26 March 2013

When Authors Talk About Their Books

Back in October of last year, I stumbled across an author who deeply intrigued me.  She's a fantastic lady named Sarah Beth Durst.  She wrote Drink, Slay, Love -- a hilarious novel about a vampire girl who suddenly grows a conscious -- and Vessel, which made me growl with frustration when I realized it wasn't a series.  They are two vastly different novels, but both thrill me with their action-packed plots, intriguing characters and beautiful romances.  The other day, I stumbled across Sarah's website and on it she gives a wonderful wealth of resources: links to all these places where she shows up on the internet.  Normally, it's a pretty boring list and I don't pay much attention.  But she'd done several videos for Simon & Schuster.  You know, those short, maybe two minute interviews where the author talks about their novel.

I watched her videos for Drink, Slay, Love and Vessel, because I was already familiar with those.  But I was so energized by the enthusiasm that she was putting out.  The way she was so into what she was saying, from her huge smile to her hand gestures, really resonated with me, because I revere people with passion.

Intrigued, I watched her interview for her other novel, Ice, and I was struck.  Perhaps it was the way she presented it, or her mentioning that Beauty and the Beast is her favorite fairytale (something we have in common), but whatever magical thing she did, I was left aching to read this other book of hers.

Today, I read a post Brenna Yovanoff (The Replacement) put on her site entitled: What Paper Valentine Means to Me: an Essay in Three Parts.  What moved me was the way she described how she viewed her latest book.  She broke it down into blocks of themes and ideas:
Paper Valentine has murder in it, but it’s not a murder mystery. It has ghosts, but it’s not a horror novel or a supernatural thriller. It has kissing, but it’s not a romance, and it has grief and loss and bullying and disordered eating, but it’s not an issues book and it’s not an after-school special.
Paper Valentine is about peril, and about choosing to move forward anyway, because your life is your life and letting someone else impose a role on you—any role you didn’t choose yourself—is just one more insidious and ill-defined danger.
There was so much glorious passion in that post; it was practically overflowing with it.  

What these two things have in common is that after hearing/seeing the author talk about their work, I was instantly compelled to go and read their books.  I took their passion and made it my own; it lit a fire under me until I could hardly contain my excitement.

These two instances have made me realize that while, yes, there are plenty of authors out there who are entirely motivated by the dreams of big bucks, there are also many, many writers who write and publish because they have a passion and they feel responsible to share it with the world.

For that, I thank them.