Instead of posting a sample from a book or an inspiration for the book, I figure I better start posting some pictures from the RT Booklovers Convention.
Today I’m posting pictures of two wonderful ladies I got the honor of meeting: Sarah and Leila. I’m very glad I met you two. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to say hi. It means the world to me.
It’s so exciting for the author when she gets a chance to meet someone who reads and enjoys her books. Sometimes writing can seem like a lonely venture. While authors love to tell their tales and live vicariously through their characters, we do it alone. Don’t get me wrong. We tend to be introverts and we love working alone (at least I do). We are fortunate to live in a time when we can see our stories in book and ebook form without the assistance of a publisher. I self-published so I could hold my book in my hands and have it on my ereader. It was as simple as that. Now, at the time my husband was supporting us, so I had the luxury of only writing for pleasure. These days I’m the one supporting the family, so things have become more business oriented, but I still love what I do and get a thrill every time I get another book done. I’m very blessed that I get to do what I love.
But there are some downsides, as there is with any job. One of the major downsides is, ironically, other authors. Nine out of ten times, it’s another author who gives other authors the most grief. It was a rude awakening back in 2010 when I discovered this. I mistakingly believed that authors would all be there to support each other, to offer words of encouragement when things got rough.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There are some authors who are wonderfully supportive. It’s very important that authors find other authors who they can form friendships with, and I have some awesome author friends (some of which write books that are very much outside the genre I write in). The benefit of befriending authors is that you find out you’re not alone when the downside to being a writer rears its ugly head. It’s like with any job. If you can find a good network of support, it helps you get through the tough spots a lot better.
That all being said, I think readers who take the time to say a kind word are the best thing there is to being a writer. This is a job that isn’t for the faint of heart. Authors have to deal with hate email, angry comments, and reviews by people who were very upset with their books. Some of us have even been stalked and harassed (in one form or another). Most of the time, the people behind these attacks are other authors. I’d say 90% of the time, it’s other authors. It can be wearing on an author who is often stuck alone writing their stories. When one of their readers takes the time to lend a kind word, it’s usually something that comes just at the right time.
I don’t know how it works, but at the right time, someone will send me a message or make a comment that assures me I’m on the right track, that what I’m doing is what God wants me to do, that I am following His leading. The comment or message will be worded in such a way it answers the question I have. This doesn’t just stem from the whole “should I include sex in my books” debate. It can be anything from a certain character, plot point, book, the way I write… There are many things that pop up.
It’s hard to adequately convey how thankful I am and how much it means to me when you take the time to say something nice to me about my books. All I can usually think of to say is “thank you” and “I appreciate the kind words”, but if you could feel what was in my heart when I say those things, you’d understand how deeply I am touched and honored by your kindness. I end up keeping the words of support and encouragement you’ve sent and printing them out to keep for when I start to get discouraged. It reminds me there is a purpose and a reason to keep going. It reminds me that even though I spend most of my time alone (or with kids who expect me to intervene when they fight), I’m still connecting with other people. I won’t say I’m a huge social butterfly because I’m not. I’m shy and awkward in social situations.
Though I write books, I don’t often have the words to express what’s deep in my heart in personal correspondence. So please understand that when I say something as simple as “thank you” and “I appreciate the kind words”, I mean so much more than that.
It does an author’s heart good to hear readers saying good things about his/her books. Sometimes when book sales are down, or if you get a bad review, it’s nice to get an email or blog comment letting you know how much you’re appreciated.
I feel like I’ve been very lucky in that all the authors I’ve met online have been kind and generous. However, I will say that I suspect a couple of my “ugly” reviews have been left by authors.
I think your right about the ugly reviews you’ve gotten. By the way they’re worded, they give themselves away. After a while, they begin to sound the same and you start realizing the source. I’ve noticed readers are a lot more focused on the actual story and characters. That’s usually a key factor I look for when I read reviews. I want to know what it was about the story and characters the readers liked or didn’t like.
Yep, the kind words an author’s readers choose to offer is worth gold. Sometimes it’s the only reason I can keep going. I’m looking forward to reading your next book. It sounds very intriguing and knowing you, you’ll do an A job on it. 😀