Monday, July 28, 2014

Meeting Your Favorite Author

I know some authors blog every day. I don’t know how they do it. I only blog once a week and every week I’m sure I’ll run out of ideas by the following post. This blog is no exception. And believe it or not, I’ve been doing this since 2010!

I wasn’t sure what I was going to blog about so I asked my daughter a question, thinking it might open some creative doors. She’s an avid reader and I asked her, “If you were face to face with your favorite author, what question would you ask?”

 After a few moments, her response was, “I’d ask her if she’d sign my book.”

That’s it? She had no burning questions about where the writer’s ideas came from? How long it takes her to write a book? How many books has she written? What’s the author’s favorite book? Anything? Nope. Just “Please sign my book.” She made me laugh because her answer was so simple.

Apparently all she cares about is that the author writes a good book that entertains her. I know other readers would have more questions, but my daughter’s reaction brought home the fact that no matter what else an author does, he or she needs to write a book that makes the reader come back for more.

I have favorite authors and plenty of questions. How do you come up with so much humor? How do you keep your stories fresh so they don’t all run together? How do you manage to come up with so many unique characters? How do you manage your time so you can make so many personal appearances? What do you find is your most effective marketing tool?

Lastly, I’d have to ask, “Would you please sign my book?” I guess my daughter and I are more alike than I realized.

Just for the heck of it, here are a few questions and answers from me that haven’t been asked yet – or maybe they have.

What’s my favorite genre? Mysteries, of course, but I’m pretty sure I’ve answered that before. I particularly enjoy the ones with a little humor in them.

Do vintage movies inspire my writing? Absolutely. My characters also enjoy old black and white movies.

My favorite book? I know I’ve answered this one before – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I even owned an antique store/tea room once and it was called The Mockingbird. By the way, this brings up something else. I read that someone wrote an unauthorized biography about Harper Lee. The author’s name is Marja, but I want to assure you I’m not that author. I don’t recall what her last name was.

Who is my favorite author? There are just too many to pin it down to one writer, especially since I’ve started reading authors who are new to me.

Why do I include dogs in my stories? Because I love dogs, and they often add an element of humor to a story.

 Smooth, creamy chocolate

What do I have to say about chocolate? I’m laughing as I write this. I’m a chocoholic. “Chocolate is the answer. The question is irrelevant?” I found that on a calendar. And let’s not forget, “I Never Met a Chocolate I Didn’t Like.” That’s actually the title of one of those little books you find in gift shops.

Okay, that’s enough. I’ll come up with something new next week. (I’m open to suggestions.)

Until next time, feel free to ask people questions this week, and I hope you enjoy any unexpected answers you might receive.

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COMING SOON: What Are the Odds? – A Sandi Webster Mystery


  1. Marja,
    I always enjoy your weekly posts. I post weekly too because, like you, I can't imagine coming up with a new topic every day and having the time to write it.
    As to questions people ask writers, I was recently asked where I come up with my ideas for characters and plot. My answer: Anywhere and Everywhere!

    1. Thank you, Pat! Good answer, too. There are things all around us that can go into books.

  2. How old were you when you got your first tooth? Will you sign my books?

    1. LOL Leave it to you, Jake. I have no idea how old I was when my first tooth came in. And I always sign your books. You're such a character. Now tell me what you would ask of another author.

  3. I know how old I was when I lost my first tooth--4 years old. Okay, now to get back to the subject. My favorite author Mary Stewart died not long ago but I guess I would ask her if she had lived in or visited the countries where she set her novels. I'm pretty sure she did but I would love to discuss them with her. I know one time when she was visiting a Greek isle, she asked a local fisherman if the plot of her story was realistic and he laughed and said no. For some reason that just made me love her stories even more.

    1. Good question and a great story about the fisherman. I cut my teeth on the books by writers like Mary Stewart. I can understand your admiration for her.

      And I give you credit. I can't remember back to the age of four.

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  5. Testing to see if this goes through now.

  6. Thank you for the test, Norma. Yea! It works.