OPINION: Top authors write a happy chapter

COMMENT BY ANN RICKARD: DO you share my feeling of excitement when you discover an author, new to you, and you love her (or his) book so much you simply have to have more?

Good isn't it?

It gets even better when you go online and discover this new-found author (to you) has written many books and you have hours of reading enjoyment ahead of you. What to say but "happiness".

I've discovered three new-to-me authors in the past month.

First up, I discovered Sarah-Kate Lynch.

I read her novel called Eating with the Angels, a work of fiction set in Venice and New York about an acclaimed New York restaurant reviewer who loses her sense of taste.

So vivid were the New York descriptions I was certain the book had been written by a savvy New Yorker.

Imagine my surprise when I found out the author was a Kiwi, living in Auckland.

How could this be? How could a Kiwi write with such a New York voice?

But write she did. And don't even get me started on her comprehensively in-depth descriptions of Venice. I was right there with her protagonist at the Rialto markets, sniffing the ripe melons and sun-kissed tomatoes and picking over the delicate zucchini blossoms.

I'm now on to my third book written by Sarah-Kate Lynch and I have about 10 more to go. See? Happiness.

Then I discovered Catherine Alliott, described as "one of Britain's best-loved women's fiction authors".

She has an engaging style and I gobbled up her book My Husband Next Door in one big gulp. Then I discovered yet another author who gripped me from the moment I opened his book, Shatter.

Michael Robotham is a crime/thriller writer who lives in Sydney and writes so grippingly of dark matters he had me sitting on the edge of the seat ... well, the edge of the bed, for that is where I like to read, and in truth I was prone, but I was on edge.

You probably already know Michael Robotham. His novels have been translated into 23 languages and he has won a bookshelf of awards.

But I have only just discovered him and I - unlike those who have had to wait impatiently for his next book to come out - have months of reading pleasure ahead.

Sometimes it pays to be a late bloomer.

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