When it comes to the authors I love reading, I’m scared to visit their websites. Well, not their websites exactly, but blogs and places they post where their personality comes through more, where you can actually get to know them a little beyond their Bio/About Me/FAQ pages.
My authors are on pedestals. I keep them up there and like to think they’re Good People as well as Good Authors because it’s important to me to believe this.
I read to escape. I read to enjoy someone else’s life, to see how they conquer their own troubles and how they find their HEA (happy-ever-after) throughout it all. It loses some of the magic for me if the author I’m reading isn’t as nice as their characters (hopefully) are.
It’s one of the bad things about being a writer and being part of a hugely small community–we get to see a lot of each other, and sometimes it’s not all good. I’m probably going against some writer rule here, but I’ve met or corresponded with a few authors that…well, to be honest, I just don’t like. They’re either mean or mean-spirited or spiteful or unnecessarily harsh, or some other reason I can’t think of off the top of my head. I just don’t like them for whatever reason. (I’ll be honest–sometimes it’s just a matter of clashing personalities.)
I guess my point is, these aren’t people I’d want to call my friend, and so I won’t buy their books no matter how great they they may be. I can’t put aside my personal feelings and think, ‘oh, well, they’re great authors, so I can look past the bad stuff’. (Except for a few authors who I’ve been reading for a very long time–if I stopped now, I’d probably go through withdrawals and that wouldn’t make for a Nice Lanie.)
I work hard for what money I earn in my Evil Day Jobs, and I can’t see spending it on someone who isn’t nice, someone who I couldn’t see myself giving money to in real life.
I haven’t talked to many people about this, so I don’t know if it’s normal reader behavior or if–as usual–I’m the oddball out. So, I’m curious to get some opinions.
If you discover an author isn’t really a nice person, would you buy their books? Would you try an author who is nice, assuming their work appeals to you? Does an author’s personality influence you at all, or do you not care?