The New York Times Best Seller List has been released since 1942, about 90 years after the first issue of The New York Times.
This list is split into many different categories, such as Paperback Mass-Market Fiction, Children’s Chapter Books, and Hardcover Nonfiction, in order to give readers an idea of what the best books being published are.
For the category Paperback Trade Fiction, author Jamie Ford made it onto the list in 2011 for his extraordinary book, “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.”
Ford says he has been writing for a long time, but until recently it was only for amusement.
“What I started doing maybe 15 years ago was writing just for fun,” he said. “About five or six years ago I started taking it seriously.”
While he has a passion for writing books, reading them is also incredibly important to him.
“You can’t be a writer without being a reader,” Ford states. “If you’re always reading, you’re always learning something.”
He also agrees that a book is not always read the way the author intends it, but the way the reader sees it.
“Once a book is published it belongs to the reader,” Ford said, but he seems to be OK with that and even enjoys knowing that no two people will read his book and see it the same way. “You as individuals bring something to the reading.”
Jamie Ford gives a lot of advice to aspiring authors. He urges them not to try to “play Mozart” right from the beginning.
The first time someone plays a piano they’re most likely going to play something simple because they won’t be able to play anything too complex, such as a Mozart composition. In the same way, a writer should not get discouraged if their work isn’t perfect immediately. It takes effort.
He also thinks it’s important not to try to be exactly like a different author. Writers need to learn how to feel free in their writing.
“Everyone’s voice when it comes to writing is different,” he said. “That’s why books are so interesting. Voice can’t be taught.”
An author’s background influences their stories, and that is something that can’t be copied by someone else.
“Whatever your personal history is, some of those things will find their way into your story.”
Ford’s book, “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” (also an Indie Bound NEXT List Selection, a Borders Original Voices Selection, a Barnes & Noble Book Club Selection, Pennie’s Pick at Costco, and a Target Bookmarked Club Pick) has been translated into 24 languages. On his website (www.jamieford.com), Ford jokes that he’s still waiting for it to be translated to Klingon. (“That’s when you know you’ve made it.”)
He is currently working on his next novel, but it remains nameless until a later time.