Hug an Author

Have you told your favorite author how much you like her (or his) book(s)?

No, I’m not looking for compliments, but in the last few weeks I’ve had various people (people I barely know) tell me how much they enjoyed a particular book I wrote, and it has been a marvelous feeling. (What’s been really nice is it has been for different books I’ve written, not just one in particular.)

I know when I started writing and I met multi-published authors whose books I loved, I was afraid to say anything. In a way it was because I didn’t want to come across as an adoring fan (thought I was one). I also didn’t want to bother the writer because I was sure he/she had better things to do than talk to this adoring fan.

Later, I often didn’t say anything because I wanted to be seen as an equal. (Though I wasn’t one.)

Slowly, over the years, I’ve discovered people rarely are bothered by words of praise. Maybe, once a writer reaches a certain level of fame (i.e., James Patterson, Nora Roberts, or any number of NYT best sellers) being told you’re a wonderful writer or that a fan loved a particular book, doesn’t matter…but I have a feeling that’s wrong. I think, no matter how famous you become, it’s always gratifying to hear that someone thinks what you wrote (or how you wrote it) was wonderful.

Actually, I’m not suggesting you go out and hug your favorite author, but if you do have a chance, do let him (or her) know you loved a book s/he wrote. I’m pretty sure, if it doesn’t make their day, it will at least make them feel good.

(P.S., if I don’t immediately respond to a comment you make, it’s because as this goes live, I’ll be visiting Disney World. My time to play in an imaginary world.)

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6 Responses to Hug an Author

  1. I find people are quicker to criticize than to praise. Yet we all need a kind word now and then. I’m also delighted when a reader tells me they enjoyed one of my books or stories.

    • Maris Soule says:

      I think it’s a shame we are more willing to criticize than praise, which is why I’m going to try to tell writers I like that I appreciate their work. (I did so last week and it felt good.)

  2. Melissa Keir says:

    There is nothing like being recognized for your work. I love hearing from fans. Thanks for a post on such a wonderful piece of advice.

  3. Paula says:

    Generally, I’ve come to the conclusion that, when someone tells me they appreciate me or something I’ve done, that appreciation means even more to me if they’re specific about what they liked. I would like to be able to tell a couple of my favorite authors that I enjoy the way they create readable dialogue, or settings that seem to pop right off a page, or characters (whether I like them or not) that are believable. Good topic, Maris. Now where is John Irving when I need him?

    • Maris Soule says:

      You are right, Paula. I remember an editor telling me she like my action scenes. That has always stayed with me and has made me more confident when it’s time to write an action scene.