The exciting, romantic and adventurous life of an author
How exciting it is to be an author! We travel all over the world, have fantastic adventures, work out intricate plots on how to kill people and not have our heroes get killed themselves, go on stake-outs with police and FBI, maybe the CIA while we’re abroad… um… well, okay, maybe not.
I’m very sorry to say that authors are ordinary people. We have families and live ordinary lives, wiping our children’s noses in the cold, shoveling snow (this week in particularly if you live on the East Coast of the US), and spend hours slumped over our computers working away.
In our minds, however… well, that’s where we travel. That’s where we go on those stake-outs and fantastic journeys. We go there, so that we can take you there as well—through our novels.
The trouble with a writer’s mind is that it’s frequently some place completely different from where our bodies are. (My poor beleaguered husband tried to show me that he’d shaved off the beard he’d been sporting since the holidays, except that I didn’t even notice. Although I saw him, I didn’t really see him, my mind was elsewhere, and so I didn’t notice. He was very disappointed).
We live, perhaps too frequently, in the world of our books, in the minds of our characters—for to write truly believable characters, of course, we have to live their lives right along with them.
We try to stop and enjoy our real lives every so often (I’ve had a lovely break for the past week while I did some travelling in Brussels, Belgium—that’s where my pictures are from). But it is too often that we’re simply, mentally, not there.
On the other hand, should you ever want to engage an author in a deep, meaningful conversation, be sure it’s on the topic of one of their books. This is not because we’re vain and only want to talk about our own work. It’s simply because that’s where our minds are—caught up in the fantasy world of our own creation.
So, should you meet an author, don’t get discouraged if they seem absent minded. Nor should you expect them to have a life similar to what they write. Expect them to be an ordinary person, like you, only… not quite entirely there.
The magic they wield is in their pen and their fingertips as they type on their computers and that is where their mind can be found as well. Enjoy the fantasy!