Saturday, 9 February 2013

Readers v Writers

A slightly odd moment in a book shop the other day (acquiring Brian Jacka's sequels to his novel Fated. I've already read through one of them, which should show how engrossing they are) when I got talking to this chap by the shelves for the fantasy books. I'm not entirely sure how. I'm not the most sociable of people generally. Perhaps it seemed that we were kindred spirits because we could both differentiate Tolkein from George R.R. Martin, or maybe it was just because he noted I was carrying one of those bags for life in defiance of their tendency to look a bit odd when they're empty.

Either way, I happened to mention that I was a writer (as a defence against what felt like the unspoken pressures of 'what are you doing here in the middle of the day and why are you standing in front of the fantasy rather than the literary fiction and/or action thrillers?') and inevitably, he had a couple of questions. They weren't the usual 'where do you get your ideas' ones though. Instead, he wanted to know where the quotes on the back of books come from. It also turned out that he didn't know about the existence of the big six publishers.

Which makes a point in itself. Online, I'm so used to talking to other writers, who understand all the details of these things, that it came as a surprise. I realised that most of the time with this blog, and everywhere else, I'm talking to people who at least dabble in writing. Very rarely to people who are simply and purely readers. It's a very different sort of situation.


Laura Brown said...

I guess almost everyone reads SOMETHING, so I guess it stands to reason that not all readers are creative types themselves?

Donna Hole said...

I know what you mean. I have a day job and while these co-workers read books, they don't seem to have the slightest idea about authors as real people. I'm so glad for the blogs, and people who understand my lingo :)

I have a question for you. Would you please e-mail me at donnahole at gmail dot com and let me know if you'd like to do a guest post on my blog in conjunction with a review of Court of Dreams? I have a few concept questions you could answer in a narrative form, or you could come up with your own guest post ideas if you agree.