My imaginary friend...

Sue Brown posted a link on our Retreat group after we talked about *audiences for our writing* at the UK MM Writer Retreat.

I think what we generally agreed that if we wanted to sell books we should stay true to our own voices, but at the same time not be writing just for ourselves. We should know our audience. Spookily enough this is kind of what the article says. Only they say it much more specifically.

The author of it talks about Peggy, about writing for someone called Peggy. This is a single person that you are writing for, a made up person who is your *target* reader.

The full article is here.

When I read it I had to admit that a lot of it rung true. I have someone I write for. I don't have a name for this reader in my head. But she is a woman who wants to read to lose herself from real life and EDJs. She is in her thirties (why that age I don't know, because let's face it, I am closer to 50 than 30!). My target reader has a lot of the same beliefs as I do, equality, love for family and a wish to read about happy ever afters...

Writers, do you have a *target person* you write for? Or do you write for yourself? Do you specifically look to sell books, or lay down stories in your head however unfathomable they may be to anyone else?

Readers, how closely do you fit my reader? Thinking about your favourite writers, what is it about them that makes you smile when you read their books? Or come to think of it cry!

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Incidentally... Sue has an awesome new book out that I just want to mention... I read it in one sitting and a review will follow... The book is the fourth in the Lyon Road Vets series and is my favourite of them all.


  1. As a reader, I'm close to your imaginary friend. Well, if we totally ignore the age thing. Yeah, I haven't seen 30something in, hmm, a really long time. ;-)

  2. Not sure how I fit to your imaginary friend, but I happily devour most of your output.
    I'm male, gay, late 50s, divorced 20 years ago, a father & grandfather, have been with Darryl now for 10+ years.
    I read almost exclusively MM with a preference in the mystery, adventure/action, historical and YA sub genres.
    HEA is not essential.
    I have dabbled in the paranormal, shapeshifter, steampunk, fantasy, scifi and literary MM fiction.
    I can be known to choose by location & occupation, ie Hawai'i, Wales/Cornwall, Aus, bookshops and libraries.
    I have also been known to overspend even though I own an extensive TBR selection.
    As a retired librarian/geek I do have skills which enable me to farm (ie RSS feeds) reviews, publishers & authors so that I get to pick & choose far too easily.

  3. My imaginary reader friends are probably middle-aged. I don't cater much to younger readers (although all are welcome). I think that my different genres attract different readers. Certainly those who read the Morning Report series are not necessarily attracted to Hairy Harry and friends. Do I write for guys or girls? I think when the book is in full flow I know who'll prefer the book.

  4. I have 2 imaginary readers. One is British. He's middle aged, a pharmacist, in a civil union for the past five years, a dog owner and enjoys reading military historical novels. The other is American. She's 25, unmarried but dating, works in IT and buys a lot of M/M erotica. I try to tightrope along between the two but don't think I please either of them that much :)

  5. I'm a straight, female, age 65 and converted to MM about 3 years ago. Although I have my preferences in themes, what matters most is the quality of the writing. I read things I never thought I would because of my respect for the author's talent. So - I'd rather read books by writers who are excited about what they're writing than those who write for an audience.