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QUESTION:

Hi I have been working on a report on your books in the subject Swedish, yes I'm from Sweden. Let's get to the point, what I'm working on is how much the readers influences you in your writing. After reading the Alvin and Ender sequences I took a look on your prefaces and there I saw that you wrote the last Alvin books because the readers demanded it. Is that true? Is it usually like that? How do the readers contact you? Do you keep the contact with some of them?

-- Submitted by Robin Norstrom

OSC REPLIES: - February 11, 2002

I wrote the Alvin book when I did because of reader and publisher demand, but to write it at all came out of the same place all my books do -- it was a story I believed in and cared about and I wanted to see how it came out.

I get a lot of valuable response from my readers, and I think that's one of the glories of science fiction and fantasy, much of the reason why our literature is the most vibrant in the world right now. We're in a constant dialogue, not with "experts" and "critics," nor with worshipful fans, but rather with readers who care about the stories and about how they connect with the real world, and aren't afraid to talk about to writers about the good and the bad. We learn from each other, and I'm glad of it. I find out what works and doesn't work in my writing, so I can improve my skills.

But I can't write a story I don't believe in and care about just because readers want it. They would not be happy with the result, and so it would be a waste of everyone's time. <grin>

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