Last night, I was asking a buyer of my first book if he wanted a copy of my second. He asked for a description of it and after I told him he told me he’d take one. His wife, sitting beside him, apparently caught that and turned to ask him what he was getting. He told her I’d published a second book and she immediately said, “Oh, yes, yes, yes!” She’d read the first and didn’t even care what the second was about, she just wanted to read it. Talk about stroking my ego. I’ve had several others say the same thing. They don’t care what it’s about, they just want to read it. I’m especially glad because the stories fighting their way out of my head are all different. I want people to look at my name on a book and just say, “Doesn’t matter what it’s about, it will be good, because I know she tells a good story.”
Now if I can just get some of them to write a review online somewhere, so others who haven’t read my first book will see it…or just tell their friends. Word of mouth is wonderful, and often yields more results, because the emotion of the reader comes across. One of my favorite all time series was brought to my attention by way of a casual conversation in the hall at work when a coworker mentioned her mother’s favorite author. I read one book and bought all the rest as fast as possible. (Free plug: C. L. Bevill, the Bubba series – humorous murder mysteries.)
I can bore people for hours about my favorite books, and do. (My sisters keep threatening me about spoiler alerts.) I can at least natter on about them on Goodreads and Amazon. Hopefully someday I can be compared to the likes of my favorite authors like Nora Roberts, J.K. Rowling, Stephanie Laurens, Linda Howard, Max Brand, and I won’t even start with my favorite science fiction writers because I’d run on forever and ever. I don’t have a particular favorite Christian author. I don’t actually read a lot of Christian fiction; I’m too busy writing it. Right now I’m collecting various books of Christian fiction by various authors to see if any particular one strikes my fancy.
I don’t mind stroking other authors’ egos. I go to science fiction conventions whenever I get a chance and if I run across one whose work I read a lot of, I’ll let them know (if I can get close to them…). If I ever get to go to other conventions, I’ll tell those authors too. They deserve lots of kudos for bringing so much pleasure into my life. My childhood had a lot of hard times in it, and (though it may shock some who know me now) I was a very introverted child who was terrified of being noticed. Books kept me sane, kept me hopeful, kept me optimistic, and let me exercise my brain. When I spent decades in a dry, technical world of numbers and regulations and angry people on the phone, my breaks spent with my books got me through. One book even saved my life. I had stepped on a nail and got a blood infection, and had no idea because it stopped hurting. Then I recognized the symptoms of blood poisoning I had read in a story and got to a doctor, who said if it had gone one more day, it might have been too late.
If some writer got you through tough patches, brightened your worldview, inspired you, and/or exercised your imagination, thank them however you can. They deserve it, and it might inspire them to keep writing and brightening the world in general.