Saturday, November 6, 2010

More Pat Murphy Interview Quotes...

& these tips are from this interview. A bit dated (the interview is from 2000), but still great, and in this age of the Kindle, perhaps more relevant than ever:


Review the book you love online in a newsgroup, on a webzine, on an e-commerce site, or on a personal web site. This is an easy way to tell a lot of people about a fabulous book. People pay attention to reviews. Hey--authors read reviews. With a good review, you can make an author's day.

When asked what you want for your birthday, or Hanukkah, or Christmas, or any other gift-giving occasion, answer with your favorite author's current book.

Give books as presents. If someone has a favorite author, buy that author's latest title. If the gift recipient doesn't have a favorite author, buy a book by an author you like. If your friend likes the book, you've done the author a big favor by creating a new fan.

Ask for books by your favorite author at your local library. If the library doesn't have a book, request it. Checking a book out of the library helps establish that there's a demand for that author's work. Demand leads library systems to buy books.

Tell writers how much their work has affected you. Go to readings—even if you can't afford to buy the book. Urge your local library bookstore or your school to invite the writer to do a talk, a reading, or a class visit. Sometimes writers just need to know that someone is listening.

Talk about books and authors at work, among friends, and in other not-necessarily literary environments. If you belong to a writing group, recommend your favorite authors to the group. If you add a book to your reading group, tell your favorite bookstore what you've done and buy your books there. The bookstore may put them out front on

Point to good books in the bookstore and tell people, even total strangers, "That one is great." If you see someone looking at a copy of a book you like, encourage them to buy it.

Carry around a copy of a book you love. Read it on buses, in waiting rooms, and in other public places. Be prepared to wax eloquent about it—spontaneously or only when asked; that's up to you.

Just because a book is out-of-print doesn't necessarily mean you can't get it. Lightning Print Inc. is currently asking for suggestions for books to reprint. You can vote now at their web site:

Nominate your favorite authors for awards. Any year that you are a member of the World Science Fiction Convention, you can nominate and vote for the Hugo Award. Nominate gender-bending works for the James Tiptree Jr. Memorial Award ( and works with gay or lesbian content for the Lambda Literary Award. If you subscribe to Locus Magazine, you can nominate works for the Locus Poll and Survey. And yes, it's worth taking the time—awards make a difference to an author's sales and that helps keep books in print.

Above all else, keep reading!

& something else from that interview, extracted, apparently, from Murphy's lecture notes for a lecture on pulp novels from a class she taught on science fiction: "All art provides unearned instant gratification: a gratification necessary to our psychic well-being. C.S. Lewis was once moved to observe that the only people to whom the word 'escape' is a pejorative are jailers."

Yeah, more great stuff:

"When I teach writing, I sometimes have students describe a character's home or car. 'Don't describe the character,' I tell them, 'but show me what the character is like by showing me where they live.'"

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

FYI, it is no longer necessary to be a Locus subscriber to vote in their awards.