My plan for today was to have a review up... but as you can see, there is no review yet ^_^; One would think it shouldn't be too difficult to finish one that I've already started, but alas... I ended up cleaning my room yesterday ^_^; Poor excuse, but then, you haven't seen my room LOL. Then, today was busy, busy, busy! Plus, I blame Ames for stealing my reviewing mojo LOL. So instead, I've decided to bring up a discussion topic :)
The topic today is what do you think of authors mentioning bits and pieces of their other work in their newest books? And I'm not talking about books in a same series or that are loosely connected. For example, I was reading Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep and in it, Gwen mentioned how her mother and her enjoyed BBQ from the Pork Pit which is the restaurant that Gin, the heroine of her Elemental Assassin series, owns. In The Next Always by Nora Roberts, the rooms at the inn are named after popular romance couples such as Titiana and Oberon, Elizabeth and Darcy... and Eve and Roarke. I also remember in Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kenyon, the heroine was reading a book by Kinley MacGregor which is Ms Kenyon's pseudonym.
My question is: What do you think of those mentions? Is it self-promotion or harmless fun?
And when does it become too much? Once again, we go back to The Next Always by Nora Roberts. In Goodreads, Marg wrote in her thoughts of The Next Always: "Given that NR owns the Inn Boonsboro in real life, I can't quite decide if she is clever to write a story about something that she has personally spent a lot of time and effort on, if it is clever marketing for the town or Boonsboro or if it is one huge example of product placement." I read that comment a while ago and it stayed with me. I admit this is a bit different from what I brought up as it's not from Ms Roberts's previous books, but her real life... but I don't think it's off topic.
Personally, most of the time, I think it's fun that an author would mention something from her previous books in a newer one. Also, you have to be familiar with the books to catch those mentions so I think it's harmless and it's just fun for the authors as well :) I mean, as long as it doesn't overshadow the current story, it's all good and fun :)
When it comes from real life though, things become a bit more iffy. Usually, I don't have any problem either. For example, the Sherrilyn Kenyon and Kinley MacGregor thing - why not? :) Inside joke, right? But recently, I read a book and it just rubbed me the wrong way. IIRC, it was in The Next Always again. They were looking to buy books for the library at the inn and a couple of romance author names were mentioned. It just seemed to me a bit clique-y. Are those authors friends with NR and that's why she mentioned them or simply just luck of the draw. I know, that's me being picky though and most probably, I'm over-thinking it ^_^;
As for the question Marg brought up... Well I don't think it's a huge product placement. Ms Roberts often write about different careers and she always does her research just well. This time she chose the inn to be the focus of this trilogy and it's not that different from her previous trilogies/quartets. Actually, while I knew she owned an inn, I didn't realize it was in Boonsboro. To me, it was simply a case of "you write what you know about." Although now that I am checking it out... the bookstore is indeed called Turn the Page and the Italian restaurant is Vesta, just like in the book. Hmmm, I guess the saying "ignorance is bliss" is true ^_^; Okay, now, perhaps I need to re-think this...
What are your thoughts?