BTT: Ground Floor

There’s something wonderful about getting in on the ground floor of an author’s career–about being one of the first people to read and admire them, before they became famous best-sellers.

Which authors have you been lucky enough to discover at the very beginning of their careers?

And, if you’ve never had that chance, which author do you WISH you’d been able to discover at the very beginning?

I don’t think this has happened to me very often; most of my reading list comes from classics or book reviews I happen across, and in both cases, those authors are inherently already “discovered,” I guess.

I do love catching authors near the beginning of their careers, like Elizabeth Kostova or Ann Packer; there’s a certain excitement in waiting for their next novel and getting to see what they’ll do next. However, it’s also exciting to stumble upon an author, read a novel of his or hers, and then realize that they are still writing, but also have a great backlist to tackle. I felt that way after reading Richard Russo’s Empire Falls, which I absolutely fell in love with, and was so excited to see That Old Cape Magic: A Novel on the shelves. I also remember falling in love with Edith Wharton and trying to work my way through her catalog, not just The House of Mirth, but also The Children and Summer: A Novel . If I really love an author, I aspire to being a completist–wouldn’t that be an interesting idea for a challenge? Hmm…..

So I guess, for me, there’s excitement in every way to find those favorite authors.

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