7:00 AM

Are authors celebrities?

If your favorite author was walking down the road, would you recognize him or her? I'm not sure I would. Maybe Stephen King, but even then I doubt I'd be sure enough to walk up to him and ask. So, a great many authors are household names, on the NYT Best Seller list, etc. but most of us have no idea what they look like.  You don't see them in tabloid magazines (for the most part), nor do they really come up on those celebrity gossip shows like TMZ.  So are they really celebrities? I certainly think so. It's just a different kind of celebrity. A quiet kind.

To me, authors are my rock stars. To talk with them on Twitter and whatnot gives me that fan girl kind of thrill, but personally, I'm not a crazed obsessed kind of fan over anyone; author, actor, musician, etc.  I think the internet, with Twitter and message boards and author webpages, etc., lets the readers and fans get to better know their favorite authors.  They get to interact with them and learn some of the more mundane things that people seem to want to know about celebrities: favorite colors, what kind of music they like, if they're married with families, etc.  Who knows what will come of it. I have seen some fan obsession on different forums already (aren't we all glad panties can't be thrown at us through the internet? ^_^).

Maybe sometime soon, well known authors will be getting more recognition in the streets. I'm a pretty private person, but I have to admit that I would definitely get some kind of thrill from being recognized in the mall by a random fan.  I would never want it to become some crushing mob of screaming fans though (and I don't really foresee that happening for authors), nor do I want someone standing outside my house snapping pictures of me haul out garbage in my pjs. That's just scary folks and not in any way news worthy.

One thing I noticed lately that could be keeping authors from finding celebrity (besides those that are self publishing and not editing first...) is that e-books seem to lack a picture of the author! There might be the little blurb about who they are and what their background is, but there's no accompanying image anymore. While I kind of hate pictures of myself, I decided I'm still going to add one with my book bios. Maybe some super fan will memorize my mug and corner me on the street for an autograph someday!  I think I'd like that.


Josie said...

The 'quiet' sort of celebrity you mention is precisely the reason, even as a child when all my friends wanted to be movie stars and rock stars, I wanted to be a writer. I had (have!) zero desire to be recognized, to be fawned over, to have my life invaded by celebrity status.

I have connected personally with two of my all-time favorite authors (ones that are still living ;) no seance required) thanks to the internet and I will admit that I totally SQUEEEEE'd when I got the first direct reply from one of them. I would be THRILLED to think someday, some one will read my novel and then contact me via the internet and get a huge thrill when a reply direct from me arrives for them :)

I feel hypocritical for saying so, especially since I pride myself on writing for myself, not the world... ;) But a little bit of celebrity - quiet fame - would be nice, I guess.

MBee said...

Heh I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting a little celebrity and recognition for work well done!

So long as there's no stalking or egg throwing :P

Margaret Duarte said...

Well put. Fortunately, most of us writers love what we do in spite of not being recognized for it. So difficult though, the unavoidable necessity of marketing if we want to get our work out there.

MBee said...

Agreed. I think a lot of us are more concerned about sharing the story than making money off of it. While money is surely nice, I'd probably give away my books if people enjoyed them & couldn't afford to pay for them

Daniel A Kaine said...

I've never wanted 'fame'. I would hate to not be able to walk down the street without being recognised and having people come up to me. That said, I wouldn't mind it if, on ocassion, someone came up and said 'Hey, aren't you that author?' That would be cool, and probably make me squee a little.

I guess you could say I want recognition, not fame. I would love for fans to know who I am -- and if I happened to meet some in real life then that would be great -- and the internet is a great place for just being able to get to know and interact with people that you may never actually meet.