Authors Must Write About What They Believe?

From SRP author Taylen Carver:

Under one of my other pen names, I received an email from a reader who had found a post I wrote years ago, debunking the myths about crop circles.

His email was a single line, which I will paraphrase: You write about magic, but you don’t think crop circles are supernatural?

I admit my jaw dropped a little.

It seems that this particular reader feels that authors who write about magic must, by default, believe in magic. And crop circles.

Perhaps I’ve been writing professionally for too long, and I have lost sight of the pure reader’s perspective. I have never assumed that what a writer writes about represents what they believe, or how they think the world is or should be. I certainly don’t think Joanna Rowling keeps a wand under her pillow, bought from Diagon Alley. I don’t think that Stephen King believes that monsters are real, or that people who can start fires with their mind really exist.

And I could be dead wrong about both authors.

How about you? Do you believe that what a writer writes about represents what they truly believe?

Or do you assume that they’re writing to entertain and don’t care what they really believe?

Would you feel that an author is diminished in your eyes if you learned they’re writing about subjects that they don’t believe in? Even if you do…or don’t?

Or would you rather not know what the author truly thinks?

We’re dealing with magic for right now, but what about authors who write horror? Or about serial killers? Or the end of the world? What about writers who write noir, with characters who are unpleasant, failures, and losers?

What about the Wachowski sisters who wrote the Matrix movies? Do they really believe we’re all living in a virtual reality?

Should writers not write about what they don’t believe in? Would you prefer to read stories written only by those who truly believe in magic, time travel, firestarters, or that life is not real?

It’s a bit of a twister, isn’t it?

Tell me what you think in comments.

Taylen Carver

SRP Fantasy Author

Taylen Carver generally writes contemporary fantasy, but has been known to dabble in epic fantasy from time to time.
Browse Taylen’s books here.