Best of 2003 (excruciatingly long) and my own worst

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at
Tue Dec 30 17:29:05 EST 2003

On Tue, 30 Dec 2003 13:20:21 -0800 (PST), Jon Noble wrote:

>--- Melissa Proffitt <Melissa at> wrote:
>> Best First Novel:  _Across the Nightingale Floor_ by
>> Lian Hearn
>While I agree it is a great book, it is not a first
>novel. Lian Hearn has written quite a few childrens
>and YA novels under her real name Gillian Rubenstein.
>I believe she used a pseudonym for the Otori books so
>they would be judged on their own merits rather than
>trade of her already established (in Oz at least)

I consider it a first novel not by the actual individual, but by the
author's name and the genre--particularly in situations like this where the
author is deliberately getting away from an established reputation (good or
bad :).  In my opinion "Lian Hearn" is quite a different individual from
"Gillian Rubenstein" because they write for such different audiences.  I
think I must be more interested in the breakout success of an author's first
venture into a particular genre, or I'd be more strict--but then this is
only the second time I've picked this kind of "first" novel, so maybe I'm
more strict than I thought.  (In this case, I knew only that Lian Hearn was
a pseudonym, so thanks for the info on her true identity.)

Melissa Proffitt

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