A Person Is Easier To Love Than A Book


It was the first year of Author and I was preparing to interview a popular suspense writer with whom I was unfamiliar. In those early days I always read whatever book the writer I was about to interview was promoting. I’ve since learned that, with fiction at least, this is often unnecessary, and this particular interview did a lot to teach me why.

About 10 pages into the book I started complaining. Aloud. Frequently. I thought it was obvious, I thought it was strangely paced, I didn’t like the characters. “I can’t stand this book,” I told my wife who was reading nearby. “Then quit reading it,” she advised. “I can’t. I’m interviewing him.” So I kept reading, and I kept complaining, until my wife finally begged, “Will you please stop? For me?” I did, but I was very worried about the interview. How well could this possibly go?

The day of the interview came and I met the author in the bookstore. He was eating a giant piece of carrot cake in the café. “God, I love carrot cake!” he said by way of greeting. I liked him right away. Then we sat down and started talking about writing. Not his book, but just writing, and about suspense, and about how much he loved suspense. He was awesome. I loved how much he loved writing and how much he loved writing his books. When the interview was over it was like we were two old friends.

There’s a lot of people in my life whom I love and who love me. I don’t write for them. That we love each other has got nothing to do with what or why I write. If they like my stuff, great; if not, that’s okay too. It doesn’t change how we feel about each other. In fact, it’s infinitely easier to love a person than a book. A book is one idea, one story, and either it’s an idea I’m interested in or I’m not. A person is a creature forever searching for ideas and stories, finding and discarding, celebrating and rejecting – and the light in our eyes when we find our ideas, find our way, is what connects us.

If you like the ideas and perspectives expressed here, feel free to contact me about individual coaching and group workshops.