Friday, September 10, 2010

The reader is you

Hi, I’m Aleksandr Voinov and I’m the new guy on the team. Great to be here. I was brainstorming about what I want to blog about, and I could have told you about the book I just finished, or the one that I’m now continuing to write (world financial markets and scandals permitting). That one is a WWII romance set in Germany, and it’s pretty interesting – there’s a lot of great stuff in there, Spitfires, evil bankers, and acts of heroism… but as I said, I’m not talking about that today.

Today, I’m talking about you. And me. It’s sometimes strange to think that we’ll never meet – we meet by accident, but unless you email me, I don’t know you exist. Unless you see my book and read it, you don’t know I exist.

But we are having an exchange – we do, you hear my words in your brain, and ideally I’ll put some stories, images and characters in your head that will help you shorten that commute, that doctor’s visit, or take your mind off worries as you read in bed, maybe listening to a thunderstorm. If you respond to that is totally your choice, so you can leave a comment here or at my usual blog or send me an email or talk to me in a forum. Right now, you might curl up on the sofa in the conservatory, or read stuff on the beach. You might be 16, 60, male, female, you might be rich, poor, fortunate, unfortunate, healthy or dying.

Me, when you read this, I might already be dead. I might have given up writing, or maybe my agent has finally convinced me to write something that can make me (and him) good money. I don’t know, and at this point we both can’t know.

The fact that we meet here is nothing short of a miracle. Six-odd billion people on the planet, hundreds of millions of webpages, and we meet here. How was your day? Have you heard of me before? Will you send me an email or comment on this? (You’re welcome to, provided I’m still around…).

I think what I’m saying is that meeting is a miracle. Meeting online, two strangers that both love a good story is nothing short of astonishing. In the vast world of rushing electrons, here we are. Wow.

When I meet people – online or in business – I try to make the most of it, because meeting is so accidental and random. I try and tell a cracking good story to readers, or, in business, really listen to the people I’m interviewing. Taking their position before I go back to “neutral” – as neutral as the press ever gets, anyway.

But it goes both ways – we can’t know where we’ll end up from here. Many people that got in touch over one of my stories are now friends – we hang out on Facebook or Goodreads and joke and play, because ultimately, this writing gig is not about selling you a book or selling myself.

We’re two strangers meeting who both love a good story, and that’s really it. Let’s make the most of it.


Amara Devonte said...

I agree. What are the odds. Astounding.

Amanda Young said...

Just wanted to say a big welcome to the blog! I'm thrilled to have you join us!

Anonymous said...

I'm thrilled to see yet another of my favorite authors turn up at slash & burn!!! And, on a day when one of my colleagues said, "I'll read anything but romance", with that snide note in her voice, it's gratifying to see a post that's thoughtful, well expressed, and written by an author whose characters haunt me relentlessly!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I'm not really anonymous, I'm VJ. I just can't get my google id to work.

Anonymous said...

In the US where culture seems defined by TV (scary!), I'm still addicted to the written word. Welcome to S&B, one of my favorite sites.

Aleksandr Voinov said...

@Amora: You're a prime example!

@Amanda: Thank you! I'm going to enjoy it here.

@VJ: Thanks for that. Yeah - people usually have no clue about the genre - usually they judge it without having read it and just to be able to sneer at *something*. Romance has always been the red-faced step child. Guess that will never change, either. Maybe they'll discover they are wrong, maybe they won't. Me, I'm not ashamed - people at work know I write romance and don't seem to be judgmental about it. :)

On that note, nice meeting you!

@Anonymous: Thanks for the welcome. I don't actually watch TV much - there's only so mych Big Brother, cooking shows, renovation shows, cleaning shows and cheaply made drama that I can stomach. I rather spend the time writing - that's my own film, right there in my head. They'll take my writing from my cold dead fingers.

Unknown said...

Aleks, you were the first person to welcome me to Noble Romance and I'll never forget that. I'm grateful for your writings, your characters and the thought you put into each word you write. I've learned a lot from you.

Great blog entry. Glad we met, albeit online. I won't ever miss anything you write. It's too valuable.

Brita Addams

ElaineG said...

Hi are so right! The odds of an author and fan actually meeting? Astounding! However, in this day of "faceless friends" it gives me greater pleasure to read a book AND get the chance to perhaps engage in a conversation with the person that actually WROTE the book! Amazing.

I loved Deliverance, and Lion of Kent is in my TBR file. Pretty much everything else you have available in e-book is on my TBB list lol! It's so nice to "meet" you :)

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