Among the many useful things that Google has brought into the world is AuthorsATGoogle. Google brings authors to their HQ to read their recent books and have a bit of Q&A and informal discussion with their employees. (Um, I know. Does your employer bring well-known authors to your workplace for informal chats with you, just as a little extra bennie?) Then, of course, they put them up on YouTube (which is owned by Google), providing an endless source of pleasure and procrastination for all of us. Here are a few I’ve recently enjoyed.
Karen Joy Fowler and Kelly Link–both writers of wonderfully weird stuff and both workshop teachers of Clarions past– in a joint appearance, with some interesting discussion of writing after the readings:
I especially enjoyed Karen’s comment about how readers react when a story that seems mimetic (subscribes to premises of realism) suddenly brings in a speculative element when the story’s more than halfway through. “I’m always thinking what a delightful surprise,” Karen says, but apparently many people find this upsetting.
(John Scalzi and Aimee Bender videos below the fold.)
And here is John Scalzi (scifi author of Old Man’s War and blogger of The Whatever), who doesn’t do a reading, but talks in an entertainingly meandering way about how he sold his book by first publishing it online, the effect of the internet on the fiction world, and, of course, the famous bacon cat incident:
And lastly, here is Aimee Bender, reading her story “Fruit and Words” and sharing some interesting discussion of writing-related stuff afterwards. She’s usually shelved under “Fiction/Literature,” though her fiction tends toward the surreal and the weird, similar in feel to Karen Joy Fowler, Kelly Link, Carol Emshwiller, and other slipstream writers. She rocks, and this is one of my fav stories by her.