Over on Mark Billingham's forum there's been an interesting and lively discussion about crime fiction reader demographics. The point was made that attendance at Harrogate, for example, is largely female. Attendance at the writing workshops - largely female.

The topic expanded, as topics do, to discuss the fact that men do actually read, but that there is still this perception that it's okay for women to be fans, but not so much men. Mark chimed in that his fan mail primarily comes from women.

However, most of my fan mail comes from men.

Do you guys have any reservations about getting books signed? Would you write to an author you admire to express appreciation for the impact of their work? Or is there still this idea that it's uncool or not manly to do that? Is it easier for you to write to a woman? It seems to me most people on here have or plan to attend a convention... Is this not gender specific but impacted by culture as well?

And if you guys don't answer we women will just assess you without your input.

Views: 54

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I went to the Sydney Writer's Festival for the first time last year, pretty much just to see Peter Temple in action. I bought a book, got it signed, had a little chat with him. His single person panel was immensely entertaining, and I even took some notes, as his advice on writing was excellent.

Not really the fan mail type, though. The only reason I can come up with for this is that I've never liked the idea of any kind of worship of people. We're all the same in the end. No one is a god, no one is a disciple. We have the same basic desires and needs.

But if I ever meet Tom Waits, I will crumble into a blithering, grovelling mess.
Ah, but the generalization is that men don't write letters, so you're playing to a stereotype.

I have a book by Peter Temple on the pile.
Except for the fact that I do write, a lot, and ... oh ... I just fell for the bait. :)

Which Temple? THE BROKEN SHORE? BAD DEBTS? BLACK TIDE? Either way, you're in for a treat.
Do you get The Daily Show over there? It's an American spoof of the news, very funny, very popular. Anyway, Jon Stewart (the normally expert host) interviewed Tom Waits. And pretty much crumbled into a blithering, grovelling mess.
Yeah, we do get the Daily Show, at least on Foxtel (cable). I just don't watch a lot of TV. I'm sure some kind soul must have YouTubed it, though. I'll have to see if I can track it down.
My fan mail is mixed, but more women than men. I have no reservations of having books signed. I've never sent a book to someone to be signed although readers have done that with me.

I almost always write to an author if I love a book. And they always write back, even if they don't know me or have ever heard of me.

I've attended a few conventions but haven't been to one in many years. I have no plans now to attend one. Still, it's not a hard and fast rule that I won't.

I think conventions are a great way to meet other writers. This is how I met most of the people I know and how we started Sisters In Crime at the Bouchercon in Baltimore twenty years ago.
"I almost always write to an author if I love a book. And they always write back, even if they don't know me or have ever heard of me."

I think it's a nice thing to do. Writing is so solitary. One author told me the first month following publication of their first book was the most depressing of their life because they had no idea if anyone was even reading the book, never mind enjoying it.
I guess I should answer these one at a time.

"Do you guys have any reservations about getting books signed?"

If an author I like ever did a signing in my area (which will probably never happen), I'd go, schedule permitting, and get a book signed.

"Would you write to an author you admire to express appreciation for the impact of their work? Or is there still this idea that it's uncool or not manly to do that? Is it easier for you to write to a woman?"

For me, it's not so much a question of manliness. I've just never been big on writing letters. I emailed an author once to tell him I liked his book. And I did recently leave a comment on the Crimespace chatter wall of an author whose book I'd just read (and enjoyed).

"It seems to me most people on here have or plan to attend a convention... Is this not gender specific but impacted by culture as well?"

I'd like to go to a convention someday, but right now it's just not practical. If they have one that's driving distance from where I live, I'd give it serious thought. As things stand now, I can't afford to shell out the cash for a plane ticket to some exotic locale. I guess I'll just have to be satisfied to read about them on the net for now.
Yeah John, conventions aren't cheap when you live far from where they have them. Something Daniel knows about too.
My mail is pretty evenly divided between men and women.
Maybe there is something to the idea that men are more comfortable approaching a woman?
Maine needs a big crime fiction event - there are loads of you in Maine!

RSS

CrimeSpace Google Search

© 2019   Created by Daniel Hatadi.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service