I was looking through the #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter feed a couple of days ago and came across this:
I propose that readers don’t talk to authors at all. Or at least that’s what I get from the #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter hashtag
— DearAuthor (@dearauthor) July 28, 2015
I can understand the sentiment behind the tweet, but my first thought was ‘but genuine readers never say any of the things the authors are tweeting about’. I’ve heard a lot of the comments tweeted under the hashtag in real life and all but one came from a person who had never read one of my books. The exception was from someone who read Doctor January just to see what the hell kind of book I would write and she sounded genuinely baffled that she’d enjoyed it:
I read your book, and I actually liked it. #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter (It’s the “actually” I object to.)
— Jenny Holiday (@jennyholi) July 29, 2015
So what SHOULD you say to writers? The obvious ones are things like “I love your book. I’m going to give copies to everyone I know for Christmas” or “would you like some cake”.
Personally, I love it when people talk about my characters as though they were real people. Those characters ARE real to me while I’m writing them and it thrills me to bits that someone else can ‘see’ them, just by reading a bunch of words on a page.
So what I’m trying to say is, please don’t stop talking to authors. We love talking to readers. Plus, you never know where it might lead. This tweet below, for instance, led to a very long conversation where three authors (luckily, we’d read each other’s books and knew the characters) and one reader discussed what would happen if three guys from three very different books met up. It was the most fun I’d had on Twitter in ages.
— Kizzywiggle (@kizzywiggleboo) June 30, 2015