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Patricia Cornwell: Listening to fans improved my writing

6th December 2010

American crime writer Patricia Cornwell has claimed that embracing social networking allowed her to become a better author.

In an interview with the Independent, the Port Mortuary writer noted that she started to receive criticism from her normally-loyal readers several years ago, who claimed that her novels were not of the same standard as her earlier works.

She explained: 'It's quite sobering … Everyone is doing forensics. You don't dominate that stage the way you did. Nobody cares that you did it first. You get disappointments.'

Cornwell told that newspaper that she attempted to solve this problem by listening more to the comments of her readers and found that engaging with them online, which she previously disliked, allowed her to find out exactly what they wanted.

She added that listening more closely to her audience made her a better writer and prompted her to re-introduce the first-person narration that proved so popular in her earlier novels.

Cornwell's debut novel, Postmortem, was published in 1990 and since then she has written crime books such as Body of Evidence, From Potter's Field and Unnatural Exposure.
 

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