Armchair BEA Day 2: Author Interaction & More Than Just Words



Hello, fellow bookworms.

On this second day of BEA, book bloggers are asked to talk about their favorite author interactions and/or books that use more than just words to enhance the story. I choose to talk about both 🙂 .

[title subtitle=”Author Interactions”][/title]

I could use the excuse that I live in India and there’s very little opportunity for author interaction. But that would be wrong. There have been many opportunities for me to visit literary symposiums and author book readings but I have never taken advantage of the opportunity.

Why is that? Couple of reasons:

  • I am bone-lazy to go anywhere.
  • I like to read books but I am not interested in the author so much. And I can’t imagine anything more boring than listening to an author reading excerpts from a book you haven’t even read.

    And then there is the pressure to say something complimentary. And I can never compliment convincingly. Even if I mean every word I say, everything comes out awkward and stilted, and so I typically run shy of such events.

    Unless of course the author in question is Salman Rushdie, or Margaret Atwood, or George R.R.Martin, or J.K.Rowling. For them I would queue all night for a seat in the front-row, and risk a whole bunch of verbal fumbling but otherwise I never feel enthused about the whole author interaction thing.

    And don’t even talk Twitter. A couple of times authors have favorited a tweet about their book or re-tweeted it, but I don’t really consider that an interaction. It’s just a social media thing. It wasn’t like I had a cozy Twitter chat with them or something.

Anyway that was my stance on author interactions.

Until last week I received an email invite for a book reading from my friend Anamika Mukherjee who authored Adopted Miracles that I loved so very much.

Author Book Reading Event - Adopted Miracles by Anamika Mukherjee

Author Book Reading Event – Adopted Miracles by Anamika Mukherjee

So I went. With both my kids, another couple and their kid in tow. In between bouts of chasing after Piglet and preventing him from mad shopping for expensive remote toy cars (if it broke I would have to pay), I listened to Anamika read out from her book.

And you know? It was pretty good listening to her highlight stuff that she thought important in the book, and listen to her read the book with so much emotion. I ended up having a lovely evening.

So, maybe I should have a more open stance on book readings huh?

P.S. I have a giveaway going on for one copy of Adopted Miracles. Just click on here for the review and giveaway link.

Have you had any significant author interactions? Which ones mean the most to you?

[title subtitle=”More Than Just Words”][/title]

It’s great when authors try to use different techniques to build a story other than just writing page after page of prose.

Considering people’s general diminishing attention span when it comes to reading, I am all for visual or multimedia elements if done well.

An example of multimedia done well is Night Film by Marisha Pessl. I liked the book well enough but I adored the graphic elements and the app, and loved how these additions lent a seriously creepy touch to the book.

Sometimes, these additions don’t work as well (at least not for me). I liked the book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, but the photos and the font changes didn’t make the book any better. In fact, the font changes were a serious annoyance.

So, yeah, I am all for any bells and whistles that make me enjoy the book more. But a little thought please. Not all books need it.

  • Becky B.

    Nice, glad you liked the event you went to. I can understand about being too tired to go to events because half the time here they’re right when I get off work.

    • Nishita

      @disqus_vnsIJ1cGfm:disqus exactly, plus I need to organize something for the kids. If it is a weekend, I feel terribly guilty leaving them for a book event.

      This event was nice because it was a friend’s reading and I could explain that my kids would be there, and that I might have to suddenly leave, and she would understand.

  • I am lazy as well! Boy, I wish the authors came knocking at my house sometimes. LOL! I would love to go to an author event sometime, though.

  • Leslie

    I had to laugh at being too lazy to attend an event. I don’t go to too many, and the ones I’ve been to were in my own town. One of the authors I saw was Mary Doria Russell (The Sparrow) and she was a fantastic speaker. Being near the city of Chicago, I have lots of opportunities to go to events, but getting there is often too much of a hassle.

  • Hi, Nishita! You’re hilarious. 🙂 I agree with you and disagree with you at the same time… but we’re allowed to do that, right? I think author interactions are awesome, as long as you’re actually interacting (as you say) and as long as you get along well… there have been book bloggers and authors who get into pretty heated fights, and that’s just sad and distracting. I’ve never been to any events, though, for some of the reasons you say (lazy!) and also because I’m just not a fan of crowds and socializing. A bit of social anxiety, I guess, which is weird because I’m a teacher and I love that. Huh.

    • Nishita

      @roofbeamreader:disqus Book bloggers and authors fighting? That would be pretty interesting to watch 🙂

      Yeah, I’m not a fan of crowds too, and all that waiting around that comes with the author book reading/book signing territory

  • I’ve never attended a book reading either. I don’t know if I would enjoy it. Maybe if it was an author I really loved. I would like to get the chance to meet some of my favorite authors though. Great post!

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