Does meeting a writer you admire (or even one you don't), change the way you feel about their books?
When I first joined Twitter I started following an author of a book I'd read that week. It was a good book and his name was fresh in my mind and so I thought I'd start my life on Twitter with him. Within a week I'd stopped following him and I've been reluctant to follow other authors ever since. Why? Because he expressed political views that were, to me, repugnant. I tried not to let this cloud my opinion of the book I'd just read, but I haven't made any effort to read another of his. His [very conservative, right-wing, pro-gun] views are now associated in my mind with his name.
There was a mini-news storm earlier this year when Jeanette Winterson tweeted "Rabbit ate my parsley. I am eating the rabbit". Rabbit-lovers everywhere were outraged, vowing never to read her books again. I found that absurd, but was it really more absurd than me being turned-off a writer for his political views that were nothing to do with his writing?
It's the same with our own media presence, of course. I usually avoid expressing political or religious views publically, not only because they are private and I hate conflict, but also because I am aware that I can and will be judged by readers, editors and publishers by what I put in the public domain. And so I should be. If we choose to make things public, we can't protest when people form an opinion of us based on those things.
Have you ever met an author or followed them on social media only to be disappointed by their attitude or what they say? Have you ever met or written to a writer who has been gracious and charming? I'd love to know who the good authors to follow on Twitter are!