The curse of the sophomore attempt

Whenever someone does well at a debut attempt – music, writing, film, whatever – their second attempt stands ready to be heavily scrutinized, even before it is complete.

So while she [Kostova] recognises that there will be great pressure for her second book, which she has already started, to be commercially successful, she does not find that pressure hard to resist. “To me it’s not relevant whether my next book is a success or not,” she says, matter-of-factly. “The pattern is that if an author does well the first time then people are usually disappointed by the next book. I’m totally prepared to put this aside mentally and write what I’m going to write. It will be whatever it is. I only hope that my next book will be better. It might not do better because Dracula is a subject which is appealing in itself to a lot of people. And that is part of what this is riding on. I just hope every book I write is a better piece of writing than the last.”

Well, that’s nice that Ms. Kostova didn’t feel the pressure. Could it have been that crazy awesome payday for her debut?
(Read the entire article here.)
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2 thoughts on “The curse of the sophomore attempt

  1. I LOVED her first book, and I'm looking forward to this one very much! I can imagine it's very difficult when your first book is so acclaimed…but hopefully there has been enough time in between for people to give this a chance.

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  2. Thanks for commenting, Tara!

    I agree that the timing of a second novel can impact its criticisms. I think Kostova is a beautiful writer that any flaws can be forgiven. She certainly writes thick enough books that a misstep here or there is forgotten by the end.

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