Monday, November 28, 2005

Why no website?

It always amazes me how many Maine-based writers don’t have websites or blogs. Obviously, I should be careful in lobbing any criticism their way, if in fact that’s what I am doing (I am not); they could always come back at me by saying that their success stems from not “wasting time” with the blogging platform, or other web-based endeavors. Instead, their energy is focused on their latest book project and getting it to market.

Actually, one Maine-based writer, wildly successful and prolific beyond imagination, Tess Gerritsen, has both. I don’t feel so bad now pointing out that other writers have fallen short on promoting their work. If it’s good for Gerritsen, it’s obviously good for me, right?

Granted, Gerritsen is a totally different animal than I am, or aspire to be. She’s a writer who labors in the fiction camp. Her first novel, Call After Midnight, was a romantic thriller. She followed that up with eight more that belong to the same genre. In 1996, she detoured from romantic thrillers and penned her first medical thriller, Harvest, which was her first trip to the New York Times Best Seller List. Since then, she’s routinely made appearances on the coveted yardstick of a writer’s success. Her books have been made into movies and she commands attention wherever she goes. I enjoyed reading her blog, as it gives readers a mirror into her world, and shows a human side that other writers seem to lack.

Another Maine-based writer, who has an interesting website and mines the non-fiction realm, is Hannah Holmes. Holmes’ book, The Secret Life of Dust has received several awards and has been featured on Terri Gross’s Fresh Air program, as well as C-Span’s Book TV.

While not a Maine-based writer, Po Bronson’s books have found their way onto my reading list on several occasions. He also has a website worth looking over, including a fairly extensive reading list.

I’m in the process of having my own website revamped, as I am of the mind that a writer should have a website. I’m aware that writing success requires more than having a presence on the web, and/or a blog, but both certainly can’t hurt. I’m at a loss as to why more writers don’t their own site, especially some very well-known and critically acclaimed authors.


Richard S. said...

I was looking to see if there was any Web site from Carolyn Chute and the 2nd Maine Militia... There doesn't seem to be any, but there's a page from the Maine Coalition for Peace & Justice that lists an address for them, at:

I wish I could find out more about what she and they are doing lately....

Jim said...

Carolyn was in a bad traffic accident this summer and has been in a recovery mode. Unfortunately, she and Michael are quite low-tech (not necessarily a bad thing), so unfortunately, not much of a web presence for them or the 2nd Maine. Here's the link about her accident.

Richard S. said...

Ouch... Thanks for the info. I'd glimpsed in my search that she'd been in an accident over the summer, but I didn't know it was this bad, that the recovery would take so long, or that the expense of recovery would be so difficult. It reminds me in an unfortunate way that I don't have health insurance either, and I'm not an acclaimed author. Although, I gather Carolyn can tough it out - she's no stranger to hardship, from what I understand - one author who didn't have to go undercover to know what it's like to be nickel-and-dimed.

Anyway, you seem to be on a first-name basis. Do you know them? (I met and spoke to a member of the 2nd Maine at a socialist conference in the '90s, but never actually met Carolyn Chute.)