Monday, June 28, 2010

Do You Ever Lose the Excitement?

Before I started book blogging, I had no idea how accessible authors really were. I didn't know you shoot off an email and get a response from a beloved author. I didn't expect authors to look at my blog and occasionally even comment. I definitely never considered the fact that an author would learn who I was. AND then email me to thank me for a review, or discuss my thoughts on the book, or offer review copies or guest posts or other goodies.

It never even dawned on me that my voice would stretch that far. Until it happened. People who I've idolized for years know who I am. What I write here effects them personally. They read what I say and take time out of their heavy schedules just to write me an email. Me. I find that completely amazing.

I'm often starstruck. I have trouble trying to explain how awesome you are without scaring you away with my slobbering praise. That filter people have in their brains that alerts them not to say something embarrassing - mine's defective. It's not completely broken. I'm not going to say anything inappropriate. I just might overwhelm you with my love.

That's why the internet is good for me. It allows me to write my scary declarations of undying gratitude and then edit them. Make them sound sane. So you don't immediately get that restraining order. Because, really I'm harmless and that is completely unnecessary.

That being said, sometimes it's really hard to hold back, even at the keyboard. I get so excited when I get an email from a favorite author. My gut instinct is to make sure you are aware that you are the best thing that ever happened on the planet since the dawn of time. I want to throw words around like awesome, amazing, phenomenal, fantastic, superb, exceptional, astounding, and mesmerizing. Preferably all in once sentence. I'll probably also want to tell you that you are the ONLY person in this world who "gets" me and that we are destined to be best friends forever. Only I don't. Because then I'll have to convince you I'm not stalking you and then our love affair will have gotten off on the completely wrong foot.

But, the point is, I want to. I'm excited that you contacted me. I'm astounded that you took the time to respond to my email. I am flattered that you looked to my blog. And the 140 character message you sent me on Twitter, I'm putting it on a pillow. Okay, I'm not, but only because I'm not good with the arts or the crafts.

Do you have to hold back your professions of undying love and gratitude, or am I the only one? Does the excitement ever fade? Can you ever get used to corresponding with your heroes?


  1. My excitement hasn't faded yet. I save all emails I get from authors with the tag "Wow!" which should let you know how I feel. We should be excited. What authors are able to do is magic.

  2. Good question! I tend to gush in my reviews :) and hold my self together in emails :) But either way...I like to gush :)

  3. save the tweets and emails ..and was totally excited when I did my first interview with an author of whose books I online I'm reserved but at home --jumping up and down and whooping it up because they talked with little old me.

  4. I really have to hold back in emails and don't act like a total fangirl when I write one of my fav authors. Thank goodness that I can gush in reviews :)
    It's always a honour to exchange emails with an author and I think it would be sad to lose the excitement I feel while doing so.

  5. I get completely dorky too! I am amazed that not only have said authors not gotten a restraining order - but have actually stayed in touch with me!!
    I save all their emails and tweets too.

  6. I just found out that the author of Shadow Hills is following my blog. I was amazed since I barely have any followers and I'm a new blogger that she would follow me, but I'm honored.

  7. +JMJ+

    I'm afraid that my own experience has been a little different. I wrote some negative, satirical things about an author (getting a little personal, I admit, but then again, I didn't actually know him)--and he got really angry in my combox. =S

    Later I learned that angry, offended authors might be rare, but that they do show up on occasion. I suppose some people have never heard of PR. Sigh!

    The experience has made me a little wary of authors who contact bloggers--or at least authors who contact me. And now that I think about it, I've probably been subconsciously choosing to review books whose authors are either dead or don't have a major online presence. (LOL!)

    But don't let me throw a huge wet blanket on your happiness! If the authors who contact you are friendly and grateful that you enjoyed their books, then I'm happy for you, too. =)

  8. @Kathy Martin - I totally agree. My folder is titled "Save" but "Wow" should be it's subtitle.

    @Juju - Yes, gushing is both fun and easy. It's the trying to not come off as a psycho that's difficult.

    @My 5 Monkeys - I've done that. I've tried to bring my crazy to a more private place. My husband already knows I'm not quite right, but he doesn't get it when it comes to books.

