Digital Tumbleweeds on Author Websites

Earlier this week, I finished reading Tunneling to the Center of the Earth by Kevin Wilson. It’s a collection of 11 short stories and it’s the best thing I’ve read all year. The short story “Mortal Kombat” alone is worth the twelve bucks you’ll spend on the paperback. As I sit here today, I can think of only one negative part of the whole experience:

When I looked online for what Kevin Wilson is up to now, all I found were digital tumbleweeds.

The front page of Wilson’s Website promotes his two books, but the last of those was published in 2011. His blog, likewise, has languished for nearly three years. And, as far as I can tell, he has no presence on Twitter.

It wasn’t until my third or fourth visit to his site, when clicking through the various links on the navbar, that I discovered some of the links on his publications page—which are not dated, by the way—led to stories published in the last three years. He’s not dead! There’s more to read!

Awesome!

Except for this: it’s hard enough to get people interested in short stories—in books, in general, for Christ’s sake—so, shouldn’t Wilson expend a bit more effort on his Website?

I’ve heard for years, in the workshops I’ve given at Lesley’s MFA program and a PodCamp NH, that writers would rather be focusing on their writing than on their Web presences. I get that. I would, too. But the times, as Bob says, they are a’changing. And, whether our readers come to us from hard copies they buy at their local bookstore—Hi, RiverRun!—or they move right from their eReader to a browser to Google us, shouldn’t we make it easier to find out who we are and what we’re up to?