Be Curious About Your Author

Getting to know an author is important. I feel that as a writer, I have to somewhat fillet myself to let people see what sparks my writing. Doesn’t it make it more enjoyable to read something when you feel you know the person that has, most often, painstakingly written the words that are on the pages in front of you?

I will be completely honest, and I should get yelled at for this, but I used to buy a book, read it, and never learn anything about the person behind the words. Of course, now, I Google the author and find a little, or a lot, about them. I find that I respect and enjoy their book so much more! I have to bet that most people don’t know much about their favorite authors and that’s too bad.  And I bet more authors would become your favorite if you knew a little more about their story, why they write, and what inspires them. Trust me, most authors have their life on a blog or website somewhere.

Start with the books you have at home. Search the author and read their story, even the ones that you THINK you know. You probably only know the characters that they have written about, but there’s always a story behind the story. Writers, usually, like to reveal their inspiration. We like for people to know what fires up our pen, or makes our fingers type faster and harder.  That’s why we blog and open up our writing hearts for all to see. Maybe I’m only speaking for myself, but I want you to know why I love the written word. I want you know what has inspired my first book and the ones to follow.

To know your authors, is to know more about their characters and storylines. For example, Kristin Hannah is one of my favorite authors. I read a couple of her books before going to her website and reading the “About Kristin” tab on her website.  After reading it, I went from just liking her writing to respecting her writing. It’s amazing the difference it’s made when I pick up and read one of her books. It’s enhances the way I  get to know her characters. I pay more attention to where her books take place, and it’s fun to see the tidbits of her that fall into her storylines. As I’m reading, I’ll come across a small detail and subconsciously realize, that’s a small part of Kristin. I like that. (I also learned she writes longhand…I envy that.)

Whether you read casually or read aggressively, know more about the person behind the book. You’ll be glad you did. Let curiosity be your motivation.

Until next time….

5 Comments

Filed under February 2011

5 responses to “Be Curious About Your Author

  1. Lola Gaunt

    Hi Amy, I belong (and also volunteer) with the Friends of the Jacksonville (FL) Public Library. Each spring we have a Spring Luncheon where we invite an author to speak. Last year we had Brenda Jackson (who lives in Jacksonville) to speak. She told how she is so driven to write, how ideas pop into her head – during work hours, middle of the night, etc. I read many authors, but as you say get to know their background. And I so enjoyed her talking (was not a speech, but talking friends to friends) and her telling about her family, church and her work. Keep on writing and maybe someday soon we can have you as our Speaker.

  2. That would be awesome Lola! And thank you for all your comments and encouragement! It means a lot!

  3. Erin Grimaldi

    Amy,
    After briefly discussing your novel with you, I am glad to see that you have opted to share your journey with others. I am anxious to live vicariously through your writing/publishing (and cooking) experiences .

    Also – I am glad that you posted about “getting to know the author”. I can’t count the number of occasions where I flipped a book over to it’s back cover just to see a short paragraph that merely states impersonal credentials about the author and then wraps up with, “Jane Doe and her husband John reside in Richmond, VA with their 3 children.” It was always such a disappointment to read such a dry, bland, and brief biography, especially when still coasting on the beautiful language of the just-read book. BUZZ KILL!

    It wasn’t until recently that I began to google authors after reading (or even before reasing) a great piece… Similarly, my existing respect for writers such as Jeanette Walls or Elizabeth Gilbert bloomed into complete admiration.

    On the contrary, the opposite can also occur. I have shot myself in the foot by googling authors too much before or during a good read. Sometimes, what you learn about the author may prove to disappoint (i.e. they are activists for a movement that you fundamentally disagree with, political, religious, or otherwise, They have been involved in scandals, schemes, unethical conduct, etc.)…. and this can have a devastating impact on how you receive the rest of their work.

    I play it safe and research after reading… therefore I will have already had the opportunity to develop my own “innocent” or “unbiased” reflections on the writing without “spoiling” my perception by knowing who stands behind the words.

    However, I can’t imagine anyone who doesn’t respect a woman who can whip up some unbelievable biscuits and gravy !! Therefore I think it’s safe to say that those who know you will only enjoy your book that much more =)

    ]Cheers,

    Erin

    Kudos to you on your book. I can’t wait to read it!

    • Erin, thank you for your thoughtful comment. I can tell you put time into your thoughts and I appreciate it very much! Thank you so much for reading my blog and I will hopefully have good news when we get back from Italy that the next step can be taken to get this book published!

  4. Hi Amy,

    Thank you for your wonderful blog and the articles posted here. I always loved to read about the author and that inspires me. When I read about Ian Rand that she is a philosopher and thinker … I felt so happy that I’m reading a novel written by such a great intellectual.
    I’m contemplating to write a book on branding and look forward to your suggestions. I would read your book once it’s published.
    I pray for your Dad who is undergoing surgery.. he would be hale & hearty for sure after the surgery.

    Thank you
    Solomon

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