Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Fiction Author's Platform

By Cheri Chesley

You're going to love this. I'm going to do my best to pour my heart out, and still keep it brief. I'm a writer, after all. (here's where I pull out my superhero cape and triumphant music plays in the background)

But, really, I'm just me.

As being a published author has changed from the secluded form hunched over a typewriter in a cabin in the woods, the way an author presents himself/herself to the world has also changed. Once upon a time, if you were a nonfiction author you had to be an "expert" in your field. That could be used as your platform, or your basis on why you wrote the book you wrote. If you wrote fiction, well, then you could just write books.

Not so. If you think about it, you'll realize several fiction authors have platforms. Usually it's a broad one that doesn't require much attention. As a fiction author, I can stand for literacy. I can promote reading wherever I may roam.

But, for me at least, it's more than just reading. As we fought in Heaven to preserve our right to choose, I believe we should have the right to choose what we read. Have you ever wondered, when you encounter a child or adult who says they hate to read, if they really dislike the process or if they just haven't found the book that resonates with them? I have.

My son, wonderful and brilliant, could not get through the Harry Potter series. But he loved, loved, LOVED the Percy Jackson books. This kid is dyslexic. He identified with Percy. AND it improved his reading skills, his articulation and his read-aloud ability. If you put Rick Riordan in front of me right now, I'd probably kiss him in gratitude for what his books have done for my son. My son who hated reading.

There's another aspect to my platform, but I'll get to that next week. :)Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!

1 comment:

Michael Knudsen said...

Good points, Cheri. Because many readers haven't found the "right" books or authors for them, it's up to each of us as authors to get our work published and in the hands of those who can be touched by it.