Every other Thursday here at the Broke & The Bookish is A Cocktail & Conversation time. One of the TBTB members will pose a question to 2-3 of the other members of TB&TB crew about books, life, music, etc and then they'll answer and we can converse about it. So grab a cocktail & cozy up for some conversation. It's 5 o'clock somewhere, friends.
Julia asks: How involved are you with author/reader interaction in the online world? Do you as a reader follow authors on facebook/twitter/newsletters or prefer to keep them behind the curtain in a way and just read? In the same vein, how do you feel about author/reviewer interactions?
Bridget says: I'm probably even less involved than Jamie. I did only *just* join Twitter, so that's part of my problem, but there are only two authors that I follow: Stephen King (duh) and Isla Morley, who wrote Above (which came out on March 4 and I reviewed here). I don't interact with them much, primarily because, well, Stephen King, and the time or two I tweeted at Morley, it didn't seem like she got them, even though she had been retweeting other reviews. So I don't know.
Like Jamie, my primary interest in authors is their product, not their personal life or interactions with the outside world. I don't want my—or other reviewers'—interactions with them to color my experience with them as an author. I won't lie, the reason I followed Morley initially was because I saw she was retweeting reviews and had very few followers, so I thought if I tweeted at her early and she responded, I could maybe get an interview with her or something. But having received no response, I feel sort of "meh" about her now when I feel like if I had held back, I would still view her more as a mythical book-producing creature than a regular person who doesn't answer my tweets.
So, in the end, I really don't have much interest in following authors on social media. Unless, of course, it's for information like book signings or something. But personal life/outside interactions, not so much.
I will say, though, that I like being able to contact authors for other reasons. In college, before Twitter exploded into what it is today, I sent an email to YA author Laurie Faria Stolarz with interview questions for a history/literature paper I was writing, and she graciously replied with excellent answers (and I got an A on the paper). I also reached out to Erin Bow recently after reading her book Plain Kate for a book club because I had questions about her use of the Roma-like people in her fantasy, which she called the Roamers. She also graciously answered my questions, as well as provided me with links to interviews she had done in the past.
So yes, I love being able to reach out to authors via social media and through email!