    @Sabrina - I tone down review too, since the first draft can look a lot like "It's fantastical, but it immediately. No really. Right now. I'll wait." Which is less helpful to a potential reader looking for a deeper explanation of my feelings.

    @Karen - I think I go super professional for initial contact and then slowly let my dorky leak through. That way, they already kind of know me and I'm not a complete stranger virtually slobbering on their shoes. It's worked so far.

    @kimscarecrow - I love Anastasia Hopcus. She's an author who seems as excited about us as we are about here. It's an all around love fest :) She was the first author I admitted to having to tone down the review as to be helpful rather than just a love letter to her. And she didn't run away screaming - which is awesome. I fully admit to trying to find her at BEA but she was just too elusive.

  9. @enbrethiliel - Not to worry about being a wet blanket. I've totally been there. One of my first author requested reviews was not well received. The author made a point to mention that I was in the minority and that perhaps someone who is so taken with Tequila isn't responsible enough to get the book. To which, I say whatever.

    This first author I approached for a guest post or interview feature wasn't so nice either. To which I say, it's their loss.

    The bulk of authors go one of two ways: they either love bloggers, respect their opinions and want to interact with them, or they don't see our value to the industry and ignore any attempt we make to contact them. I'm fine with both. The teeny, tiny group that believes that bloggers are only here to serve them, give them glowing reviews and not present their book honestly is out there and I've learned to ignore them. They're rude to everyone who doesn't do what they want and I don't take it personally. They're only sabotaging themselves. Bloggers are good allies to have.

  10. All the authors who have contacted me have been extremely nice to talk to and complementary as well. I totally get the squeeable moments of every fan. I still get those 'where have you been all my life' moments.

  11. I don't hold back but I also don't get quite that many. I haven't reached out to any publishers and/or authors until after I have read their books. So, for now I can still be all fan girl. I am sure that will change but I will hold on to that for the time being :)

    ~Felicia @ Geeky Bloggers Book Blog

  12. Yes yes yes ME :-) I just think it is amazing that they take the time to comment, I feel honored for sure. I save my emails, have to agree with Kathy, WOW is a great title to save them in.

    I had one author that commented when I said I took her book off my wishlist after numerous bad reviews but I thought she was sweet and professional. Immediately I was embarassed and felt guilty, I even emailed to apologise but she responded and made me realise I hadn't did anything wrong. Now that attitude makes me reconsider reading her book.

  13. @emeraldfire - It's always stronger when I come across an established author that I hadn't read before. I'm always like "How could you have been right there and I never knew? Think of all the time we could have spent together!" See, my love often comes across as more scary love notes than "I admire you and your work."

    @Felicia - I never contact an author without having read at least one book by them first. It would be completely strange to try to write an email when I don't even know what their books are like.

    @Marce - That's kind of awesome. I love authors that "get it." You know, when they realize that there are too many books out there for each blogger to read every single one. I would probably be more inclined to pick up the book after a good interaction like that as well.

  14. +JMJ+

    Thanks, Jennifer! =) I should add that there was another author who was very pleased by some good words I wrote about her and whose response I still treasure . . . but I don't think she counts because I had e-mailed her with a direct link to my post in case she never found it. =P

    But thanks for this post, which has helped me realise that most authors will be like this gracious lady author and not like that other fellow, and that it really is their loss and not ours if they think we're just here to serve them! =)

  15. I get all fangirly and have no idea what to say other than "thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me!" which can sound really pathetic, but really, authors to me are like movie directors or really famous people. I tell my hubby, "so and so, the author of this AMAZING book, commented on my review! Isn't that fantastic!" and then I get a "I'm so proud of you, you dork". I LOVE authors, but wish I could tone down my enthusiasm.

  16. I've never really been in touch with authors by e-mail, but on my blog, I think I'm the ultimate creepy fangirl :S I don't know how NOT to gush. It's embarrassing, but what can I do?

  17. Ha! All these comments are so funny. Authors are rock stars in my opinion. The ones I have met have been so nice and helpful. I'm sure I just have this stupid grin on my face the whole time.

