Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thought for Thursday: Dear Author

Do you remember your first letter/email that you wrote to an author?  Remember that feeling of nervousness you got when trying to formulate just how much you enjoyed said author's book(s) into either an understandable letter or email?  I know I definitely do. 

Of course, this was when I felt authors were these awesome beings that were cloistered away from the masses of readers out in the world.  Yes, when I believed that publishing houses spirited away their authors, and letters were rarely to be replied to since authors were so busy writing their next book.  Honestly, you can't say that you didn't think that once upon a time, too, right? 

Now in the digital age, readers are so very fortunate to be able to interact with authors not online via email, twitter, and blogs, but also in person with all of the amazing tours set in motion by *cues dramatic music* the same publishing houses I thought were keeping the authors busy at their computers.  How silly I was back then! 

But I'm getting away from my point.  The first author I ever wrote an email to (yes, I was too scared to send fanmail only to receive a carbon-copied response in return) was Carol Berg, author of Transformation

I was in awe of this book mostly because it took me two times to read it, not because of disinterest.  No, during college, I accidentally dropped it and lost my place in the book when my bookmark went flying out of the pages.  D'oh!  So I had to start over and I was glad I did because I saw certain aspects of protagonist Seyonne's life in slavery that I had missed during the first read.  When I wrote my email to Carol Berg, I wasn't really expect a response, so when I got one, I was flabbergasted.  And also very happy.  Below is my email to Carol.

"Dear Ms. Berg,
I am sure you receive mail from many readers, but I still wanted to send this letter regarding Transformation in the hopes that you would have time to read it.  After starting the book my freshman year of college, I clumsily dropped the book, sending my bookmark flying and losing my page.  Although I wanted to read Transformation again, I was unable to begin it because my English classes (my major) consumed all my reading time.  It was two years after that I was able to pick up Transformation and begin reading it.  When I reached the part where I stopped, I set the book aside but not just due to more readings.  I wanted to be able to enjoy Transformation to the fullest extent, and to do so, I needed to have the anticipation of finishing it.  Although I have not finished the book, Transformation does consume part of my mind as I ponder the remarkable manner in which you developed both Seyonne and Prince Aleksander.  The setting is amazing, and the trials Seyonne undertakes in the Derzhi world and within the Ezzarian world are so realistic and vivid, it makes me want to cry for him.  I am nearing the end of Transformation, and I look forward to continuing the story with both Revelation and Restoration (already in my possession).  Transformation has been an inspiration to me and my own writing, and I must offer my gratitude to you for creating this world.  Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. 

And her response:

"Dear Amy,

What a lovely letter.  I am always thrilled to hear from happy readers, especially when they say they have found themselves immersed in the world and feeling things along with the characters.  No higher praise, as far as I'm concerned.  And it is such a pleasure to hear that my work has inspired you to move ahead with your own writing. Thanks for taking time from your busy schedule to let me know.

Best of luck with your studies and your writing.

Needless to say, I was thrilled to hear from her.  And that is what got me thinking about how fortunate we readers are in this digital age to be able to communicate with authors we adore and admire so... well, easily.  Still, I admit to being nervous each time I do take the time to write an email to authors for the first time or even Tweet to them.  Even with that nervousness, I know that they appreciate their readers.  And so, dear Authors I have met or hopefully will meet, thank you.  Thank you for all you do and thank you for giving your time to your readers.  ^_^

P.S. To Mary Lindsey, Joy Preble, Lynne Kelly, C.C. Hunter, Christina Mandelski, and any other local authors I have missed, keep doing our city proud!

P.P.S. To the staff at Blue Willow Books, Murder by the Book, and Katy Budget Books, thank you!


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