I have OVER 65,000 blogviews presently on this blog, with 48 "followers", which means a lot of invisible people reading my goofy posts and I say thank you to each of you!
A teacher recently said something to me after an assembly I did in a school which stuck to me. She said, "It is so nice for the kids... and us... to see a real person behind the books. I often wonder who children imagine when they think of the people who wrote the books they are reading." "Hmmm, me too." I thought and wondered if the majority of information they would have about an author would come from the little description on the jacket flaps or if they would search the internet to understand more about the creator of the story they just spent time in.
I recently spent a few hours with Avi http://avi-writer.com/, with 54,800, 000 google hits, that's five times as many as Dr. Seuss, WOW! He is a respected, Newbery winning author and as we chatted, I tried to piece together the books I have read by him with the person he is "in person". Two different things. He writes about a wide range of topics and he is a "normal" human being with an incredible way of telling stories. I would rather have that first hand view of him than an internet POV.
So, I started looking at the "footprints" authors I read and have read leave behind now that so many people get their information off the internet. Generally speaking you would think the majority of the information we could glean from an author would be in the books he or she has written, but there is SO much to find on the WORLD WIDE WEB, Thank you for that Mr. Al Gore.
I remember really respecting Wilson Rawls, Where the Red Fern Grows, when I was a kid for creating a story that sucked me and made me feel as
thought I had been a part of the book the whole time I was turning
pages. There are 612,000 google results when his name is searched, even though he died before the internet was invented, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilson_Rawls, that is if you can believe Wikipedia, which is really one of the most unreliable sites on the internet by the way. I remember wondering about Dr. Seuss (11,500.000 google results) (http://www.seussville.com/) when I was a kid. SO much imagination! SO many great stories! SO COOL he must be. I never remember reading anything other than their books.
NOWADAYS authors (self included) are remarking, blogging, LIKING, tweeting every little thought that crosses his or her mind. The mystery is no more. It is both good and bad I suppose. The inner workings of an author's mind, the way he or she comes up with creative stuff that delights can now be viewed daily. I follow some authors on twitter and know their snacking habits, pet peeves, imaginations gone awry, debacles of relationships, political persuasions, you name it it is out there! The one thing to remember though, is, if it is not in an author's book with his or her name on it, it might be suspect. There are twitter tweeters who pretend to be the likes of J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman and other celebrity authors and they are tweeting things that are supposedly written by the authentic person.
As I think of the footprints I leave on the World Wide Web, I think there is entirely too much information out there and much of it at my own doing! I must count not one, not two, but three Facebook pages that I contribute to, one "personal" and one "fan page" and one book club: (https://www.facebook.com/justin.matott & https://www.facebook.com/MatottBooks or the Facebook Virtual Book club I host, https://www.facebook.com/groups/190852800976831/ A twitter account https://twitter.com/justinmatott. A website: www.justinmatott.com. This blog: http://justinmatott-snickers.blogspot.com/. Another blog for schools http://justinmatottatyourskul.blogspot.com/. Much on amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=justin+matott many entries and review on http://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=justin+matott, A blog amalgamater called Storylane http://www.storylane.com/justinmatott, but NO PINTEREST. Come on, a guys got to draw the line somewhere... wait, my assistant has a Pinterest account that she has put up information about my books on.
One thing to keep in mind is the internet's reliability, or actually the lack thereof. Don't believe everything you read or see on the internet and don't assume it really comes from the author you follow or admire, unless it is on his or her personal blog and or website.
The proof of this are the pictures included on this blog post. Each of them come up when you put my name in google and select images. I promise you, I had nothing to do with any of them. I don't know why the colorful queen is associated to me. I don't where the gold dome palace is. I used to read Winnie the Pooh books to my boys and on occasion called one of them Eeyore when he was being grumpy and I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA who the shirtless guy is.
So there you have it. There is a ton of information available about authors on the internet, but the very best information FROM them is contained in their books.
My conclusion; read the books, enjoy the books, sometimes a little mystery is a good thing!