  18. @Enbrethiliel - Glad to be of service :) When you get a bad response, it's often easy to forget the really good, friendly authors out there.

    @MissHavoc - My husband always tells me how proud he is of me too, but I think he just says it because he doesn't know what to say. Now if I was talking to sports stars, he'd grasp the concept a little better.

    @Nymeth - I think blog gushing is less frightening than email gushing. At least on the blog, it's open for the world to see and an author can assume that you're not dangerous if you're willing to be public. In emails, well, the private nature of the notes can maybe sound a little scarier. Of course, as long as I don't hunt them down and leave scary post-it notes on their front door, it probably appreciated.

  19. I still squeal with excitement when I see my answered questions from Patricia Briggs (they're printed and pinned on my notice board lol). Don't get me started on my @ reply from Kelley Armstrong on Twitter, I may end up framing it lmao.

    I don't think that excitement ever goes away. I think if it did then I would be worried that I'm loosing interest in what I'm doing.

    So far I've only contacted a couple of authors and I felt sick with nerves until I got a response. I try to stay professional, because I know if I let loose there would be a restraining order in my mailbox lol.

    So far they've all been positive. I don't know what I would do if I got negative feedback from one.

  20. I love this post! It totally makes me feel better about being a fangirl!

    And who could ever lose their excitement over the opportunity to chat with a genius!

    I still squee when I remember the first time I wrote an author, Angela Knight, and got a response! It was magic!

  21. @Midnyte Reader - I know I did the stupid grin thing the entire time at BEA :)

    @Beth - There was a major squealing moment when MaryJanice Davidson agreed to guest post. MAJOR. The post is going up tomorrow and I couldn't be more excited!

    @Missie - It seems unfathomable to me too, but it seems most people who get to interact with their heroes eventually become used to it. They admire and respect, but don't salivate and ooze gushy love. It seems more adult somehow, but I think I'd much rather keep that bursting excitement feeling.

  22. I love your post and can totally imagine your gushing over authors that know your blog and write emails to you.

    I've had no experience with established authors so the only authors I've come across are the ones that are very keen to get their book out there and I realize they're just normal people like me.

    So no gushing from my part yet. Hopefully, when my blog gets a larger following... who knows?

  23. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading this post and all your wonderful comments...but I'm going to try anyway.

    I found out about book blogging when I first joined the 10ers. I never even knew book blogs existed before, but I instantly loved them. I think it's amazing that I get to see firsthand what readers like and hate.

    And since I'm only human, I have to admit that the reviews I enjoy reading the most are the positive ones. ;) It's especially wonderful to see a reader 'get' something in my story that's really important to me. To use an example from this post: "I'll probably also want to tell you that you are the ONLY person in this world who 'gets' me and that we are destined to be best friends forever." That is exactly the experience I have when I feel a reviewer really gets my characters. Each of those characters contains a little piece of me, and I automatically think, "Man, I'd really get along with this blogger." And after meeting so many of you at BEA, I now know that feeling is right on the mark---we had a ton of fun together! (Jennifer: I wish we had gotten a chance to meet up---we MUST next time.)

    Anyway, I know I'm rambling, but I just wanted to let all of you know that the excitement goes both ways and I never get tired of hearing from readers.

  24. I get the same way. I squee and drive my hubby nuts everytime I get a comment or email. Anastasia is so fabulously awesome :-) (had to throw that in there) I want to go all stalker girl and dye my hair the same color as hers..sigh
    It's 100 times the awesomeness when they make first contact though!!

  25. I forgot to add that I made sure to backup my blog after Dakota Cassidy left not one but two comments. I was like I am going to make sure those stay with me LOL

    I can't wait to see MJD on your blog, that is so going to rock :)

  26. OMG Jenn, I feel the exact same way! Authors are like magical beings brought to earth for the sole purpose of spreading joy and wonder....or, you know, something like that!
    I hope the excitement never fades. I mean, authors are real people - I just never thought they would be real people I would ever have a conversation with.
    I have to stop myself from going fangirl gaga over a book...sometimes...and sometimes I just let it flow!

