In this era of the internet, it seems that as readers we have unparalleled access to the lives of our favourite authors. If the author so desires, all their readers can know exactly what they had for dinner on Tuesday, or all about their kids, and what they like to do in their spare time.
Obviously every author is different in terms of what they want to share, as are we all online. For example, whilst I don't mention my son often on my blog or on Twitter, when I do I choose not to name him. It wouldn't take a lot of investigation on anyones part to find out his name, but I don't put it out there for every one to see.
It seems to be generally accepted that having a web presence of some sort is crucial for authors. The depth of involvement can vary between authors. Some may choose just to have a website (regularly updated and current is best), or may choose to blog either as an individual or as part of a group blog (if you are going to blog though, please blog. There is no point in having a blog linked to your website that has only been updated once in the last year and which has no mention of the book that has just been released), perhaps a Facebook page,or a Twitter account. Then there may be forums, guest posting and interviews on other people's blogs - the list is endless.
Even for those authors who choose not to have an online presence, it is usually possible to find out basic information about them from publisher's website or profile on other sites.
So when you come across an author that you can find absolutely nothing about, it comes as something as a surprise. And then that reaction morphs into frustration as you read more and more of their books and you still don't know the most basic information like nationality, and are they still alive, and facts like that.
Aaron Fletcher is one of these authors!
I started reading Aaron Fletcher's Outback saga last year as part of a group over at Goodreads who enjoy reading big, juicy historical sagas, and since then I have read four books in the series: Outback, Outback Station, Walk About and Wallaby Track. I now have just one more to read and that is Outback Legacy and then I will be done, as far as I know anyway. There are other books out there, but no more that are part of this series.
The Outback Saga books are set in colonial Australia and feature larger than life character who become hugely successful despite the harsh environs of Outback Australia, or maybe in some cases because of them. There's lots of talk about sheep farming in particular. There were certain aspects of the first book that I didn't liked (most particularly the way that Aboriginal communication and family bonds were portrayed) but other than that they are very readable books filled with drama, danger, love and triumph.
As an Australian, reading a series of books about Australia, I wanted to know what was Aaron Fletcher's background. Is he an Australian because if he is the books count for the Aussie Author Reading Challenge I am participating in, has he worked on a sheep station, how did he do his research. I'm not saying that any of those things need to be true but I wanted to know if that was his background of not.
This series was originally published in the early 90s, but they were all republished only three or four years ago, so I do think it is a bit odd that there is no information about him at all that we have been able to find and believe me there have been a number of us looking for information.
I did wonder if maybe this was an agency author name rather than a writer's actual name, mainly because in some ways the later books did feel as though they were written differently, but I don't have anything to back that up. The only possible piece of information we have been able to find relates to the fact that Aaron Fletcher may have been part of a group of writers who wrote under the name Dana Fuller Ross, and that is a mention on a Facebook fan page so may or may not be true. Other than that - nothing, nada, zilch.
Would it bother you if you couldn't find out anything at all to do with an author. Is there is any such thing as too much information. Do you know something about Aaron Fletcher?