Out yesterday in The Hollywood Reporter – a press release saying Stephen King will receive the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America. This is the highest award given to someone by the MWA.
I know there are some people who think King is a hack. And there are some who argue he’s not strictly mystery, but also horror and suspense. But then, I say, aren’t there plenty of mystery writers who are cross-genre or hope to be? And I think he’s done a lot to raise the status of mysteries and whether you like him or not, he’s a celebrity who promotes the genre. He’s also a best-selling writer and a star in the field. This trickles down to other mystery writers and benefits them as well. He’s also, as far as I know, never dissed the mystery field.
Once, when I conducted a workshop at the Art & Soul conference at Baylor University, I got to hear John Grisham speak. He was very interesting. I would love to hear King. However, I don’t think I’ll be going to the ceremony in NY next April.
I love getting to hear authors speak, whether they’re first-time authors or masters like Grisham and King. You can always learn something, gain insight, or feel connected to other writers. And they don’t have to be authors who write books similar to mine. Whatever genre they write, each writer has his/her own story, experiences and insights.
That’s one reason why, if you’re given the opportunity to speak at a book signing, do it. You’ll connect to the audience, your readers. And people are a lot more likely to come to a talk than just to a book signing. If you’re coming to the Texas Book Festival later this month, pick out one or two authors whom you think will be interesting and make a point of going to hear them. And if a local author is speaking at a bookstore near you, try to go to the event.
Writers never stop learning. I bet even Stephen King the soon-to-be Grand Master would agree with that.
3 weeks ago