Posted by: Mish | February 5, 2009

BTT: Too Much Information?

btt2 Have you ever been put off an author’s books after reading a biography of them? Or the reverse – a biography has made you love an author more?

I haven’t read any biographies about authors, but what I’ve found out through reading someone’s books and random tid bits here and there, occasionally changes my feelings towards a book or author. Knowing that Mercedes Lackey helps rehabilitate wild birds, definitely adds “cool points” and makes me appreciate the knowledge she shares through her writing. Through talking about Orson Scott Card’s books with friends, I found out he is a Mormon. Because of his writing and approach, I was surprised. One of them said that’s the only problem with Card, but personally it doesn’t really matter and I’ve been friends with numerous Mormons. As long as someone doesn’t come off as preachy and is accepting of others’ beliefs, I don’t really care what they believe.

In general, having hobbies or spiritual beliefs in common with someone is a nice bonus. When reading about sword fighting from someone who fences or about Scotch from a Scotch drinker, I find myself nodding along with their descriptions. Knowing the person holding the pen, paintbrush, or guitar also adds to my appreciation for what they do and where they’re coming from.



  1. I haven’t read any biographies either so I find that most of what I learn about authors comes from their own website or interviews. It’s interesting how one builds up an impression of the author just from reading their books though, enough to be surprised (or not) about things like religion.

  2. Tis indeed.

    It’s thanks to your blog I remembered today is Thursday.

  3. I try not to be affected by things I learn about authors (or actors, or whatever), but some things are impossible to separate. Tom Cruise, for instance, will never be Maverick again.

    A lot of writers are big drug users or drinkers or religious fanatics or gay or abused or divorced or bald. So? If they can get me into their characters’ heads in a compelling, that’s where I’ll want to be. What I might not do is read their biography.

  4. Opinions and such are one thing and unless they totally and belligerently go against my own I’ve no problem with continuing on. But I’m more apt to support those whose personalities I like than the schmucks. There’s a musician whose music I like, but the attitude stopped me from buying more of her stuff. I feel there are others more deserving of my money because I can respect them for their work and as people.

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