Tuesday, June 18, 2019


Ever wonder what goes on behind your favorite author's work? Honestly, neither did I. Like most of you, when I'm not reading to gather facts, I read  in order to lose myself for a short time in the world crafted by a talented novelist. But I came on something recently that set me thinking about the person behind the words.

Like many of you, I've enjoyed the work of Agatha Christie. I still recall the time when I was alone in the BOQ of Lajes Field, waiting for the eventual arrival of my wife and small son, who were separated from me by an ocean. I decided to read a book to help pass the time, and ended up staying up all night to finish Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians. Many of us have enjoyed her mysteries, but did you realize that she was often in the midst of depression, that she once disappeared for almost two weeks, and that her marriage was anything but happy? Neither did I.

Poe was said to be an addict. Virginia Woolf and Ernest Hemingway, among others, committed suicide.  We never know what tortured lives are behind the words we enjoy. By the way, lest you worry about me (if you were going to), although I have the usual problems that beset all of us, I haven't reached the stage yet where you have to be concerned about me.

Would it help or hurt your enjoyment of books to know the circumstances of their authors?


Jackie Smith said...

It would help! I enjoy knowing ALL about the author of a book I read
Exciting news....received my print copy of Bitter Pill yesterday. Can't wait to dive into it.....will do a review on Amazon.

Thanks for your fantastic books!

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks, Jackie. I've been trying to decide if it makes a difference since I read about Agatha Christie's mental breakdown. Not sure yet if it makes a difference.
Glad you got your copy of Bitter Pill. Hope you enjoy it.

Priscilla Bettis said...

I do like to hear about author's lifestyles. Does she live in the boonies and not own a cell phone? Does he live in a cabin that's snow-bound nine mouths out of the year? Does he live with two great Danes on the fifth floor of a high rise in a huge city?

But I'm cautious about distressing, private things. I don't want to feel like I'm snooping in someone else's drama.

Richard Mabry said...

Priscilla--exactly! But, unfortunately, only the bad things get reported. 'Tis a puzzlement.

Patricia Bradley said...

I always wondered about the authors I read, and since I've become an author, I've met many of the ones I read. And I'm still fascinated by their lives, even though I know most are like me, average Joe's who like to tell stories. :-) Your golfing always intrigues me, Richard. I've never golfed, except for the kind with a windmill, so is it as addicting as my brother-in-law says?

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia, my golf partner and I began paying in 1999. When we went to probate the will of Cynthia (my first wife), he suggested we play a round of golf. Since then we've gone through the death of his first wife, a second marriage for both of us, and our never-ending struggle for playing better. We play OFBB (old fogey's best ball), and don't keep score--but we enjoy it.

Richard Mabry said...

...I mean PLAYING... Sorry. Must be a Freudian slip.