Friday, March 21, 2014

Would You Want to Know... You?

by Peg Brantley
Evocative Characters. Intriguing Crime. Compelling Stories
(Who is happily meeting readers and writers at Left Coast Crime in Monterey!)

I recently saw a chart for Successful versus Unsuccessful People. I think it could also have been for Happy versus Unhappy People, or even... drumroll... Writers You Want to Know versus Writers You Don't Want to Know.

We hear things all the time about how gracious Laura Lippman and Lee Child are. They come across to readers as generous and kind and well... writers as people who readers want in their lives. Writers as people who readers want to cheer for.

Other than the obvious—that writers write stories readers enjoy reading—here's what I've come up with:

Writers You Want to Know
Writers You Don’t Want to Know
Have a sense of gratitude
Have a sense of entitlement
Make decisions out of love (there's passion in every story)
Make decisions out of fear (they write to formula)

Take the high road
Take the expedient road
Exercise forgiveness
Hold grudges
Want others to succeed and be happy
Secretly want others to fail and be miserable
Share information and data
Horde information and data
Understand they owe their readers
Believe their readers owe them
Operate from a transformational perspective
Operate from a transactional perspective
Understand it takes a village
Believe they are the village
Trust others
Doubt others

Continuously seek to improve
Believe they’ve got everything covered
Believe in others
Believe only in themselves
Set goals
Have that sense of entitlement thing going on again
Are honest in their assessment of how hard they work
Either say they slave away 24/7 or that they simply have the magic touch
Accept responsibility for their failures
Blame others for their failures
Include as many as possible in as many ways as possible
With each ladder rung achieved, they pull the steps up behind them

Do you have issues with any of these? Disagreements are fine with me. I'm not a politician.

What would you add?

And before anyone says it, I have some friends who say they could care less about getting to know any authors. All they want is a good book. And yes, I still love them.


  1. Interesting post. I like people, so I'm always going to be friendly. I've been talking to strangers since I learned to speak. And I hope I'll always be honest with myself and grateful for my success.

  2. Hmmm. Would I want to meet any of my writing heroes?

    I met Sir Terry Pratchett at the Winchester's Writing Conference a few years ago, when he was a guest speaker. He came across as tired and wanting to get out of there fast. I think he must have been in the early stages of his disease then :(

    Authors I would want to meet (off the top of my head): Rowling, Gaiman, Wodehouse if he was still alive (he'd be a riot, I'm sure!), Douglas Adams, Agatha Christie, Ian Rankin, Terry Goodkind, and that Howey guy ;) among others. I don't think there are any I would particularly avoid like the plague. But I agree with your list, Peg.

  3. I have had the great pleasure of meeting Vince Flynn (rest in peace), Deon Meyer, Wm Kent Krueger, Michael Sears and Stan Trollip (co-authors aka Michael Stanley), Marcus Sakey, David Housewright, Ellen Hart and James Scott Bell. All were gracious and fun!
    I would love to hang out with James Lee Burke, Nelson DeMille, Jo Nesbo, John Sanford anamong others. Would be fascinating.
    I am looking forward to meeting in person with Jodie Renner and Aymen Khalifa.
    All the authors I've met have been interesting and personable.

    1. Tom, I can't believe you included me in that list of illustrious authors! You must be buttering me up to edit your next novel - and I'm eager to do that, so no buttering needed! LOL

  4. This is an excellent list, Peg, and I'm off to share it now, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+!

    I've briefly met quite a few well-known authors at Thrillerfest and other writers conferences. The nicest and friendliest to me so far have been Shane Gericke (whom I like to call the "ambassador" of Thrillerfest), David Morrell, Sandra Brown, James Scott Bell, Robert Dugoni, and Steven James. But I suppose it often depends on whom you end up chatting with.

    Of course I'd have to include my author friends on this blog! :-)


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