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.

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most of my fan mail is from me.
that's not creepy, is it?
You have exceptionally good taste Anne!
I would never dream of writing to an author to express admiration, I feel that would be too intrusive, I don't go out of my way to attend signings. I did go to a "Bloody Foreigners" event put on by Serpents Tail/Bitter Lemon Press last year where Didier Daeninckx, Leonardo Padura Fuentes and Louis Sanders spoke, and bought a signed copy of a Fuentes book.
No reservations about getting a book signed or sending them an e-mail. It is easier to write to a woman, but that's just me - but that wouldn't stop me from contacting a guy if I thought his stuff was good.
I get books signed at every convention. I love fan letters - 80% women. I even send some. Men don't read, and are so wrapped up inthemselves they don't know how to relate. I should know! It's the old 80-20 rule again, 80% of readers in any genre or sub-genre are women.

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