#357–Writers––it takes all kinds . . .

Backstreet Authors Book Signing

There we were outside under the canopy with our books on display––Larry LaVoie, Karen D. Nichols, Pattie Brooks Anderson, and me. It was a Sunday, the day after the Florence Festival of Books. It was a lovely day with many folks in town. And several stopped to see the books and chat with us.

Larry LaVoie, Karen D. Nichols, Pattie Brooks Anderson, and me at the Backstreet Authors Book Signing on September 25, 2022.

Some folks came specifically to get certain books, others were there because they heard about it at the Florence Festival of Books the day before, but mostly the folks were just passing by or heading into Backstreet Gallery.

Larry has written more than 20 books, most of which are thrillers and several take place in National Parks. Karen has 11 books, most of them involve a love story and a mystery with a dog story intertwined. Pattie has written two children’s books that she has illustrated and one romance that takes place on the Oregon Coast. And my books are all non-fiction. I have two histories—of the historic bridges on the Oregon Coast and of the Florence area––, two guides––to the coast’s major bridges and to that which is odd, unusual and quirky on the coast––, and two personal books––one about rescued dogs and cats that eventually became great pets and the other about navigating chemo while battling late-stage cancer. Between the four of us, there was quite an assortment.

As expected, there was a lot of good conversation with those who stopped by and some sales. Also, a few business cards exchanged hands for possible future sales.

All of us have our books for sale in Backstreet Gallery. And all but me, have art work as well.

Unexpectedly, a fellow looking down at us from B.J.’s Ice Cream’s elevated porch next door asked, “Does anybody read?” That got our attention, and we all responded. Then he asked if any of us had attended the book fair the day before. Since we all had, once again, we all responded.

I continued the conversation, mainly because I was the closest to him. I learned that his late wife had participated in the FFOB, and I remembered her. He mentioned that he lived out by Siltcoos Lake. So, I asked if he had known Bob Jackson who also lived at Siltcoos. He did, and we exchanged Bob Jackson stories. Then he asked what kind of books I wrote. After giving him the quick version of each, he bought two. What started as joking with us, turned into an actual sale. You just never know!

It was an enjoyable afternoon and part of the “books and authors weekend.” All four Backstreet authors have their books for sale in Backstreet Gallery. 


Writers––three basic categories

As I was thinking about the wide variation in types if writing among the authors who participated in the Backstreet Authors Book Signing and the Florence Festival of Books, I realized that they fell into three basic categories: wordsmiths, deadline writers, and storytellers who then fall into two subcategories––storytellers who are good writers and those who aren’t but have excellent editors.

Wordsmiths are the poets and those who write prose poems who carefully consider every word. This also includes some novelists and non-fiction writers who labor over every sentence. In more than one type of poetry, not just every word, but every syllable is carefully considered. This is especially true in Haiku, where the three lines are composed of five, seven, and five syllables.

These are two books of poems by my nephew, Lindsay Wilson, who teaches creative writing at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno. He is a wordsmith,

The deadline writers might be fiction or non-fiction writers. They can sit down anytime, whether the muse is in attendance or not, and write. They often have a deadline and a word limit, and the ability to write about numerous subjects. So, sometimes research beforehand is involved as is factchecking afterwards. Since word count is often part of the equation, they are rarely accused of being wordy. But flow is important. If you cut too much, then the writing becomes choppy. Deadline writers become expert at cutting just enough to keep the flow going. This is my category, my way of writing.

Them there are the storytellers who can sit down and inhabit another world in their minds and write about it. Most have to do research, plotting, and character development beforehand, but others have an idea in mind and just write, letting the characters and plot develop and doing any research as needed. Either way, these writers, know the basics of writing, and after getting a segment of the story down, they can self-edit.

I’m a deadline writer. In UNEXPECTED, I kept edit to 475 words for each of 26 locales. And I had to do major research before writing and factchecking afterwards on each one. I must have done a good job because second printing required no changes

But there are some writers who are not good writers but fabulous storytellers. They write the story, but it will need major editing, All writers need someone else, preferably an editor—not a friend or family member––to edit their work. But these fabulous storytellers need more extensive editing. In the end, they, too, can have great books.

I know writers in all these categories and have bought their books and read and enjoyed them.  In some cases, I’ve been the author’s editor. The takeaway here is that there is more than one way to write a book. And no particular way is better than another. Whatever works for the writer is best!

Next time you pick up a book, I’ll bet you’re going to wonder what kind of writer wrote it.

About crossingsauthor

Judy Fleagle spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.Since 2009, she has written five books: "Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges," "The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans," "Around Florence," "Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known," and "The Oregon Coast Guide to the UNEXPECTED!!!."
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.