The other thing about discernment is that those icky, yucky, column three authors that are proud of writing things distasteful (to me! Remember it’s all about me here! ) can sometimes write good stuff. Not all of Orson Scott Card’s books are bad. I really like his Women of Genesis Trilogy, nay love. So, sometimes you can take a chance even on those blokes, but only rarely and for me only after careful consideration of the genre, reviews, and recommendations.
One last topic to mention is that I do read authors that are not in any of these three groups. Some of them don’t fit in the columns. For example, I recently read Spells by Aprilynne Pike. I’ve only read two of her books. I don’t know which of the groups she fits into yet. She is a strong column two contender, but I’m not sure yet. She may be column three, not necessarily because of horrible content, but she just likes to explore morals in a way that I dislike. Her fairy mythology is very um, favorable toward casual romantic encounters, we’ll say. Then there were the numerous make out scenes in Spells. Every little detail that I can gather is used to form an impression of that author.
For example, I know that Pike used to be a Doula/Midwife. So, I can look at that and say she is probably comfortable addressing those types of topics. This may come out in her fiction in different ways. Is not Wings essentially a maturation story? Much of the focus behind fairy mythology and culture in book one and two is centered around the reproduction and upbringing practices among fairies. What would make me squirm might not phase this author in the least because of her experiences in that regard, and because of this I started out with the impression that she would be more liberal in addressing these topics. This actually made me judge her stories less harshly rather than more harshly I might add. (I must point out that I am not prudish enough to think that including these themes in her books makes the author evil or wicked. Repeat I am not saying Pike is evil or writes evil books!!!). Yet, from now on I will view her other books with a skeptical eye, because I will be familiar with how her authorial style fits with my reading tastes, and sometimes they don't always match.
So, with Pike’s work I am still trying to figure out where I put her on my author list, and whether I will keep reading her work. It might take me a while to figure that out. Maybe the Wings series will just be so-so for me and I might love work she produces later, or I may just decide that her style doesn’t jive with my reading tastes. That is okay. Remember I can choose my own tastes and so can you. You can praise her to high heaven, and I can decide to pass by on her next best thing, and we can both still be right.