I guess you’ve heard. The blog’s closing. Jaunty is moving on.
You probably can guess how ambivalent we all are about the decision. Yes, it’s been difficult—and growing more so every month—to keep up with the commitment. But it has been so much fun, and we all have loved coming to this happy place, where we could connect with each other, and with you, our readers.
Knowing we’re nearing the end has made me think about my own experiences with reader/author interaction from the reader side. It’s been limited, and frankly a bit unlucky.
Though I’m a lifelong book fiend, I’ve written only one personal fan letter in my life. That’s partly because many of my literary idols have been dust for decades (think Edith Wharton, Jane Austen, etc). It’s partly because I’m by nature an introvert and hate the thought of intruding.
And it’s even more because I don’t really want the human truth of an author who undoubtedly has warts and quirks (I know I do!) to mess with my adoration of their perfect fictional characters. I don’t really want to know what person in Harper Lee’s life inspired Scout, or Jem, or Atticus. Scout and Jem and Atticus are real people. REAL, I say. Real people aren’t inspired by anyone.
But, even so, I did write the one fan letter. I don’t want to say which author/book inspired me to do it, but it was a historical YA I read as a teenager…so don’t worry…you don’t know her. 😉
I adored that novel. It was beautiful, romantic, visual, fun. I’m pretty sure I try to recapture a little of that feeling, if only subconsciously, every time I write a book. I wrote to tell her all that.
She never wrote back.
So. Strike one.
Strike Two: Through the years—as a lifelong writing student and as a member of RWA—I’ve been lucky enough to attend workshops, lectures, classes and speeches by some truly great writers. But only once in my life have I wanted desperately to hear an author speak purely as a fangirl. Merely because I was in love with her books.
The writer was Dorothy Dunnett, a Scottish genius who wrote, among other things, The Lymond Chronicles. Her hero, Francis Crawford of Lymond, may be the most brilliant creation of all time. Maybe ten or twelve years ago I heard Dunnett was, miraculously, coming to an independent bookstore in Sarasota, which is reachable from Orlando.
I was all set to go, my reservations made, my overnight case packed, my heart in my throat, when I heard she had cancelled. My heart was broken, and when I heard why, it was shattered. The amazing Dorothy Dunnett was sick. Not long after, she died.
I may not try any author interaction again. I’m clearly jinxed. 😉 No one wants a strike three, right?
So those are my two sad stories about my life as a book groupie. How about you? What wonderful, silly or sad experiences have you had with your author heroes?
I’ll be giving a $10 Amazon gift certificate to one randomly chosen commenter today, so let the stories begin! 🙂