For awhile now, I've sent stories over e-mail to a bunch of my family and friends. I split them up into segments and have each segment end with a cliff-hanger, basically so I can inflict humane torture on my readers. (OK, maybe not.) Actually, I posted about this here and you can read that post to learn more.
It's kind of a weird thing to do, I guess, because a lot of writers are really protective of their work. But it helps me. I have a story that's being sent out right now, and I've sent out two segments already. My dad read the first segment, and he commented that he thinks of the writing and story a lot differently when he knows I wrote it, when he knows there's someone behind the writing.
That made me think of when I first started following blogs and author's websites, and how it changed how I think of books. I found tons of new books to read based off of recommendations and the fact that I loved the way a certain author blogged, or something like that. I've read a couple of books now by people whose blogs I follow. And... well...
It's weird!! "Knowing" the person behind the writing, knowing how they blog and a bit of their personality (their online personality, anyway) makes me think differently about the writing and the book. If I like the author's blog, I'm eager to like the book and slow to dislike it. I notice more things in the book that seem like the author took from their own personality.
I also have a lot more appreciation for the book, and it's creation. It's not just a story I can be swallowed up by and enjoy. It's something that someone else put hours, and hours, and hours of work into to create, edit, have critiqued, query, market, and much, much more than even that.
How have different factors influenced your perception of books?
Oh, by the way... thank you guys for the comments on my last post, the interview with Lali! She's sweet, isn't she? :) I also hope you didn't suffer too much from my infomercial-post. I promise I won't do THAT again. Haha. ;) You guys are awesome! Keep it up!