who you know

Justine Larbalestier has a post up called Why do all the writers know each other? — a question put to her by a workshop student.

I read Justine’s weblog now and then, but I don’t know her, in case you were wondering. We do have the same fabulous agent, but otherwise our worlds don’t much intersect. She writes sci-fi, which I read but don’t write.

Part of her answer to the question:

So how do all us writers know each other? From hanging out in places other writers are likely to be: conventions, conferences, book festivals, university English departments, writers’ workshops.

Now see, I would say that most writers don’t know each other. And if one author does know a lot of other authors, it’s almost always restricted to the genre in which he or she writes.

I’m defining “know” this way: somebody I can contact who will remember me, usually somebody I have met in person. My list isn’t particularly long, maybe fifteen names of other published novelists. The list gets longer if I count other authors I know exclusively through email and weblogs. These are people I might email with a work-related question, and know I’ll get a response. It’s my sense that we’d get along if we met.

As I write in two genres, I have two sets of connections. If I really had to, I could follow the romance connections or the litcrit connections and find my way to almost anybody within those groups. I can’t imagine under what circumstances I’d try to set that train in motion, but I think it would be possible. On the other hand, I have no idea how I’d get in touch with the authors who have established themselves in mystery, horror, or sci-fi. Unless they happen to be represented by the same agent, which is how I came to meet Garth Nix.

In general I don’t miss having a lot of connections. Maybe I’d feel differently about it if I were twenty-one and living in Manhattan, but right now? I’m one of the more reclusive types.

And I have to get back to that blank page, all by my lonesome.

One Reply to “who you know”

  1. Awww..Like ta think ya got the mutt hanging around theres somewhere chewin on your bunny slippers hehehe :D

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