Nancy Pearl moderated a lively discussion with 3 talented authors. The session was formated around the questions we all want to ask our favorite authors.
Q: What are you reading?
Various answers include: Hold Tight by Harlen Coben, Without a Map by Meredith Hall, Red Breast by Jo Nesbo, One Drop by Bliss Boyard, The Nine by Jeffery Toobin,as well as various works by Peter Gomes, and Denise Mina. There seemed to be a major concentration for nonfiction.
Q: Who is your ideal reader?
A giggle was elicited by the comment: a reader who buys the book! In actuality the best readers are involved, informed, and active in learning more about the story and characters.
Q: What is your writing process like?
The authors mentioned that the story comes as a surprise even to them as it unfolds. Some mentioned listening to the voices (inside their heads)of the story. Medwed told the audience about becoming a master eavesdropper in order to add to the voices of her characters.
Q: If you could change one thing about the publishing world what would it be?
Medwed: That the book is what matters, not author looks, not marketability
Page: Publishers are not giving enough chances to new authors
Barnes: Eliminate franchising
Q: If a reader asked for books like yours, who would you recommend?
Medwed: Elinor Lipman, Steve McCauley, Tom Parotta,
Barnes: Michael Connolly Laurie King
Page: Valerie Wilson, Margaret Maron, Robert Barnard, Craig Rice
Q: Why is humorous fiction not taken seriously?
They are considered “light”
People think without serious issues the book is not worthwhile
Q: How do you feel about having your books categorized into specific genres?
Like being sent to the children's table at dinner. It was a general consensus that in order to open up the library's collection to all patrons,we should not house books by genre. Watch out I think there might be a wave of change. Nancy Pearl even mentioned eliminating the Dewey system from libraries.