Hello, dear reader!
It’s been a while since we chatted
(not that I’m not here at the site like EVERYDAY
but I’m not always posting so, just sayin’, hi!)
but I’ve gotten another bee in my bonnet and I’m hoping
you’ll take a second to weigh in on a question I have.
You see, I’m a VERY lucky girl!
I live in a centrally located city (Chicago) where
SCADS of authors come to visit!
(largely through the beneficent offices of Anderson’s Bookshop)
And I ADORE meeting authors!!
And most of them are so super sweet
and I just love their enthusiasm and wit and shoes
(what? they wear good shoes!)
Recently I’ve begun to wonder…..
Do my feelings for an author, as a person,
influence my feelings for their works?
I have to admit that they do!
On more than one occasion, I’ve read a book that was good, but not mind-blowing.
But, after meeting the author,
and hearing their thoughts on their characters,
their stories and just seeing how they interacted with their fans,
I find that I love their book so much more!
I’ve also had the opposite experience where for whatever reason
I didn’t click with an author, and I found myself less inclined to read his/her works.
It’s this latter situation that causes me the most angst,
because, while I feel that as a reviewer it’s my job to be impartial and open,
as a reader I just can’t justify “wasting” my time on an author
whom I don’t like on a personal level!
What’s a curious fox to do?
My first thought was to bring this question to the Bookworms!
If ever there was a group of intelligent and good-looking women,
the Bookworms are it!
Here’s what my fellow Bookworms had to say on the topic:
some cutie thoughts: Being that I live in the super nova black hole known as the Southwestern United States, I have not had the opportunity to schmooze with authors nor admire their killer shoe styles, simply because there ain’t no authors to schmooze with! (*deletes long winded, self-involved, irate rant*)
Where was I? Oh yes.
So I can’t say from experience that I have been more likely to read a book and like it simply due to the personality of said author. However, to build upon Danny’s thoughts, I have found that I will be effected by the tweets of an author for good or bad. For example, via Twitter I have grander a huge girl crush on the author of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, Morgan Matson. Seriously, I am her official stalker! I love how she takes the time to talk with her followers and shares what’s going on in her life. However, there are some authors who I tend to ignore because they not only bombard Twitter with nonsense but also just seem incredibly self-involved (I will not be naming names but immediately ones come to mind!).
Inversely (wow… did I just use the word inversely?), an author who doesn’t use social networking to connect with their fans seem like a snob to me. Harsh, I know! But I think in this day and age, with social networking being so popular, that every author should have one. So the fact that a little known (that’s a joke, by the by) but well loved author such as (I hate to use names but….) Stephenie Meyer no longer interacts with her fans via the webernet just seems… well wrong.
And in conclusion: Did I mention I live in a state where no authors come to visit? And when I say none, I mean: Z-E-R-O. *tragic dramatically long sigh*
Heather’s even-tinier-than-Kristen’s thoughts: I also agree with everyone. I’ll admit to being very judgemental…if you come off as not enjoying meeting your fans, signing books, and answering the same questions over and over again…I’m not going to like you very much. And if you’re books are just okay, I probably won’t waste my time since my view of you is now tainted by my impression of how you are in real life. But I have yet to meet a single author who is like this, so I have not actually been able to put my theory to the ultimate test (I’m a chemist, I need hard scientific data!). But the same can be said for people in general, I’m just one of those people that gives you one chance to make an impression and that’s all you get. Pushy and the rest of the Bookworms know that I’m like that and they love me anyway, so I’m cool.
That being said, Pushy and I have met so many wonderful authors and I am horrible with names. I’ll remember your face forever, but your name…I’ll never remember it even if you’re wearing a name tag. So the odds are in your favor that if you have to be at the extremes of niceness or evilness for me to be swayed in the least.
In this day and age of Social Networking, I think any author except the JK Rowlings and Stephenie Meyers of the world are expected to be open and approachable to their fans. I follow many authors on Twitter and I haven’t seen one bad or offensive tweet out of the 50 or so that I follow. Obviously the bigger ones don’t interact with their fans as much, but does this make me like them less? Heck no, I just know that they have many fans and can’t possibly reply to every single tweet that they get.
Now it’s time for YOU to weigh in!
What do you think?
If you’re a blogger, do you find this happens to you too?
Do you fight it? Embrace it?
If you’re an author, do you notice this in your reviews?
Do you have concerns of your own of having your work be treated objectively
outside of a reviewer’s relationship to you?
Or do you feel pressured to be “on”
in social media settings just to promote your book?
Leave us a comment and let us know!
Then go and get lost…in a book!
Tweeting optional. *grin*