Reclusive writers and readers

Two days ago I got an email from saying that they were shutting down their site. Borders bookstores have shut down for good. The market has changed. Readers often have a better in-home experience than they have in-store. Authors are available via their Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, or websites. It’s not cost-effective to tour out in public anymore. Blog tours now rule. Kids can meet an author over Skype. Nobody has to leave home if they don’t want to.

It’s almost a resurgence of the days when  authors could be reclusive, pale artists hunched over their desks. Only now in addition to working on their manuscripts, they also have to maintain an online presence. But there’s no sun required, and being charming and gregarious is a matter of choosing the right words, something writers are already good at.

Readers can choose to be nearly as reclusive, getting their books delivered directly to their homes, or wirelessly on ereaders.

So as writers stick to their desks and readers consume from the couch, I have to wonder if this is a good time for books. The Daily Show did a report on the Borders closings and had some ideas for bringing both readers and authors back into bookstores. Don’t laugh. It might come to that.

Ten questions with writer Pavarti Devi

As part of The Book-less Book Tour, I’m interviewing a few writers who aren’t promoting a specific book, just cuz I think it would be fun. (And it is!) First up is Pavarti Devi, who is a new Facebook writer pal of mine. Enjoy!

KwP: Thanks for participating, Parvati. Let’s get right into it. What genre of writing do you do?

PD: I don’t have a specific genre.  My short story Consumed By Love is erotic horror but my WIP is a mystery/thriller/ religious/superhero book and my next project is about zombies.  I don’t like to restrict myself!

KwP: Seriously? I just finished the draft of a mystery/thriller/religious/superhero book as well! I’m not even being sarcastic. I’ve been working on it since September. What are the odds? Who are your literary influences (I mean besides me, obviously :D)?

PD: Anais Nin is my primary influence.  Her commitment to living and breathing her art in everything she did inspires me, that plus her belief that even the ugliest parts of human nature have beauty worth exploring.  I also love Haruki Murakami, Vikram Seth, Octavia Butler and many many more.

KwP: Is making time to write difficult?

PD: Incredibly.  I run a small business from my home which means I am never off duty and have clients coming by regularly.  Plus I have two small children, one with some special needs, two particularly whiney dogs and a husband to tend to!  Writing is something I have to carve out time for, like grocery shopping.

KwP: What is your current project about?

PD: The SandStorm Chronicles is the story or Recai Osman from Elih Turkey. He has inherited a multi-billion corporation from his parents and lives under the regime of the brutal morality police; the RTK.  When he’s forced to confront the oppression and violence that the RTK are propagating in the city, he is driven to action, and The SandStorm is born.

Right now I’m working on book one which is scheduled to publish in November this year. It’s entitled: SHADOW ON THE WALL

KwP: You mentioned a Zombie book. I happen to be partial to zombie cats in particular.  What’s that book about?

PD: I started DEVOUR last summer and had to put it aside to write SHADOW, the muse demanded it.  But I’m excited to get back to it now that I’ve had some time away and my ideas are more focused:

In a small town in North Dakota Anastasya Rubinski struggles to finish her senior year of high school, believing that there is no fate worse than being an outsider in an American small town. Her sense of self and community is rocked as virus spreads across America, taking over the populace and turning them into something unrecognizable. Will Stacia realize the danger she’s in before it’s too late.

KwP: I can totally hear Mr. MovieFone doing the voice over. So what do you do for fun when you’re not writing?

PD: I love stories, my favorite things to do are read (Currently reading The House on Blackstone Moor Ebook by Carole Gill), watch movies and play with my kidlets.  Whenever the weather allows I also love to spend time in my garden.  I’m growing food!

KwP: What’s your favorite kind of music?

PD: Right now I’m obsessed with Balkan Beat Box.  I’ve never heard anything like them before.  It’s in English with a Palestinian rapper and Israeli band.  BBB might be a little slice of the Utopian we could live in if people would stop fighting about things that don’t really matter.

KwP: What’s your favorite yummy treat?

PD: Hostess Cupcakes… Mmmm so grossly delicious.

KwP: Those are pretty awesome. What’s your most hated household chore?

PD: Vacuuming, although, that’s gotten better since I’ve gotten a Dyson.  There’s just so much DOG FUR everywhere, I feel like I could vacuum everyday and never get it all.

KwP: I have a Dyson myself, and it does make my life slightly easier. SLIGHTLY. So, last question: Who is your biggest fan?

PD: Rachael Geyer, my best friend.  Somehow she manages to always be there when I need her without evening knowing it.  I’m not sure it’s possible to love someone more.

KwP: Yay for good friends! And yay you for coming over, Pavarti! Good luck with SHADOW ON THE WALL, and all your other projects.

If you have questions and comments for Pavarti, or would like to participate in The Book-less Book Tour, use the comments below.

The book-less book tour

Yesterday I was thinking: I’ve “met” a lot of nice writers recently on Facebook and Twitter, all in various stages of the publication process, and I bet all of them are really interesting, and I wondered if they’d like to do an interview. And then I thought about all the unpublished writers out there. Why should all the published writers have all the fun? Don’t unpublished, yet still fabulous, authors deserve a little love? Sure they do! So that’s when I hatched the book-less book tour idea.

Basically, if you’re a writer and have no book to promote, though you’re furiously working on one now, I will interview you. I will pose to you the kinds of questions that the fancy-schmancy published authors get, and you get a day in the spotlight on my blog and a link to the page of your choice. I will ask you things about your writing style, about the books you love, you can gush over your new project as much or as little as you like (because sometimes talking about it takes away from the writing of the thing), and I will even ask you questions your future fans might want to know, like what’s your most hated household chore? Now doesn’t that sound like fun? We can all use a little fun, can’t we?

So if you’re interested, comment here, or send me a message via Twitter. I’m @TraceyBaptiste and use the hashtag #booklessbooktour.