The Reader-Writer Bargain

Today’s post by Randy Susan Meyers, author of THE COMFORT OF LIES | @RandySusanMeyer

THE COMFORT OF LIES releases today and we’ve got a copy, fresh off the press, for one super-lucky reader. Leave a comment on this post and you’ll be entered!

Randy Susan Meyers

Update: the winner of THE COMFORT OF LIES is Melissa Crytzer Fry. Melissa has been notified by email. Thanks to all who entered!

What is the relationship between reader and writer? I’ve been a reader for far more hours of my life than I’ve been a writer. As a child, I made twice-weekly trips to the Kensington branch of the Brooklyn library nearest my home (my haul limited by the rules for those who held children’s cards.) Writers were gods to me, purveyors of that which I needed for sustenance. Food. Shelter. Books. Those were my life’s priorities.

Naturally, I liked some books more than others, and those etched themselves on my young soul (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, Jubilee by Margaret Walker.)  I felt as if these books reached inside and wrenched out my truth.

As an adult reader I still feel that way; I’m constantly foraging for books that offer glimpses into a character’s psyche, that go deep enough to make me part of the choir, saying, “Oh yeah, me too, tell it, writer. True that, uh huh. ”

Now that I am a writer, I’ve learned that reaching so deep isn’t always comfortable.  Hey, my daughter’s gonna read this! Hey, husband: this isn’t you! It’s far easier to skate on the surface. And, honestly, there is a place on my shelf for those soothing books. Sometimes I want a comfort read, a total escape, a warm place to rest.

I believe there should be a covenant between writer and reader. What is it that me-the-writer is offering me-the-reader? (I can’t imagine a writer who is not also a reader.) Am I offering the reader the same qualities I want when I’m the reader? Am I giving my best?

My books I repeatedly return to are those holding the grit of emotional truth (which is very different than the truth of events.)   Thus, I try to write with a knife held to my own throat, so that my work will hold as much emotional truth as possible. Genre doesn’t matter—fiction category owns it’s own truth and depth. I suspect the best writers in each  genre are readers of the same.

Books are precious—at time they are my very best friends. Recently when I turned the page of The Headmaster’s Wager, Vincent Lam’s book had me so hooked, the emotions were so deep and unsettling, that putting it down was impossible. But I needed to travel, the book was heavy, and my back was sore—so I bought a copy for my eReader.

That’s exactly what this reader wants: writers who have dug deep, whatever their genre, and given me those best hours of my day. They kept their covenant with me and for that my love can extend to buying their book twice.


28 Responses to The Reader-Writer Bargain

  1. Lisa Evola February 12, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    I can so totally relate! As a child I spent most of my waking hours reading. During the summer my mom always knew to look for me in the tree, my favorite place to read. Books took me away to a different place, a place where I could be someone else, see a new place, just be different. Now as a writer, I don’t have as much time to read so the book has to grab my attention and hold me there….but when it does- watch out! I’ve been known to stay up all night! Would love to read your book!

  2. Rachel February 12, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Definitely putting the book on my to read list!

  3. Linda February 12, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    So thankful for writers like you that are gifted to reach the inside of me with their skill with words, and reveal deep truths that are hidden within. I especially like what you had to say about emotional truth and the actual events…….yes!
    Looking forward to reading this book, and thank you for the chance to win a copy 🙂

  4. Becky February 12, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Sounds so intriguing and that was before I read the synapsis- thanks for diving headfirst into the real world. Looking forward to reading it!

  5. Jeanne S. February 12, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Very inspiring! Looking forward to reading your book.

  6. Normandie Fischer February 12, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    I recently read a blog post that talked about writing to an audience of self. He was discussing voice, but I thought about that idea. Because it’s what I do. I write to the me I was and to the me I am. As long as there are enough folk like me who can relate to the worlds I write, or who can dream about the worlds I write, or who want to know the me for whom I write, that will work. That’s the best I can do in my covenant with readers–besides trying to make my words and my worlds shine.

    The child-me had an aunt who was a librarian. Oh, that blessed, blessed job of hers that gave me access to worlds I’d never imagined. Worlds that set me free.

    May we each in our writing set readers free to climb into a world not their own, and in doing so, perhaps better understand or better cope with their earth-bound realities.

    I’m looking forward to reading this take on your world. I’ve added it to my list!

  7. Paula Dolin February 12, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Reading is sustenance for me also. Adding this book to my wishlist!

  8. Sharon February 12, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Looks good. Putting on my Shelfari list to read.

  9. Julia Fierro February 12, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Happy book birthday!!

  10. Ariel February 12, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Would love to win a copy.

  11. LRF February 12, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Thanks for another chance to win a good book!

    Whether I win or not I always add the book to my “to read” list. That list is ever growing, thanks to the great suggestions from She Reads!


  12. Linda Stott February 12, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    I admire your ability to delve into someones emotions and put them on the written page.

    Would love to read your book.

  13. Nicole February 12, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    With a title like that, how can you not want to read it?!

  14. rhonda February 12, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Huge fan would love to read the book.

  15. Melissa Crytzer Fry February 12, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Wow. I love this post for SO many reasons … especially that I can hear (literally) Randy’s voice with her “uh huhs.” (I had the pleasure of meeting her and hearing her speak during a festival last year). But mostly, I love the truth of this article about emotional truth. I prefer books that “go there” emotionally. The ones that don’t – that skim the surface – just aren’t much fun for me. But Randy’s correct: making that happen is difficult, and frankly – I don’t think every writer is capable of pulling the emotional heartstrings (it’s hard!). But thank goodness for those who are! I read Randy’s first book and look forward to this one as well (The trailer is excellent, too).

  16. Gean February 12, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Sounds like a book for me – sign me up for the give-away!

  17. Brooke February 12, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    My to read for 2013 is growing quickly. Another new author for me to explore. Thank you!


  18. Suzy February 12, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    This book has been on my to read list for a while. I would LOVE to win a copy!! Would be my first Randy Susan Meyers book.

  19. Carl February 12, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Thanks for the guest post, it seems we share similar childhood experiences with our libraries. I’d love to win a copy of The Comfort of Lies. The complex emotional relationships between the characters are rife with the possibility of insight. Thanks, and Happy Publication Day!!

  20. Kathy February 12, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    I, too, was a regular library patron and found so many books to fill my time between home work and bedtime. Now that I’m trying to write, I feel the responsibility to the reader to bring some inner resolution to issues raised by my book. It may take me many re-writes, but the end results will satisfy both myself and the reader. Your book sounds like a winner and would enjoy reading it.

  21. Katherine Jones February 12, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    “My books I repeatedly return to are those holding the grit of emotional truth (which is very different than the truth of events.)” Yes!

  22. Arin Burton February 12, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    It’s on my list of books to read!!!

  23. Melinda K Taylor February 12, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    I would love to get this book. I love novels about real people and their lives and inperfections. I would like to receive this book, I am on a limited income, Thank you.

  24. karenk February 12, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    looking forward to reading this novel 🙂

  25. Cammi Hevener February 13, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    So many great books to read!! I need more time in my days!! 🙂

  26. Jennifer February 14, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    I loved her first book (could not put the book down) and cannot wait for her newest.

  27. Susan G. February 15, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    Oh my…my list of books that I NEED to read is growing and growing…how am I going to live long enough to read them all?! 🙂 Thanks for another opportunity to win another great book!


  1. Interviews, Giveaways, and Happy Pub Days! « Traveling With T - February 12, 2013

    […] She Reads is giving away a copy of The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers. Just comment on She Reads post for a chance to win! […]

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