Over the course of my WD internship, I have realized a very disorienting fact about the writers I have had the opportunity to contact. They are not ‘celebrities’, at least, not most of them. (Stephen King is probably not applicable here.)
They are not like musicians who all have press agents that control their exposure. They are not movie stars where you have to jump through hoops just to ask them their favorite color. Writers, for the most part, are incredibly accessible with their Twitter accounts, blogs, and email, all of which they run themselves.
Part of this is without a doubt because they are in charge of most of their own promotion and online platforms, so this interaction with fans is incredibly necessary to promote a strong fan base. From a writer’s perspective, this makes total sense and is not terribly surprising.
But from a reader’s perspective, the idea that my favorite writers will actually respond to my emails and answer my questions, or even retweet me, is astounding. I idolize these people for their talent and creativity, and while in my head they are A-list celebrities, in the spectrum of fame, authors notoriously land pretty low.
I guess what is most striking for me, as I wait for email responses from writes I have been reading for years about a possible interview, is that I emailed these people directly (for the most part) and what they respond is actually coming from them. Whether they say yes or no to the interview is (almost) irrelevant because they took the time to respond to me, a devoted reader!
It is moments like this that remind us what was important to us when we were young readers idolizing authors (or now, adult readers still idolizing), and inspire us to be the same kind of open and accessible authors when we find our own success in the future.