I'm pleased to report that the Ruth Walker Author Meeting this past week was a huge success. Ruth was engaging, witty, and pleased to address all questions related to her book, Living Underground.
Personally, as a wannabe/undeveloped/amateur author, I like to hear the behind the scenes stories about how the story came to paper. How long it sat in a drawer, or how many times it was re-written, or shopped around to publishers etc. It makes it feel like writing is something I could do if I could actually get around to putting some ideas to paper and taking the time to write. I have this image in my mind of the Ruth Walkers of the world (and the Stephen Kings, and the Margaret Atwoods) that they get an idea today, and by the end of the month they have a finished pile of manuscript pages that they send off to other people to correct or edit and then they are done. Their final published book is so wonderful that they make it seem so easy. I like to hear that they struggled with a character, or with a plot twist, or with making the transition between one scene and another. It makes it all seem so achievable from my point of view.
I had the same feeling when I read King's "On Writing". How many re-writes some stories go through. Or how many stories never see the light of day because he feels they are just not good enough.