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Mashed Potato Puffs; Why don’t good writers quit? — 14 Comments

  1. I sometimes wonder if good authors have sold their “nom de plume” to another, lesser writer, when their subsequent books are terrible. I’ve had this same experience and wondered how it could happen. All I can think is that a different person is actually using that name, now. Hugely disappointing.

  2. You know, I swing by here quotediennement (sic – trying to come close to “regularly” or “habitually” or “whenever you show up in my feed-reader.”) because you give me a taste of the everyday along with a “nuance cuisiniere.” Or something. Been so long since I actually spoke or danced or cooked in French that you’re my perfect hybrid: a taste of France, only in English.
    And with this post, you hit the nail on the head: sometimes mashed potatoes are better than the next book by a favorite author.

  3. Sadly, I have an answer to your question. About 15 years ago, I owned a book shop. A specialty murder mystery store before the age of Borders.
    Truth is that a young writer has to be outstanding to be bought and read. An established writer just has to have a known name… His publisher does not care about quality, only quantity. His editor is under pressure from the publisher, and the author himself has a bigger guarantee, but only if he writes under deadline. It takes a superior author to overcome the temotation to just get it done.

  4. Remember we talked about La sombra del viento and how good it was?
    Well, I bought the second one and was so excited about it… It dissapointed me sooooooooo! I didn’t dare to say I thought the book was awful; he is such a great writer that I believed maybe it was me who was wrong.
    I think there’s only been one edition and you find the book in all the bookshops, there’s huge piles of them!
    A pity! Maybe your smashed potatoes will warm me up :D, it’s so cold and rainny and grey here that I rather live in London ;D

  5. Been there Katie. I wonder exactly the same things about my favorite writers too. Sometimes it really is disappointing but then again I have to buy the new book hoping it will be better just like in the old days…

  6. Val, tater tots…. memories of college days….
    Zoomie, one would think they would have more pride of
    work…
    Amerloc, oh, how very well said ;-)) Thanks for commenting, too!
    Year on the Grill, I figured that was the problem – but then there are authors who, apparently take more time. I’ve 2 series that I’m reading that regularly have 2 – 3 years between books (actually, one author died and someone else is finishing it – Robert Jordan) – Still – Pride?
    Natashya, never tell – although I always read the last page first….
    Nuria, I’m so disappointed!!!! That’s been on my wish list and I was so looking forward to it! I won’t bother now, thanks for the warning. Rainy and grey here, too.
    Astrid, I keep buying them too. Worse, I don’t throw them out, even when I start and don’t finish them twice!

  7. Another super simple and wonderful recipe. Gotta make these for the party, too – in mini size.
    The latest book from a quite famous author left me so frazzled with trying to follow a dreary and tedious story line, I almost gave up mid-book. I slogged through to the (anti-climatic) end, thinking it HAD to pick up, and was so disappointed. Then had the almost exact discussion with my husband that you’ve written about here… quantity over quality. Plus they sign these big contracts to put out X number of books over X number of years for a 21-karat up front bonus. What IS an author to do? she asks with tongue firmly in cheek.

  8. Oh my, but that sounds fabulous!! We were planning on having scalloped potatoes tonight but I’m thinking I might have to vie for these mashed potato puffs instead!
    Yes, it’s very tiresome about some writers’ downfalls, isn’t it? I’ve had that sad experience now with two of my favourite writers. It leaves such a bad taste in the mouth, doesn’t it? I’ve heard a theory that it might be the editor.
    -Elizabeth
    (Very curious, who are the authors so I can read all but their last books? My favourites who fell flat are Martha Grimes and W.O. Mitchell)
    I’M REELING… You read the last page first?!! Auggghhhhh!!!

  9. Tanna… they go with everything – or nothing….
    Christine, I hate it when I struggle through for nothing. Mini-size – sounds fun!
    Elizabeth, I read the last page first see if I’ll like it. With a good author it doesn’t work because the ending will be much too involved for a last paragraph on the last page. My personal litmus test.

  10. That’s the complete opposite of my method. I read the first page of the book. If it draws me in, I’m in. If it doesn’t grab me, I’m out.
    I couldn’t bear the idea of reading the last page first. I hate knowing things about a story in advance. I’m weird that way.
    (Your mashed potato puffs were nixed last night because we had to eat dinner separately. My husband loves the sound of the puffs and wants us to be able to eat them when we’re dining at the same time. Next week!! We’ll have them next week! Can’t wait.)

  11. Elizabeth, I also read the first page to decide – it’s weird, but I hate books written in the first person and rarely read them. I can’t say never, because some of my favorites are in the first person… But I hate to be disappointed so I read the last page…. doesn’t always work.