A reader may find it hard to imagine an author as anything more than a by line and portrait on a back cover. Especially when a book is all engrossing, curiosity strikes about the person behind it. Twitter is making it easier than ever before for authors to engage with their fans, promote their works, and further express their thoughts and personalities. But with so many figures on Twitter, it’s hard to know who to follow and who to skip. Here are seven authors worth following.
If there’s a reigning King Author on Twitter, it’s John Green. The author of romantic, Young Adult (YA) hits such as The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska, has an army of fans — or Nerdfighters — stemming from his vlog with his brother, Hank. Green is very open about sharing his personal life with his 2.77 million followers with tweets ranging from hot dog eating contests to VidCon 2014, as well as professional updates like Sarah Polley adapting Looking for Alaska for film. His excitability reaches his young fans (and their parents) by ways including his YouTube channel, Instagram, and book tours, all of which are constantly streamed on Twitter.
Fans of Atwood’s acclaimed sci-fi dystopian novels such as The Handmaid’s Tale and The Blind Assassin can see through the author’s twitter page that she is just as passionate about social awareness outside of her books. She tweets multiple times per day on philanthropic causes, and often retweets various fundraisers and environmental articles, promoting them to her 501K followers. The Canadian author recently worked with Food and Water First, a group of citizens in Ontario, Canada, concerned with food and water protection. Her recent tweets have also included fair elections in the Canadian government, high seas protection, and a personal tweet — an honorary degree from University of Edinburgh.
The British author known for fantasies and horrors such as The Sandman and Coraline is a big retweeter, often acknowledging his fans and their thoughts on his books. He recently celebrated over 2 million followers, jokingly tweeting in all caps with cake, pie, and tea for everyone. His response to a fan who asked if only new followers would get cakes was simply, “2,000,083 cakes!” Gaiman displayed his wry, self-deprecating humor when he recently sang “Psycho” at Carnegie Hall to a sold-out audience. He’s also an avid follower of political news, with retweets of the recent Hobby Lobby case on contraceptives and the Blackwater guards fatally shooting civilians in Baghdad.
Just took dressing room nap. I feel like a proper diva. Also a bit blinky. — Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) June 27, 2014
It’s no surprise that Alexie actively tweets on issues pertaining to race and ethnicity. Many of the Native-American author’s stories are drawn from his own experiences growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. His first YA novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, is semi-autobiographical. His collection of short stories, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, feature two Native-American men. His tweets in relation to race are often critical of the U.S. government and corporate America, including the genocide of indigenous people, the Washington Redskins, and President Obama’s tour of Indian reservations. His dry humor is also ever present on topics including bad taste in music, people addicted to Amazon, and interpreting old photos.
Don’t be proud of your race & ethnicity. Be proud of not being a total asshole, whatever your race & ethnicity. — Sherman Alexie (@Sherman_Alexie) June 14, 2014
Bret Easton Ellis
The novelist, screenwriter, and short story writer’s tweets are often classic and indie film and music recommendations. Recent ones included Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, horror film The Sacrament, and singer-songwriter Todd Michael Schultz. His Twitter reflects his Los Angeles landscape, recently updating on shooting a film in Venice Beach, a Friday afternoon at LA-based theater Arclight, and hanging out in Eagle Rock with celebrities. His stories, including his first novel Less Than Zero, tend to feature wayward white American adolescents and pop cultural references. His weekly B.E.E. podcast is similar, highlighting discussion on fascinating minds and ideas, including gender and Wes Anderson, and French Extremism.
Thoughts on “The Day of the Locust” film by John Schlesinger? Flawed but gorgeous and key L.A. cinematic touchstone? Anyone?… Anyone?… — Bret Easton Ellis (@BretEastonEllis) May 23, 2014
Lin’s tweets are as circumspect and abstract as his post-postmodern novels. The hipster author’s tweets range from a single word (or nonword) like “watermelon” and “sudenlyly,” to hyper self-aware. His works such as Eeeee Eee Eeee are often whimsical and play on language and imagery. His latest novel, Taipei, caught the attention of Bret Easton Ellis, who tweeted about the author. His tweets often combine hypothetical names of works with earnest self consciousness and literalism, including a memoir titled, Feels Like I’m Barely Able to Maintain Eye Contact with Anyone Generally While Talking (It Isn’t Personal Probably) and a poetry collection in regards to being naked in front of the computer.
Imagining oneself meditating as a method for meditating — Tao Lin (@tao_lin) June 9, 2014
After years with a generally inactive Twitter account, the author of the Harry Potter series recently started tweeting more frequently. She has amassed over 3 million followers. Rowling’s first tweet was in 2009, and she has since only tweeted 88 times. But she recently updated on her Coroman Strike series, issues of press abuse, and the death of Maya Angelou. From her tweets, her focus these days is on Robert Galbraith, her pseudonym for the Coroman Strike series. She’s been promoting the latest book, The Silkworm. Harry Potter fans can still find fandom references though, from Quidditch World Cup to Hufflepuff pride.
It’s the 16th anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts. I’m having a moment’s silence over my keyboard. I hated killing some of those people. — J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 2, 2014