Author Sean Joyce Guest Post/Giveaway ***CONTEST CLOSED***

The Sacred Relationship: The Reader and the Writer

It will come as no surprise that in order to do the job of writing a book well, you must also be an avid reader. I know that I am just one among a countless number of people who’ve spent their lives sharing with the visions and imaginations of authors. I’m also a film fanatic, and often take great enjoyment from forgetting myself for a couple of hours in the cinema. In fact, I regularly have the debate with friends regarding the merits of reading versus watching a film. And while I’m not going to deviate by delving too deeply into this particular discussion, I will say this: a great film can certainly be very compelling, and in the greatest examples, will leave an indelible mark on you.

A great book, however, is like nothing else on earth. A book doesn’t force feed you any images or ideas. There is not one vision that you are presented with. A good book weaves a path and leaves messages along the way for you to pick up.  A good book entices you into its realm, but it also makes you work for it by asking you to form your own inner world, using the author’s words as signposts.

I’ve always thought it a beautiful idea that when I read a particular book, I am sharing it with so many other people, yet my own personal vision of the book’s characters and settings won’t be the same as anyone else’s. When we read Great Expectations, for example, we’re each of us carrying our own version of Pip and Miss Havisham and Estella in our heads; a vision crafted from our own lives and experiences. We are, in effect, making our own unique, internal movie of the book, resulting in millions of different versions the world over from just one text.

I recently read a quote from an old Paris Review interview with John Steinbeck, who said that a writer tries to communicate like a distant star sending signals in order to establish a relationship of meaning and feeling. This got me thinking about the relationship between the writer and the reader, and just how important it is.

When a book brings you into its world and takes you along for a ride, it really is as if you are communicating with the author across time and space, sharing the experience with them, yet also making it your own by adding ideas and images to it that are no one else’s. I think it’s a truly great privilege for a writer to have this opportunity, and to share their stories and connect with strangers around the world. And while entertainment is always the main factor when writing a book that you want people to read, I also believe that it’s a chance to plug into something far more powerful than the internet, and to impart a piece of yourself.

In an age of quick-fix entertainment and constant distraction, I don’t think there could be a better time for us to engage more deeply in this reader-writer relationship. And from a reader’s perspective, I know that my life has been greatly enhanced by this relationship I’ve had with so many writers, and always will be.

I’ve tried to do the same thing with my first novel, and while time will tell whether I’ve succeeded or not, I only hope that I can impart even a smidgeon of the enjoyment I’ve taken from so many books.

You can connect with me at my website or find me on these social media outlets:

The Giveaway is simple. You get two chances to enter. (1 ebook copy of Project Hope)

1) The first one is MANDATORY. You must leave a comment on this post that has something to do with this guest post. That will get you in the running!

2) Follow Sean Joyce on Twitter for a second entry.  Click HERE to follow him. Make sure you leave a comment here saying you did. If you already have, just leave a comment on here saying you already did.

Easy-Peasy! The names will go in a random name generator. I will put all the names in there 1 or 2 times depending on the number of times you entered. I will hit the button and it will give us a winner! The contest closes at 8 a.m CST 7/20. Winners will be announced shortly afterwards. GOOD LUCK!

Posted on July 19, 2012, in GIVEAWAYS and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Love how he tells us how it makes him feel to write a book, i also liked him on twitter

  2. Really cool guest blog post, Sean. I couldn’t agree more. Take for example all the books turned movies: For the most part, I liked the book versions better…and of course, my view of how a character looked wasn’t exactly Hollywood’s opinion. Best of luck in your writing career. I, too, have a couple books out and it has been an amazing ride so far 😀

    • Many thanks Ashley, I appreciate it. I also agree with you on the book to movie question. It’s rare that the movie version surpasses the book, but it does happen occasionally (maybe Fight Club for example). I also try to avoid seeing the movie before reading the book, as it will undoubtedly pollute your own image of the characters. The Shipping News is one of my all time favourite novels, but I find it hard to shake the image of Kevin Spacey as Quoyle. Thanks again, and all the best with your own writing career.

  3. Great interview, Cynthia! Thank you, Sean, for sharing your thoughts on the importance of books. When I was a child, I just about inhaled them…they were like air to me…a necessary food for my nourishment. My mission is to help every young child become a reader and lover of books…they are like passport to the world.

  4. Just followed Sean on Twitter. 🙂

  5. I seek movies that promise great characterization. Therefore, I enjoy checking out many Independent films. Books only increase in importance for me. Sometimes I run across one I read many years ago and remember how no one else was interested. Yet, there it is, passing the test of time and still shining with brilliance in my heart. (I hope that means I had some degree of taste for good literature.)

    One of the joys of blogging is the surprises. Over the time I’ve blogged, readers change, comments change – yet the subscriptions stay. Is it because people really do want to read new posts or have they just not figured out how to easily unsubscribe. I hope it’s the former! I’m going to keep writing as though it is!

    Congrats on being published. It must feel fabulous.

    • Many thanks. I’m also one for independent films. While Hollywood does churn out the occasional film of substance, I think it’s the independents that usually hit the mark and do what art is supposed to do i.e. connect with us and tell us something.

      Good luck with your blog. I have no doubt that your readers know exactly how to unsubscribe, yet stick in there because of the great content 🙂

  6. Wonderful post Sean. Thanks for sharing. I like your idea that reading a book is sharing it with others. When I opened my first book as a child I never looked back. It is my passion and my salvation. Probably would be crazy if I couldn’t escape into a great story!
    Followed you on twitter. Being “seeing”you there.

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