Are you asking yourself, what is an author? The definition of “author” is pretty simple, but also a bit specific. In the purest sense, an author is the title given to someone who has written a book no matter if it is fiction or non-fiction. It may also be used to describe writers of short works, but journalist, poet, or another more specific term is probably best when describing those writers, especially when the work earning them the title is not well known by the audience you’re speaking to.
What makes a great author?
What makes a great author? Oh man, how much time do you have? In the most basic sense, a great author has mastered many (though likely not all, it is a craft after all, not a science) of the techniques of their chosen type of writing. For non-fiction authors, this includes accurate research and a sense of storytelling. For novelists, authors of fiction books, this includes the ability to invent stories complete with plot, description, and characters. There are far too many skills, which vary according to the genre of the book, that an author must develop to list here, but being an author is much like any other profession; with mastery comes greatness as well as many material advantages.
Want to learn more about authors?
Now that you know for sure what an author is and a bit about what makes an author great, you might want to further your understanding by learning what an autobiographical novel is, as well as what author intervention is (posts and links coming soon).
More answers to writing questions
Each weekday I answer a writing question, from basic ones like this one (what is an author), to more complicated ones like, are editors still needed, and how can I write with small children? Often, with the more difficult topics, I also include helpful checklists and/or cheat sheets. To make sure you don’t miss out on one of these free resources, you can always follow me on your social media vice of choice, like Twitter or Facebook.
Also, if you have a question, please, for the love of… ask me! Seriously, do you know how long it takes me to dig up these questions? Please save me some time and ask me! My husband and child will thank you for the home-cooked meal instead of pizza, again.