Monday, October 8

Obsession Confession: Author Loyalty

Do you follow any authors faithfully? 
No matter what they publish you automatically buy it?

This came to mind lately when I noticed a Twitter conversation between a few authors. They were discussing that they had new book ideas in the wings and even though their last series was done they were already working on something new. They were saddened that all too often they are irrevocably associated with one work. Much like an actor is associated most with one film or character.
Then when cruising the library I came across a book in which I couldn't easily spot the title. The authors name was so huge it swallowed the cover. And it got me to wondering who this author was that their name was so much more important than the title. And just exactly what did they do to get to that point. 

I do have a very small group of authors that I would willingly pick up any book they publish. I have so much faith in their writing abilities that I can't imagine they could go wrong. There are also a goodly number of authors that sit on the pending pile. In their case I will take into account the subject matter of the book before making a decision. But for the most part I am decided more by the title, cover, and synopsis than the author. This could be mostly because I read YA. You don't notice many YA books having the author name bigger than the title. Do you think it is because being a young adult is a very transitory state for most people? (Not me off course since I am still a teenager at heart hence the YA book obsession.)

Do you like to meet authors?
Do you think meeting the authors can add to the overall experience of reading the book or detract?
Does it take the magic out of the main character when it too closely mirrors the author?

I am so very undecided about this. I have met a handful of authors and some really helped to make the book that much better. The entire experience made me feel like I was hopped up on goofballs. I was so ecstatic. Sadly I have also met authors that really ruin a book for me. So very sad when I meet an author and get a bad impression. As much as I try not to judge it does affect my thoughts about their books. Sometimes even going so far as to make me stop reading any future publications. Or even just tarnish the magic properties of the book. Meaning I can now see the author clearly in the main character. They aren't so fictional now that I can place a face to the thoughts and mannerisms of this character. I don't have too many bad author experiences and I am trying to work through them. I want to read the book based on the strength of its story and characters and not on the author behind it.

How do you feel about signed books?

Some would say that unless you are a collector the signature doesn't matter. I like to think that while it being personalized to me isn't very important. There is a high likelihood that at some point I will be giving it away. And who would want to see my name blotching the page? As for the authors signature I think that it is proof I met them. It serves as a reminder to me of a neat experience. Even better is when the author adds a little something of their personality. I am sure that is a rare treat indeed. I am beginning to have this intense desire to have all my books marked with the authors favorite page or favorite scene. It is a nice thing to ponder why when I arrive at the noted pages. I don't know if I will keep this practice up but for now it is fun.

Do you like to chat with authors?
Send them emails or questions? 
Are you one to read up on their bios?


Having a small chat with an author is just about as exciting as getting an ARC or a highly anticipated release in the mail. I get giddy that they, if only for a passing second, recognized I exist. I just recently attempted contact with authors. It was a very eye opening exercise. I had no idea how incredibly busy and beleaguered authors are. No matter how important and original I think my questions are they have been asked millions of times before. But it is a serious rush when you get a reply.
I am not the biggest of bio reading fan. I have dabbled in it a bit but usually I am more interested in the book than the author bio.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not terribly loyal to any authors. I read most of Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews, Elizabeth Peters, Frank Tuttle, all of John Levitt...but no, I don't really automatically pick up what they produce. I still look at it and study it and wonder...I'm just HIGHLY likely to read it. HIGHLY.

    I tend to stay away from author blogs with few exceptions because too many of them will talk politics or some other hot-button issue. And I don't want to read that kind of stuff (not just from authors. In general, I love rants, but not political ones, and not polarizing issues.) Some authors end up talking waaaay too much book stuff: I wrote 2000 words today!

    Writing produces great things, but the actual process is like watching paint dry. I do not follow blogs that discuss the endless process of writing. Sure, a mention now and then is no big deal, but laying out character breakdowns or plot issues or how many words...ugh.

    Meeting an author has never bothered me. I don't usually pick up on enough things to take an instant dislike to them, although I suppose if they were handing round a petition on their pet subject, I'd run the other way. I have met readers who seemed to want my fiction to be somehow based on a true story and they seemed very disappointed to find out that it really is completely made up.

    I have some signed books and I love them. I will NOT be parting with them.

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