October 21, 2011

The Others - Authors in (not of) literature

Today I won't drone on about authors of literature, but of authors in literature. The difference? The former will write fiction, the others have been written into a piece of fiction. And why not? All kinds of job descriptions are being passed out from the ones who write to the ones who are being created. Oddly enough all these writers in literature seem to lead quite exciting lives. Maybe the authors who thought them into existence want to compensate for their own dull life behind the keyboard? Who knows ...

First example that springs to mind? Jack Torrance. I'm sure you know him. Here we meet an aspiring writer who's trying to rebuild his life in a tranquil hotel in Colorado. When he starts to wield an axe things start getting a bit more exciting (and less tranquil for that matter) in The Shining. Or how about Paul Sheldon? Sounds familiar? It's the poor sod who ends up being rescued, and subsequently held hostage, by his fan Annie Wilkes in Misery.

But Stephen King isn't the only one who decided to make writers a main character of their books. Let's stay within the genre and turn to Marty Stillwater a bestselling mystery writer in Dean Koontz' Mr. Murder. And lets not forget short story writer Billy Wiles in his thrilling novel Velocity.

Though it's not only male writers who turn up in books. Just look at Ruth Cole from A Widow For A Year by John Irving. Or how about Vida Winter from Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale?

And ... there are many more examples, I'm sure, but those were the most obvious ones for me. Sadly enough I actually had to look the last two up *cough* so this blog post wouldn't be reduced to just two authors. Feel free to comment below with books where writers are main characters, so we can extend this list a bit!


  1. I read this last night, and couldn't think of any. In the middle of the night I woke up and realized you forgot one of the best: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Jo, the 2nd daughter, is an aspiring author, and she actually writes a book in it. So here you have a female author! :) And if you tell me you haven't read it (even though it's an American classic) I will be shocked. There is no excuse- get yourself a copy and start reading. ;) Ok- maybe I'm partial to it because my mom named me Amy after Amy in Little Women.

  2. This is going to get ugly now, but *cough*I haven't read the book *ducks and runs*. If there's NO excuse what could I possibly say in my defense?

  3. I will be watching for it to appear in one of your weekly updates about what you read.