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1. Every author wants everyone to read and love their books.

2. This will never happen.

3. The world's nicest people sometimes write books I don't care for

4. While I am not, sadly, the world's nicest person, I also write books that people simply don't care for.

5. If you don't care for my books--or even actively dislike them--I don't want you to duck out of sight anytime our paths cross. Unless you actively dislike me, in which case, go ahead.

6. I don't expect everyone to like my books. I've spent many, many years working in a bookstore where one of my chief joys is to match people with books they will actually like. This has caused me to develop certain reflexive habits. For instance:

Young boy at Confluence: A lot of my friends say your books are really good. Which one should I start with?

Me, standing at Larry & Sally's very fabulous display in the dealer's room: Well, what other authors and books have you read? What other books have you enjoyed?

Him: I really liked Old Man's War, by John Scalzi. Oh, and Ghost Brigades, and the Last Colony (which I once again mistyped as the Lost Colony, gah). (He then mentions a few more books--all SF).

Me: Well, those are all science fiction, and all of my books are fantasy novels. I'm not sure that you'll actually like them. But there are a number of authors I do think you'll like if you liked the Scalzi.

7. I don't expect everyone to read my books. Any of them. I am happy when people read them. I am grateful. But I am not conversely angered, irritated or depressed when they don't.

Not only do I not require you to come up to me and preface our first conversation with "I'm really sorry I haven't gotten around to reading your books yet…" or "I'm really sorry I haven't picked up your books yet…", but sometimes it's a little awkward to start said first conversation with reassurances that you haven't offended me. I know I can be a bit of an ogre--but not so much of one that I feel you've no business speaking to me at all if you haven't read my books--or if you've read them and hated them, or worse, were bored to tears. I haven't in all likelihood listened to your music, seen your art or inspected the electrical work you did on the construction site in your real life job -- and I don't want to have to feel horribly guilty for that, either.


Aug. 3rd, 2010 01:14 am (UTC)
your books
I have this weird issue, where if I start a book, no matter how bad it is I must at least slog through that whole book. I suppose it is sort of like wasting food to me. Most times I am granted a sense of pride in keeping that streak going, other times I am rewarded with the fact that I ended up enjoying the work very much. I know this is sort of off topic but that is what your comment reminded me of. Specifically how I almost broke my streak twice with "The Sun Sword" the first book of your I had read at that point. It wasn't so much that it was bad. I was enjoying the dialog between characters and the emotions I could feel, but at about 100 pages in I was languishing and was thinking to myself, when is this going to pick up? By page 200 I was like, dear god, I have got so much info, when is it going to get anywhere. It took me around 6 weeks to get that far, which was unheard of for me. But when my mind went to giving up, I knew I would regret never having finished it. Not sure exactly when it changed but I recall it was about 200 pages from the end and it GRABBED me, didn't put it down the rest of the night. Since then oddly I have taken to reading the majority of your books out loud(mostly the dialog but other passages as well) not only does it enhance my enjoyment of the interpersonal dramas, but it makes finishing it take longer, so that I don't finish them immediately after receiving them. So while of course I am grateful to you for sharing you imagination with others, I am also glad that my stubbornness(not always my best quality)paid off so largely in this case.