  27. @leeswammes - I had been blogging for about 3 months when I started emailing authors about featuring them on the blog. I'm almost positive I had under 100 followers. I wasn't really established or widely read, and it was nerve wracking to approach these fantastic authors, but I figured, why not try? The responses I received were wonderful. I think it may be easier to reach out to authors when you get more well known, but it never hurts to try, especially when you are passionate about their books.

    @Anastasia - I <3 you. Yup, I do. And that's all I'm going to say before I start getting weird.

    @Angel - Oh, yes. The unexpected email or tweet is amazing. It can completely make my entire week.

    @Felicia - LOL. I should totally back this puppy up. I remember the very first author comment I received was Lisa Scottoline because of a Waiting on Wednesday post very early into my blogging career. It was like one sentence, but it was mind-blowing that she took the time to write that one sentence. Very cool.

    @Emily - It is hard to remember that authors are real people. I think we live in a culture that makes stars (actors, directors, athletes, musicians, etc) completely apart from the rest of us. As I elevate authors to an even higher pedestal that the above mentioned stars, the idea they would mingle with us "common folk" is amazing to me.

  28. I love, love, love it when an author takes the time to comment on my blog!! It makes me feel so special!! I see authors as my "idols", like rock stars. That's why BEA was so surreal for me. I never knew authors to be so accessible until I started this blogging thing. It's so CRAZY!! :)

    And, it makes my day when an author comments on a review - Kristy Kiernan, Wendy Corsi Staub, Kathryn Lilley - just to name a few - totally had me squealing!! :) LOL

    I'm so with ya on the fangirl stuff. Although I am way too shy to do any in-person gushing, I'm not afraid to gush on my blog! ;) hehe :)

  29. I just recently got my first author tweet (and I have never had any author comment on my blog). He was very excited that I wanted to use his book for my International blogger event but couldn't because it was in hardback. When I told him that hardcovers were too expensive to ship around the world and directed him to my blog for the event, he very graciously offered to give me a signed copy of his book as a giveaway for the event. I was so excited that I have decided to go buy a copy of his book just so that I can review it before the giveaway. I admit it...I squeed. I had no idea that authors even did things like this. Very cool!

  30. What a fantastic post and you are not alone!! I've went off the deep end several times hooting and hollering when an author has stopped by my blog or sent me an email out of the blue. It's like the feeling I got when I was 12 and Rick Springfield touched my hand, but even better!!

  31. The excitement certainly hasn't faded for me yet! I love getting contacted by some of my favorite authors! If I love them so much it will probably never stop! Great post!

  32. Honestly I didn't know there was a world beyond the books. Literally I didn't. I just thought people go to the store pick up the book, read it and other might make a movie out of it That's it. But with the internet were so connected now adays it unbelievable. I've learned so much in only a year of blogging and it;s been a awesome expierence.

  33. @Jennifer - I did a lot of crazy, creepy grinning at BEA. I realized that I shouldn't speak much to the authors in person because I became a rambling mess of crazy at the very first signing I went to there. I used to be shy with strangers and think that might be preferable to the talking non-stop about "how excited I am to meet you" that occurs now.

    @Carin - So exciting, right? I love it when authors are excited that you're excited.

    @Staci - LOL, I never had a cool celebrity moment when I was a kid, but I was SO shy at that age, I probably would have wet myself :)

    @Amused - I sure hope so. Thanks!

    @Book Monster - That's funny. I always knew the basics of publishing, such as an author and some mysterious corporation behind them making the book real, but I never knew about everyone else involved (agents, publicists, etc.). And I totally thought authors sat in their huge fancy mansions (with servants) writing while the bodyguards kept the riff-raff out. Like how I imagine Angelina Jolie's life is (without the writing). I was a weird revelation when it finally hit home that most authors are just like me, in regular houses, no servants, trying to get their kids to take a nap so they can get some work done and maybe even fit a shower somewhere into their schedules.

  34. I am a ridiculous nerd when it comes to the 'celebrities' of the book world. Upon meeting an editor of Library Journal, immediately after saying hello, I blurted out, "I love you." I think I meant I love the journal, but, whatever.

  35. @A Bookshelf Monstrosity - Maybe the editor gets that all the time. You never know with us crazy book lovers :)