Not a few days later, I received the following email from Louise Hawes:
I would like to send a giant writerly hug to you for your review of my book, Black Pearls, a Faerie Strand, on "In Search of Giants." What a treat to read a review by someone who "gets it."
She wrote a bunch of other stuff about how much she loves me and is going to put my name on her next book and...oh, okay. Not really. But her email was very nice, and entirely personal. It set a new standard for me.
I don't expect Tammy Pierce or Robin McKinley to read the reviews I write of their books (well, and such reviews would simply read "wow wow wow wow" so there's not much they would read). And I don't review all books as thoroughly as others. Still, to know that an author found the review (I have quit emailing reviews to them), and then took time to comment, made me appreciate Louise (I feel so smug using her first name) and authors like her even more.
Julia Hoban, whose debut novel Willow was released two weeks ago (wow, has it been that long?), and for whom the uber-wonderful Lauren created a release blog, emailed me personally twice in response to comments I made on the release blog:
You are the first blogger I've seen who lists Moby Dick among herThere have been other books I've plugged that don't get any kind of recognition from their authors, even authors for whom the works are debuts. I understand - truly, I do - that not all authors can spend the time to find reviews and fans online and make a personal overture. Heck, I don't even have time to respond to all of my commenters (I tend to reciprocate by visiting commenters' blogs, though.) And it's not that I don't like authors who don't visit my blog (*cough cough* Geraldine Brooks) or email about my reviews.
favorites. . .I'm so pleased! Thank you so much for leaving that very thoughtful comment on thatincredible site that they made for me!
I just think that, whether it should be or not, authors are their own best publicists. And, usually, are really cool people, and it's always fun to get email from really cool people.
I sat down at the desk this morning to work on the Feeds Page for Dewey's Readathon, and found a comment on one of my reviews that began, "I apologize, sort of. . ." My first thought was, wow, how impudent of one of my readers to claim credit for this author's work. Then I read it - it was from the author herself, Kathleen Duey!
Don't get me wrong. I'm not a celebrity hound. If Angelina Jolie showed up at my blog, I might not think twice. In a field where I feel comfortable - literature, writing, reading - there's a profound satisfaction in the recognition from professionals within the field. These are not just authors, but authors with heart.
And to those authors, I say: thank you.