First Novels

I really enjoy reading authors’ first novels, and my reviews here at TheCrimeHouse have largely reflected that. I think about my interest for first novels and draw a few conclusions.

Ever since childhood I have aspired to become an author. (I respectfully decline comments stating “you cannot write, so forget about it.”) Therefore I think it is natural to want to see what others’ first novels are like. Those who have already succeeded. Think about all the hours of agony that they have gone through. All the times they doubted themselves and their ability, but who sat down and finished the project regardless. That impresses me. A lot.

Another reason is that you do not have any preconceived opinions about the author or the writing style. If it turns out that I do not like the first novel the chance is relatively small that I will read the sequel, and if the first novel is excellent I get a little nervous because I wonder if the sequel will live up to the hype. But more often than not it does, and I become a loyal reader for a long time to come.

Then there is this thing about changing jobs too. To do something completely different is a dream many people have, and many authors had an entirely different career before they made it. Camilla Läckberg worked as an economist and James Rollins had a veterinary clinic. But then it happened, their first novels were published, one book became many and they could make a living as an author. What a dream.

Unfortunately publishers in Sweden have drastically reduced the number of new authors this spring. According to a Swedish newspaper the number of first novels released and presented in Svensk Bokhandels (Swedish Bookstores) spring catalog has decreased from 43 in 2009 to 16 in 2010. I hope that this trend will turn around, because I love to discover new talents that can make my day a little brighter.

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