One of the great joys of becoming a fiction writer has been meeting other writers. I am a proud member of the Romance Writers of Australia and Sisters in Crime and through them, I have met many wonderful women who make the sometimes lonely business of writing a joy.
Knowing other writers brings with it an unexpected anxiety. These days I often buy books written by people who I know and while I celebrate their releases with genuine excitement and buy their work with anticipation, in the back of my mind, there is a lurking menace.
It’s the fear – never spoken – that I won’t like their book.
The fear is not so much that I will think the writing bad. My writing friends work very hard on their craft. But previously, I have always chosen books based on subject or style (or whim, it must be said). When you choose a book because you like the person who wrote it, you are likely to go to fictional places that are new and unexpected and possibly well out of your comfort zone and… who knows if it will be fun?
Recently I had one of those experiences. The book is set in a post-apocalyptic Queensland, there are zombies involved (well, virus-infested ex-people out for your blood) and erotic romance involving not one hot guy but two (and one girl). All of these things are uncommon on my bookshelf. And I dearly love the writer. So I was all of a jitter.
Fortunately, I LOVED IT.