Authors go out of their way to provoke emotions. I understand that. And authors do an amazing job of balancing that impact. However, they aren’t writing for automatons, so each person’s reaction is different. That reaction is where it can all go wrong.
Some authors just have a way of getting to me but John Scalzi in particular. Have you ever read his work? He has a great conversational tone that can suck a person right into the story. After reading his book Redshirts, it ruined TV for me for at least a few months. Over a year later, I yelled at him at Book Expo America. It’s true. I have witnesses. Afterwards, I realized how cathartic it was. I felt unburdened and relaxed. Which brings me to my point. He did it to me again.
While at NYCC, I had a chance to pick up a copy of his new book, The End of All Things, which is in the Old Man’s War series. (Read the first book and you will be hooked.). It is a collection of short stories following the political turmoil in this universe. While I was getting it signed, I made a point of telling him about how traumatized I was from Redshirts. At that point, I was still a little upset but mostly I was over it.
Fast forward to last week. I had finally picked it up to start reading (still struggling with my reading list) and well, I had to stop reading because way too many feels. He sacrificed an important character in a way that was too emotional for me. I really wish I could go into details but I can’t without spoilers! Safe to say, this rocked me once again. They don’t give time off for emotional scarring from books.
Now, I know this all might seem like I’m angry at the writer. I’m not, really. Scalzi is one of my favorite writers. Look at the emotion he invokes in me. The impact his writing has had on me and now all of you. I willingly go on this roller coaster. And yes, sooner rather than later I will finish reading The End of All Things.
So think about the books that have made you so emotional. The writers that still impact you long after the book is finished. Hunt them down; seek them out. Let them know that their writing affected you. I yelled at Scalzi. He was happy that his writing made a lasting impression. Let your writers know how you feel. Yell and everything.