Friday, April 27, 2012

X marks the spot where I met Robert J Sawyer

As you can tell from this bad cellphone snapshot, I met Robert J Sawyer yesterday at the Hamilton Public Library.  He's one of my favourite writers and what makes his work especially great is that my husband and I both like it.  Since we were first married, Adam and I have been reading Sawyer novels out loud to each other. I'm partial to the Neanderthal Paralax. His newest book, Triggers, involves a presidential assassination and memory swapping.

Robert (I assume we're on a first-name basis now) spent a good ten minutes answering my question "What advice would you give to new writers?" He basically said not to write what you know and to write instead what you can find out about. Writing what you know is only interesting to you.  Rob's books feature real places and are incredibly well-researched so it would make sense that he would be a fan of finding stuff out.  Also, I never liked the advice "write what you know." I know about raising kids and a little about art history, and I have no desire to write about either of those things.

He didn't seem very optimistic about a new writer's chance of success.  He actually said that if there is anything else that you're interested in and want to do, do that instead.  Apparently, Rob was going to be a paleontologist before finding out that it was actually more likely to be a successful sci fi writer.

After I got my newly purchased book signed, Adam and I parked on that cliff where people go to make out; only instead of making out we read the first few chapters of Triggers.


Cara said...

That is so romantic! Sharing literature together.

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

What great advice! I've always heard "write what you know" and thought it was sort of right and in many ways wrong. He nailed it.

Grover said...

How lovely that you have someone who shares your enthusiasm for a particular writer! I love that you read to each other too :)

Ro @ Eat Live Move said...

I love meeting the people that have inspired me. I'm glad that you had a great time. I, too, think reading to each other is romantic!

Eat Live Move: Intuitive Eating from A to Z

Rachael Harrie said...

It's awesome meeting our favorite writers, isn't it! Just stopping by to say thanks for entering my A to Z Writing Prompts Contest - I had so much fun reading your entry :)



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