There was a book review over at Dear Author today on a Lori Foster book. Lori Foster is a many published romance author who is the reason I got published. Seriously. I read a book she wrote and it was so goddamned awful that I threw it across the room and said "I can write better than this."
That doesn't happen a lot. Occasionally though there are books I've read that I thought "Hey, she's not better than me." And then I read Loretta Chase and feel like the speck of poop on the bottom of her dainty slipper which I am. (I love you Loretta Chase and I am not worthy. I am not worthy.)
Comparison sucks. If I compared myself to everything I read then a lot of the pleasure of why I write might be compromised. It doesn't matter if Carolyn is a better writer than I or if I do better dialogue or if Cheryl has better plots...
We all write to tell the stories we want to tell. And there's an audience for all of it.
Lori Foster wrote a book that was so bad I challenged myself to write better. Lori Foster has also written books that are beyond my capabilities. It doesn't matter. Because in the long run, there's an audience for her and an audience for me and it all washes out in the end.
(Okay, I will admit that I read about 4 or 5 Lori Foster books trying to find one I liked and never could. She's my least favorite romance writer. And her idea of erotica works for a 15 year old boy, not for me. Mea culpa. Sue me. I just can't stand the woman. But she's got a lot more readers than I could ever dream of so she's doing something right. Oh well.)