Hearing from an Author

Posted on February 10, 2010. Filed under: Authors, writing | Tags: , , , |

Two days ago I visited one of my favorite author’s websites. I was browsing through parts of it since I haven’t really been around it lately, and I came across the “contact info” page with the traditional email form that people can use to get in touch with her.

Now I’ve never done this before, but I have a friend who has. She actually emails her favorite author back and forth fairly often, and she reads everything the woman writes. As I thought about that, I figured, why not email her and see what happens?

So I sent her an email around 1:45 p.m. and kind of forgot about it. Don’t get me wrong; I wanted to see if I’d get a response, but I kind of figured it would be the computer generated type. You know, the “thank you for emailing Lauren Willig; your comments are important to her, and she will try to get back with you as soon as possible.”

Yesterday I woke up and was fairly busy during the morning, so I couldn’t check my email. When I finally got the chance to yesterday afternoon, I was so surprised to see an email from Lauren Willig in my inbox. I noticed it was sent the day before at 10ish p.m., so I wasn’t sure what to think.

But I opened it and read the email and was pleasantly surprised to be hearing from Lauren herself! 😀 I am ashamed to admit I didn’t expect to hear back from her since I assumed she would be too busy to get back to me. It’s lovely, really, to hear from one of your favorite authors.

Here’s an excerpt of what I wrote:

I wanted to write because your series has been one of the best I’ve read in ages. What’s more, you based it off my all-time favorite book The Scarlet Pimpernel. Most people I know have never even heard of the poor Pimpernel, which is a very sad state of affairs.

I watched the 1934 version of the movie in middle school and fell in love with the swashbuckling Sir Percy. I read the book in high school and was even more in love. And then when browsing my bookstore a few years back, I was confronted with a sight I never expected to see.

The title The Secret History of the Pink Carnation caught my attention immediately. My first thought was, “This reminds me of ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel!’ I wonder what it’s about.” I plucked it off the shelf and was very quickly carrying it to the checkout counter. I’ve bought every book since and have quite simply fallen in love with your characters.

And here’s part of Lauren’s email response:

Thank you so much for your lovely email!  It’s always wonderful to hear from a fellow devotee of that demmed, elusive Pimpernel.  And, yes, it is a very sad state of affairs when so many people seem not to know of him!  I’m always fascinated, when I describe my books to folks as being in the tradition of The Scarlet Pimpernel, to see who nods and who says, “Huh?”  Sadly, there are a great many “huhs”.

Isn’t that cool? I thought it was pretty awesome myself! Now I’m wondering if it’s considered poor etiquette to reply to her email or not. I’d like to because I have quite a few questions for her, but of course, I don’t want to clog up her inbox with my own thoughts and comments.

Has anyone else done something similar? I’d love to hear about it.

-Rae-

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2 Responses to “Hearing from an Author”

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Ooooh, e-mail etiquette that’s a tough one. I say why not? I’m sure she’ll look fondly of it, because let’s face it. She probably has had some pretty crazy messages, that’s sort of the drawback being open to communication. And hey, what’s the point of having a contact page if she didn’t want to be contacted.? So even though I, like you, would have a few butterflies about “re-replying” I’d still take the chance, because it’s better to know than to always wonder.

I hope that helps.

-Ed

Yeah, I always wanted to write to my favorite author, Douglas Adams, while he was alive. But I was afraid he would be way too busy. Now that I realize how much authors like feedback from readers, I really, really wish I had written to him.

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