Thursday, April 07, 2005

My beef with...

Avon - And what is it that they do to some authors?
They seem to suck the soul write out of them. I posted recently on AAR in reply to someone’s comment on Lorraine Heath newest book and maybe because I’m bored to tears here at work and feeling guilty at even being on the internet during working hours but believe me, it there was anything I could do, I would do it, but I was in an angry frame of mind when I posted. But she is the perfect example of WHAT AVON DOES WRONG! They take the original author and replace them with pod author. They get rid of all originality, all imperfection, all things that made their stories and characters such a joy and so very memorable. Then, except for the odd medieval, they lay all their eggs in the (what I think of as) ‘historical’ basket. All their books take place within approximately a 50-year time span and only in London England, except for the odd country party. And except for the odd Lisa Kleypas hero, all the heroes are members of the ton. And even she succumbed to the pod when it turned out Nick Gentry the hero of Worth Any Price turned out to be a titled guy. Enough already. No more! Please, no more! And of course every hero is drop dead gorgeous. Have you ever seen pictures of the men in those days? Not attractive. They publish nothing outside of their tiny little box. Nothing, nada, zip! Even Susan Kay Law, the last hold-out Western writer is moving to historicals. There books are unrealistic. The book I just finished reading; Something About Emmaline wasn’t a bad book until the end. **SPOILER** Then wonder of wonders, surprise of surprises, the heroine turns out to be not the daughter of the highwayman but the daughter of a baron/earl/marquis/duke - I don’t remember which and I don’t care. And of course once this comes out, everything turns to sunshine and flowers and all is beautiful; forgetting the fact that the bio father left his pregnant, mad wife and never came back. When I read that I thought oh shit, why’d they do that? They sanitize their books to the point of unbelievablity; virgin widows, fake rakes, etc., etc. It sends me on such a sugar sweet overload I can’t handle it.I’m terrified of what they are going to do to Laura Lee Gurhke’s new book. For those who aren’t familiar, there is a husband and wife who have been mentioned in her last two books. They have lived apart for years and the husband anyway has been a very bad boy as relates to other women. Avon have a hero who cheats??? I can’t see it. Ms. Guhrke has recently switched to Avon and already I see her becoming more and more of a Avon pod author. This is the same author who wrote the wonderful book Connor’s Way about an Irish convict who moves to America not to long after the civil war and becomes a boxer. Would Avon publish such a story.? Not bloody likely. And another book Breathless; the story or a divorced woman who works for a living in very early 1900's mid America. Again, I can’t see Avon publishing such a book. I LIKE variety in my books. I LIKE imperfection in the hero and heroine. I have slowly given up on all Avon authors with the exception of two, Lisa Kleypas and Laura Lee Gukrhe. Until they show signs of originality, Avon will only get about 15 bucks a year out of me.
Avon wasn't always this bad, but the aliens took over their publishing planet.


Gigi said...

So with you on Avon. Like you I can only stomach Kleypas and my recent "discovery" Laura Lee Guhrke. I have really high expectations for The Marriage Bed so I hope that for this once Avon keeps their grimy little hands off it and let Ms. Guhrke do her things however controversial it may be.

Anonymous said...

Karen Ranney writes for Avon, and I much prefer her Avon books vs. the ones she wrote for Zebra. Ditto Anne Stuart, who doesn't write historicals for Avon any more, but she did some of her best work for them. Laura Kinsale also did much of her best work (so far, anyway) with Avon--edgy doesn't even begin to describe books like Seize the Fire. My two favorite Connie Brockway novels: Avon releases. But all this was about 10 years ago. Maybe Avon had a Golden Period and is now declining into Regency Cloneville?

Does Judith Ivory still write for Avon? And Julia Quinn? Victoria Alexander? (As you can see, I'm not at all on the up-and-up when it comes to authors.)

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah: Loretta Chase got her start with Avon, too. Damn. Avon launched a lot of my favorite authors.

sybil said...

I love Seize the Fire! Not sure about my take on Avon, sadly I was going to give it some thought this weekend.

What? I have no life and like it that way ;).

I know I have two new authors from avon but I haven't read them yet. Logan? or something and oh shit that chick that LLB said might be someone else. Oy this post is a waste of space, sorry my brain is currently on fried.

I like Sabrina Jefferies but maybe that is just me. I bought my first Sara Bennett - Lessons in Seduction? but I haven't read it yet. Oh and Debra Mullins is another I like. But haven't read Just One Touch, yet. Maybe I am just avon's bitch. Their message board scares me though, talk about mutual masturbation for the most part...

I am so sad about Susan Kay Law... do we know if there will be any new westerns? Maybe she just needed a break.

Oh and Eloisa James, isn't she avon? Her books are far from the norm. I can't say I have read them, just one so far I didn't like - the last of the last series she did. They were apart for 10 years, she moves back in and he keeps his mistress in the house! But I have her new one on my tbr pile. With about 250 other books.

I am shutting up now, I sense a avon post in my near future. I am such a follower ;). (excuse spelling and shit I am suppose to be working and in too big a hurry to spell check this and I am lazy)

Anonymous said...

Sybil: To be honest, I can't comment on some of the authors you mentioned. I gave up on most Avon authors a year ago. (The Boyle book was a moment of weakness right after reading the review at ARR). I've read a few James but gave up after attempting Duchess in Love. There's just nothing that stands out about any of them. Quinn I gave up on. Jeffries I gave up on. Ashworth I gave up on. Alexander - don't even get me started on her. Mederios, the same. Kleypas is more habit now than anything else and with Guhrke,I'm following her from another publisher but if they sanitize her next book that might be it for her. Ranney is on the bubble. So it's not like I haven't read the vast majority of them.
It's not the authors I blame - it's 100% the publisher. You can interchange almost every author in their 'stable'. Their covers are all clones and I would much rather spend my historical book $$'s on something original like Clare's Ride the Fire or Paula Reed. What it comes down to is six months later do I remember their books? No, I don't.
And you're right - their message board can be a very scary place.

****Note on previous series blog***
I just popped over there a minute ago and yet ANOTHER thread asking for Violet Bridgerton's story. "GIVE IT UP ALREADY!" she shouted.