As I prepare to talk to a group of people at the local library, I wonder what they expect to hear. Are they curious about what it takes to write a novel? Do they consider themselves potential authors? Are they interested in my writing day? Do they wonder where my ideas come from?
When you go hear an author speak–your favorite one–what do you expect? Here are some things I want to hear:
- How did you ever come up with that plot? You surprised me over and over. I’m curious as to how you managed to tie all the ends together so neatly?
- Your characters seemed so real. Did you base them on people you know? How did their personalities evolve?
- Those fight scenes blew me away. Did you act them out with your dog? How in the world did you get all the pieced together without destroying your living room?
- Writers have to know a lot about a lot of things. They must describe the setting in full detail. They must put characters in jobs they’ve never had. How did you manage to make everything seem so real when you’ve never been a brain surgeon?
- When I read a good book, I marvel at the beautiful language. How did you learn the craft of writing? Are you a natural poet or did you have to struggle to make your writing so vivid?
- What about the world of publishing. What is your story? So many writers talk about waiting years to see their works in print. Tell me how you managed to get published?
- And then there’s the editing and re-writing. How is that for you? Some writers enjoy the tweaking and fixing while others hate making any changes. Tell me about how you feel about major re-writes?
- Has becoming a published author changed you? When your book became a best seller, how did that change you?
Of course, most of us won’t be able to answer the last part of number 8. It’s fun to think we might, though. Maybe someday…