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Thursday, April 19, 2012

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Authors chirp their creative process on Twitter


Back in March, author Bret Easton Ellis sent many bibliophiles into a tizzy when he started crazily tweeting about ideas for ‘American Psycho 2’. Among the tantalizing tweets about what Patrick Bateman has been getting up to was a pronouncement that he “wants to bang all the Kardashian sisters” and is “hanging out with Scott Disick and Rob Kardashian.” 


Whether or not Ellis’s Twitter marathon was legit or not remains a mystery . . .  regardless, the fandom fury surrounding his juicy tweeted tid-bits was very interesting to map. But Ellis isn’t the only author who has been whipping fans into frenzy via TwitterFeed.

Diana Gabaldon has been tweeting #dailylines of the upcoming eighth book in her popular ‘Outlander’ series. Gabaldon is one author who has long waiting periods between her book instalments – it takes her approximately 4-5 years to release a new book (partly because she researches as she writes her epic historical sagas) and fans have been known to get restless in the interim. Well, impatience has been somewhat assuaged thanks to Gabaldon tweeting small, tantalizing paragraphs from her 2013 novel, ‘Written in my Own Heart’s Blood’. Gabaldon has always been one to share her writing progress with fans; since her first ‘Outlander’ novel was published in 1991, she has posted snippets on CompuServe (an US online service which was big in the 90’s), and used the online network as a sort of reader’s group. But Gabaldon has more reach with her fans on the far more popular Twitter, where her (sometimes spoiler-ridden) snippets are favourited and retweeted in abundance – and a constant assurance to fans that Gabaldon’s series has not ended with seventh book ‘Echo in the Bone’. Some very kind and dedicated fan has even been keeping track of the many Book 8 excerpts Diana has been posting.


Other writers have been using Twitter to whet fan’s appetites. Marie Lu, author of the highly-successful ‘Legend’ series, has been dropping enticing tweets as she writes the second instalment, ‘Patriot’. Fans have been excitedly tracking all of Lu’s writing inspiration breadcrumbs, and counting down to the book’s release. 


Some authors use Twitter as a touchstone for their readers. When Melina Marchetta tweeted that the first draft of ‘Quintana of Charyn’ was completed and submitted, fans were practically salivating with the knowledge that they were just that little bit closer to getting the much-anticipated third Lumatere Chronicles book in their hot little hands.


It’s also interesting when authors tweet about the behind-the-scenes of the editorial process, to let fans appreciate just how much work and time goes into releasing their favourite books. There are revisions and structural-edits, copy-edits and line-edits. Readers are given a privileged glimpse into the ‘making-of’ these anticipated books, and a chance to share in the excitement with authors as they gleefully tackle their editing process and get that little bit closer to release-day.



Twitter has proven to be a great conduit between authors and readers. The little blue bird has been a fantastic messenger for upcoming releases, book deals, writing inspirations and behind-the-scenes details. The close connection fans now have with their authors (and publishers) has sometimes backfired, but for the most part Twitter has proved to be a wonderful source of giddying book news and author/reader connections.

Do you know of other authors who are prolifically chirping about their book-in-process on Twitter? 
Let me know in the comments, or drop me a Tweet! (@danielle_binks)

1 comment:

  1. I've seen several authors tweet about edits, groan about being stuck and even ask for suggestions on character names, or information, though not really consistently. I do find it interesting when I notice though. It makes it feel like an interactive process almost.

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

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