Monday, March 30, 2009

Do fiction books reflect their authors?


Monday, March 30, 2009

Do fiction books reflect their authors?

I started thinking about this after having read Walter Mosley's The Long Fall.

My answer to the question would be, "Often."

I don't think James Patterson's books reflect a lot about James Patterson. Those books have become sort of patterned. They seem to have become what will sell. But books like Mosley's do seem to reflect the author.

Of course, I can't read minds. I would never know for sure. But to me, Mosley seems to struggle with how to find salvation in a really nasty world. The books are both realistic and hopeful, but still, terrible things happen. To me, his struggle seems quite personal.

Speaking for myself, I suspect my books will always reflect my desire to say that the left-out are important. The struggling, the people we turn our heads away from, can be good people. They can be heroes in the lives of those who take the time and run the risk to get to know them.

After reading Mrs. Pollifax again, I found myself thinking I wouldn't mind meeting Dorothy Gilman. She would probably be a nice lady, just as her books are nice to read.

So, for at least some writers, it seems their writing might reflect the kinds of people they truly are.

5 comments:

Corey Wilde said...

Yes and no. Some authors use their fiction as a platform for their own beliefs, but to have a successful story more than one opinion or belief has to be represented or there is no conflict. No conflict, no story. So a good author has to be able to present more than his own opinions and ideas. Like you, Joe. You represent the left out, and you have your opinions on how to improve their situations, but you also have characters or forces that oppose your ideas, and those characters/forces have to be believable. So even in bias, a good author still has to reason for both sides of an issue. Otherwise he can be ignored as someone who does not think critically.

Joe Barone said...

Point well taken. No conflict, no story. In my stories, some very good people end up as the victims of terrible crimes. Unfortunately, that is the way the world is.

Edie said...

I was a big Dorothy Gilman fan. Her stand-alone books were as good as her Mrs. Pollifax books. Her Clairvoyant Countess books were among my favorite.

A friend, Allison Brennan, writes romantic thriller books with pov of nasty and perverted villains. In person, she's the mother of five great kids and is upbeat and outgoing.

Joe Barone said...

Edie,
I've not heard of the Clairvoyant Countess. Sounds interesting. I'll look those up. Thanks.

Joe Barone said...

Edie,
I whipped over to Amazon to put the Clairvoyant Countess on my list and found Dorothy Gilman had written a lot more than I ever knew about.

Thanks to you, I'm going to read some of them. Thanks again.