The more I think about my fellow book authors, the more I appreciate what remarkable people so many are—and were. True, they may be committed to writing ahead of just about anything else (apart from the opposite sex, alcohol, and good company) but, virtually without exception, they are interesting, articulate people who live life to the full—and this despite the fact that they (we) spend a great deal of our working days alone. You would think that staring at a computer screen all day might kill the spirit, and make the person as dull as ditchwater, but, of course, the reality is that we are not alone—except physically—and we spend our days being intellectually stimulated.
I wracked my brains to try and think did I know of any other group who were quite as impressive—and realized, with some surprise, that I didn’t. Businessmen—though there are exceptions—are rarely that interesting. Lawyers and accountants tend to be prisoners of their own dubious professions. Doctors—who should extremely interesting—are rarely so. The military, splendid fellows though they are, are anti-intellectual to a fault—and proud of it.In the end, I settled on movie directors and a certain type of academic as runners up.
Why are writers particularly interesting as a group—note that I didn’t say easy? Because they are intellectually curious, observant, thoughtful, frequently empathetic, largely driven by ideas rather than money, creative, generally speaking open-minded, experienced, and articulate. Many have an idealistic streak. Most, in my experience, are surprisingly supportive of their peers—and generous with their time.
Are all writers like this? I had a negative experience with the late Tom Clancy, for example—a man not renowned for his warmth. However, I can say it is true of the writers I know—across the board.
The silver haired writer in the photo below that of Henry Miller is Anthony Summers. Tony was a neighbor of mine when I lived in my thatched cottage in Ireland—and was the man responsible for my first big writing breakthrough. BBC trained and vastly experienced, he is a Best Selling Author—and probably best known for GODDESS, his definitive biography of Marylyn Monroe.
An easy man? Certainly not. A decent man? Very much so.