One of my biggest reading fears is that Collins chooses to walk a line similar to that of J.K. Rowling. Even a non-Potterhead like yours truly could understand the agony fans felt upon The Casual Vacancy release, that of disdain and disillusion. Fingers crossed on my end for a novel that retains all the rebellion and spark of Katniss Everdeen. But until then…you can find me fretting all the small details in anticipation.
Remember when Jay Asher was THE rising star in YA contemporary? Only to entirely drop off the face of writerly Earth? In any event, we have a score to settle. The first book I ever read by him, The Future of Us (co written by Carolyn Mackler), was like that emoji with the heart eyes. It was my entire world for awhile, and finally got me invested in more mature novels. That bubble was burst though when I backtracked to read his debut, Thirteen Reasons Why. I loathed it with every ounce of my being, a combination of changed tastes and high expectations. All that leads us to now, a time of decisions in a reader’s life. I’m one for one with Asher’s writing, waiting to decide whether my initial impression was spot on, or if I jumped the gun. And because I’m a person who has to know all the things, it’s not enough to satisfy myself with a “Meh”. I must know conclusively, with spreadsheets and data to prove it! The only person I’m still waiting on is Asher himself. A man who needs to pick up the pen keyboard and put thoughts to screen. Together we can all peer pressure him into writing another book.
Though Sara Shepard has penned three separate series since Pretty Little Liars, I feel she belongs on this list for a few reasons. The first? All of her works, from The Lying Game to The Perfectionists, read exactly the same. Each incorporate a large cast of female frenemies, some romance, and an overarching mystery. Sure there’s variety in the storyline itself, but the formula it follows is tried and true, with little deviation. Secondly, these ‘mysteries’ all cater to the exact same demographic; young females new to reading. I don’t mean that offensively, but it’s clear the audience who so adores Shepard hasn’t a lot of background with more complex plots. All these factors contribute to her work reading like PLL on steroids; a 30+ book series that never left Aria and company behind. However, because I’m a fan of Shepard’s first few works (before they became monotonous drivel) I would love to see a break away from the mold, honing her chops at something new. It has huge potential to be a hit among not only her prior fan base, but new readers as well. What are your thoughts on authors deviating from their traditional path?
In recent memory I’ve read quite a few thinly veiled attempts at replicating The Night Circus (The Crown’s Game springs to mind). However none can conjure the magic, the beauty that Erin Morgenstern summoned so deftly. And the more I see lackluster reproductions, the more I yearn for her writing itself. Unfortunately, that simply does not seem to be anywhere near the works. She’s all but disappeared from fiction, to the point where mentions of her sole novel are often met with blank stares. I can understand having a process, but there comes a time when I need something concrete to hold onto. If you check out her blog, a post entitled “Goodbye, 2015” elludes to her buckling down on writing in the upcoming year, though I have yet to see any progress reports. Out of all these authors her radio silence is perhaps the hardest to bear. I saw great things coming from a unique talent, only to be met with a distant memory. I suppose it’s times like this when I need to break my rereading ban, and open up the story that started it all once more.
And all this leads me to the ultimate “woulda, coulda, shoulda” of authors; Kathryn Stockett. She’s the writer of my all time favorite book, The Help, so it’s no surprise that I’ve been waiting nearly five years for her to release another novel. No such luck. As a matter of fact, there hasn’t been even the smallest inkling of news in recent years regarding her writing progress. Despite ruling the NYT Bestseller list for years, many readers have all but forgotten about her. I however, cannot. Interestingly enough, I read in an interview years back that said Stockett’s debut was rejected north of sixty times before it was accepted. That’s a lot of years and a lot of drafts, leading me to believe it’s very possible Stockett is still writing, but refusing to accept anything short of perfection. At that rate it could be many more years before I return to her richly imagined characters, leaving me to reflect on the positives. I don’t have to worry about her cranking out a cheaply written mess, merely for the sake of monetary gains. This similarly means I don’t need to fret over my opinion of her being tainted. For the sake of my sanity, I’ll just have to accept The Help as the gloriously written piece of fiction it is.
What are your favorite authors who never wrote again? Do you sympathize with my picks? Let me know in the comments!
-Keep Calm and Read On