Are authors and their novels comparable with dog owners and their dogs? Do writers look like what they write? If you’re not sure what your genre is could you simply check in the mirror? Would there be a certain look in your eyes that told you what to write? Does the way you smile give you away?
Do authors look like their genres?
Do romantic fiction writers look romantic? Are thriller writers thrilling? What can you say about the way horror writers present themselves? Do they look horrible?
Some of the authors I’ve read.
Here are some famous faces. I’ve read all of them. Not always everything they’ve written, but the following faces have played their part in my growing up with reading for entertainment. I make the distinction here between reading for pleasure and other reading. I have therefore excluded all the authors I’ve read for study and the many classics I’ve enjoyed.
Does this lady look friendly? Would she be a lovely mummy? Does she look as if she adored children and loved to entertain them with her stories? Or does that strong jaw speak of something heavier than nodding toys and goblins with large ears?
I know more about her now than I did when I was a child, but I think I would have been in awe of a lady who wore that kind of jewellery.
As a teenager I read everything I could get my hands on from the second author in my gallery. Maybe you’ve read a previous post where I explain what I loved so much about this author and the power of her characters.
Only recently have I gone back to catch up with short stories of hers which I missed when I was young.
I can’t imagine what she’d think about a recent BBC television production of one of her novels where we couldn’t see what was happening in the dark and we couldn’t hear what was being said.
At school we read one of this next author’s books. I loved it and went on to read everything else he’d written too.
His works of science fiction appealed to me because they were about how extraordinary circumstances affected ordinary people. I think they’d feel out of place and dated now, but at the time it was fascinating reading about alien children or plants that captured and ate people.
A new genre had found its way into my reading. I wanted more. I looked for even darker stories and found them with the next author on my list.
I was hooked. If my mother had realised what I was reading, I think she might have banned this author’s books. I couldn’t get enough. I think I became a Goth before Goths were invented.
His words thrilled me to bits, I suppose much in the same way a different generation of teenagers thrilled at Edward Cullen.
Here’s where I went next.
I had a husband by now and we had started a family. This author’s books were primarily written for a male audience, but I lapped them up. Well, haven’t I always said how much I love variety in my life? I continued reading action thrillers, horror and science fiction for several years, interspersed with books by the following author.
His books were best sellers. I tried books in a similar genre by female writers of the time, but didn’t rate them as highly.
It was a long time before I trusted female writers again. I discovered a woman who, although she was way before my time, spoke to me in a voice I knew well.
Oh boy, I loved her wit, her sarcasm, her pain, her fury. I devoured her short stories. She was clever and scathing and thoroughly magnificent and I wondered what she would have written had she been born in my generation.
I can’t include every author I’ve ever read in this post – I’m sticking to the ones I read most. It’s interesting that there are more male authors than female. Maybe that means something: maybe it doesn’t. But I read everything the man on the right put out until the one about an American football team in Italy. And don’t say I objected to him changing genre. He’d already done that before and I loved A Painted House. I would never object to an author writing in a different genre.
This is the man who took over. He’s the only author I’ve ever bought in hard back because I didn’t want to wait for the paperback.
I’ve read them ALL.
Does his face say ‘best-seller’?
And now it’s time to hear from the girls. Do they look like the kind of books they write?
I tried reading the woman on the right. I’m including her in my list because I really did want to like her. I wanted to understand what makes her a best-seller. Really, I did. But, I can’t read her. Sorry. I couldn’t ever read J.K.Rowling either, for different reasons. Sometimes you just don’t get on with the way a writer writes. That’s okay. You can’t please everybody and I’m sure Martina isn’t the least bothered that Celia Micklefield doesn’t get on with her books. In this photo, though, she looks like what she writes. Wouldn’t you say?
I found characters to really get behind in this author’s books. She’s great. Love her to bits.
Just bought her latest.
Wouldn’t you want this lady for your sister?
Another face you wouldn’t want to argue with. If she didn’t write crime fiction, she’d be a butcher. Or a wrestler.
This author’s magic has bewitched many a reader. She probably had her fingers forked behind her back when the photographer took this, though.
My current favourite female writer. Look at her face, those eyes. You just know she’s holding back.
And my current male author?
Ah, Jack Reacher. Say no more.
So where would I fit in with all this?
Three pictures – all me – all different. Which genre do these faces belong to?
I don’t know.
If you do, let me know.
Authors in order of appearance:
Enid Blyton, Daphne du Maurier, John Wyndham, Denis Wheatley, Eric van Lustbader, Harold Robbins, Dorothy Parker, John Grisham, Dan Brown, Martina Cole, Jodi Picoult, Val McDermid, Joanne Harris, Anne Tyler, Lee Child, Celia Micklefield x3.
Feel free to comment. Maybe add your own suggestions to the list. Do you look like what you write?
Till next time,