It’s Weekly Geek time. I have not participated in a while, but I felt today’s subject would be a good one to discuss here. This week the subject is about authors. From the Weekly Geek blog:
Having recently been told that I’m odd because I’m not terribly interested in author interviews I’ve started to ponder whether there are two types of readers…those who stick to the books versus those who like to know more about the author’s background, thoughts, motivations and writing process.
So, what about you?
· Do you seek out interviews with authors of books you’ve enjoyed? Why or why not?
· Do you interview authors on your blog? If yes what did you gain from the interview process? If no is it because you don’t want to or because you haven’t felt able to ask an author yet?
· Do you subscribe to the blogs of authors you like? Which ones? All the authors you like or only certain ones?
· Do you track down author websites or look for biographical information about them elsewhere? Would you skip reading a book if you couldn’t find out anything about its author?
I confess, when I was younger I was obsessed with Stephen King. As I mentioned here before, I was a huge fan. I not only had to be the first to grab a new release, I sometimes bought my books from his home town book store. His home town book store (whose name now escapes me) also used to sell Christmas ornaments based on his work or home town. I still have the ornaments, but no longer put them on the family tree. If the internet existed back then I am sure I would be looking for daily updates from him. If Twitter was around back then and had he participated I am sure I would not have gotten a lot done, as I would be waiting on his next tweet. “Oh, man, what is King doing now?” would be my only thoughts. Luckily I grew out of this crazed stage and moved on to a more mature one. Really, I do not give a lot of thought to a writer’s personal life. The book is all I need to “know”. A writer’s life is not as important to me. As long as I am reading fiction the author’s personal story is of no interest to me. If I am reading non-fiction then I do care about the author’s background, if only to learn what his or her area of expertise is and how it relates to the book.
Sometimes learning about an author’s real life takes away the mystique. I used to feel Neil Gamin must be one of those writers whose personal life was surely be as mysterious and creepy as his books. I follow him on Twitter (why I started I cannot say) and now know he likes to make pancakes for his teen daughter and her friends. Really, I do not need to know this, yet I do, and it makes no difference to me. I still like the creepy books, yet sometimes as I read one of his books, the thought of him making pancakes does spring to mind. On the other hand, knowing about Gaiman and other authors who I have made contact with, either through e-mail or personal blogs, has made their writing less intimidating; they seem more human and ordinary. Having personal contact with authors makes me feel a little more protective of their work and I am more apt to read more of it. This may be the real upside for authors who are accessible to their readers.
I have interviewed Ruth Downie here, only because she was kind enough to contact me after I reviewed one of her books. I am still too shy and intimidated to ask authors for interviews. Susan King and I exchanged a few e-mails and though I still do not like historical romance, I am a fan of hers and will read her more mainstream novels. I do not know anything about her personal life; I just know she is a very nice woman who is a terrific writer. And really, this is all I need to know about any writer.