As a reader, I don’t want to know anything about the people who write the stories I love (sorry Stephen King, not even you). I just want them to write and keep writing. Knowing stuff about them, including their writing processes – especially their writing processes – detracts from my enjoyment. I think what I’m trying to say is that I don’t want the author intruding on the story. I simply want the story to be, rather than think about why it was written, how it was written, or if the author has a penchant for wearing odd socks while typing, or anything else about him or her.
As an author I tend to hold the same view – why should whether I am married, drive a bus, or live in a tent, matter to my readers. Surely it should all be about the story and nothing but the story? Who I am and what I have experienced affects my writing, of course it must, but does the reader need to know all the gory and mostly boring details – do they have a right to know?
It could be argued that the public has a right to know if their beloved author has murdered someone, evaded their taxes, or any committed any other crime. Readers might not want to buy his books again, and that is understandable.
But is also begs the question of: where is the line drawn? At a criminal record? Maybe…
What about moral issues? You may not like that your favourite author has slept with hundreds of women, or cheated on his wife…
What about religion? Politics? Sexual orientation? He’s a vegetarian? He hates guns? He doesn’t recycle? He wears a Wee-Willie-Winkie nightcap to bed?
Where does it end? Where should it end?
Should it even start?