To distract myself, a question: are there authors you love, absolutely flat-out love, but who have a quirk of some kind that drives you ABSOLUTELY FUCKING NUTS?
For me: George Pelecanos. I *love* George Pelecanos. The most brilliant crime novelist working today. He knows DC, he writes DC; he knows ins and outs of lots of social scenes, from the street to restaurants to cops to crooks to men trying to delude themselves -- the guy is just flat out garking brilliant, with terrific storylines and characters and dialogue. A lot of his stories deal with the various unwritten rules of racial interaction, and he's very smart about them; he's got a great eye for how characters of different ages and backgrounds talk, and what they say. (Pelecanos does better than anyone else, for example, at writing gangsta dialogue. Because when most white writers try it, they try really hard to make it sound "different" and "hard" and turn it into ghastly minstrel-show shit, but Pelecanos has an absolutely marvelous technique of writing such dialogue and making it believable without being distracting for us Standard English types. No surprise that the guy wrote for THE WIRE.)
But there is one thing about Pelecanos that drives me absolutely up the wall. He is a music guy. I'm very much not. I like music, now -- I love to sing sea shanties, for example, which irritated one ex-girlfriend no end -- but basically, pretty much every song that somebody makes a vid to is something I have never heard of. I don't listen to lots of music, I don't talk music, I almost never turn on the radio, sometimes a month or two goes by without me even opening iTunes, OK? This makes me totally the opposite of George Pelecanos. If he is writing a period novel, for example, he will write about the songs on the radio. The stations the characters listen to. Who the DJs were. He will write about local bands, and who is playing where, and when. If it is a modern story, then he will have his characters *reminisce* about Back In The Day when they would listen to radio station X, and DJ Y, and songs Z, ZZ, and ZZZ Plural Z Alpha. For PAGES. Sometimes he has his older characters talk about Their Time, and they define it by the music they listened to. EVERY BOOK. LOTS OF IT. Swear to God, it drives me NUTS. But I keep reading him, because he's that brilliant.
Anybody else have a beloved writer who has a tic that drives 'em nuts?