Since I posed this week’s Weekly Geek’s questions it would be poor form indeed to be my usual lazy self and not participate. The questions were prompted by a conversation I had with a colleague recently. We had the opportunity to attend a talk by an author whose books we both like (Peter Temple) and I chose instead to go home and soak my feet in a foot spa filled with lemongrass. As well as thinking my foot fetish a bit odd, my colleague couldn’t understand my total lack of interest in hearing and seeing Temple. Having been told that my behaviour is very odd for a book lover such as myself I thought I’d pose some questions to fellow weekly geek-ers and see if I am really the odd one out (it wouldn’t be the first time).
Do you seek out interviews with authors of books you’ve enjoyed? Why or why not?
No. I don’t read, watch or listen to author interviews that tie in with a book’s publication where I can be reasonably sure that lots of the questions will be about the specific book. Especially if I haven’t read the book yet (even when they try not to they often give away things I’d rather not know). I like to read a book as ‘freshly’ as possible so that I can decide what I like (or don’t) about it, which characters I am drawn to and so on. I don’t really want to know that the character of Charlene is based on the author’s dead baby sister or that it took the author seven years to write the book at night while working as an undertaker-cum-florist in a windowless room.
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?
No. I’ve never wanted to. I don’t read them either (sorry, no offense meant, they’re just not my thing).
Do you subscribe to the blogs of authors you like? Which ones? All the authors you like or only certain ones?
I have a handful of author blogs in my RSS reader (actually on checking there are now only 4 after a recent cull of my subscription feeds, is that a handful?). The thing they all have in common is that they don’t really look much like author blogs. For example Margot Kinberg’s excellent Confessions of a Mystery Novelist provides great insight into my favourite genre and poses interesting questions about all facets of what makes a mystery novel and the fact she is a published author doesn’t really factor in to why I enjoy her blog. Martin Edwards’ blog Do You Write Under Your Own Name and Barbara Fister’s Barbara Fister’s Place also tell me interesting things about the world and the fact they are written by authors is almost incidental. The fourth is Stuart MacBride’s blog which I read because it makes me laugh. There have been others over time but most of them crossed the line from interesting blogger to promotional juggernaut once too often for me to stay subscribed.
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?
Nope. I am singularly uninterested in such details. If I come across them I forget them as soon as I’ve heard them (just ask the people who asked me to be part of their quiz night team so that I might beef up their chances of answering the literary questions) (though I still argue it’s not my fault that most of the questions were about authors rather than their books).
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
I’ve no idea what my lack of interest in the creators of my favourite art form says about me though I do realise I probably am in the minority. I guess I want all the effort, emotion and storytelling to go into the books and if somehow the book needs to be interpreted for me or promoted to me then it isn’t as good as it could have been.
It’s highly unlikely but just about possible that I’m completely wrong and am missing out on a key element of my reading by skipping all the author interviews. But my feet have never felt better 🙂