Sunday, January 09, 2011

Keep Those Cards and Letters Rolling In!

A lovely email from a fan arrived recently and got me thinking about how much a kind word or compliment can make a difference to your day.

During the long 20 years it took to achieve publication, I imagined all sorts of things happening, but not once did I think about fan mail. These cheerful missives have the knack of arriving just when I need a boost, whether because I’ve had a lousy day, or worse still, I’ve been staring at my computer screen, reading my latest manuscript and wondering why on Earth I imagined I could write.

I’m consumed by the certain knowledge that I’ve wasted 20 years of my life working towards a career that crashes and burns before I’ve even completed my first series for Harlequin American about the magnificent O’Malley Men.

And then into my inbox pops an email from someone saying they’re delighted to have discovered me, or professing to love my stories, my quirky characters, thanking me for tackling a topic that’s dear to their hearts, or having them sitting on their seats at the climax and wanting to know when my next story is coming out.

Wow! Heady stuff and so welcome and appreciated that I reply immediately to thank them. These letters are lifesavers that I treasure. I’ve decided to frame the best ones (which come to think of it, is all of them!) and mount them on my study wall to gaze at when I’m feeling down or doubting myself.

I’m sure other authors get a similar buzz from receiving fan mail. I’ll bet the senders have no idea what a difference they make in our daily lives.

So thank you every last wonderful person who has taken the time to write or email an author and tell us you love our stories. You may love what we write, but we love what you write just as much!

I’m giving away a copy of my latest in the O’Malley Men series, “Colorado Cowboy” to a commenter who tells me what makes their day.

Till next time!


Rachael Johns said...

Interesting post considering I just read a book and was just opening my email to write a letter to the author. Cos I LOVED it!!! It was Robyn Grady's latest btw.

Hmm... What makes my day? Getting unexpected me-time so I can read or write!


CC said...

Hi Rach! Great to hear from you. Will I count this as fan mail even tho it's for the lovely Robyn Grady? (grin)
A most talented lady and I'm sure she'll appreciate your kind words.'Love "me" time. Should be an extra hour added to every day that's strictly "me" time, doncha think?

Anita Joy said...

Definitely agree with Rach, but what makes my day is when one of my kids, for no reason (ie they don't actually want somehting), gives me a hug and says they love me.

Kylie Griffin said...

Hey CC, you're so right with the amazing pick-me-up such emails/letters can give you.

My pick me up is much the same only it's the thank you cards/notes from parents or hand-written letters from students that lift me.

I've had quite a few lovely letters or pictures from my students, thanking me or expressing their appreciation for teaching them (they're the younger kids so most are just drawings and kisses). I put them up on my refrigerator and only take them down once they yellow with age.

Over the 20 years I've been a teacher I've received probably a half dozen cards or notes from parents and they've all brought a tear to my eye.

I've kept them too, stapling them into the day in my diary that I received them and I go back to them when times get tough and I think "what am I doing in this crazy job?" Their heartfelt sentiments remind me I'm making a difference in the job.

So, never underestimate how precious those sort of lovely letters/cards/emails can make, no matter the profession you're in.

Anonymous said...

I love dropping little lines to authors whose books I've enjoyed, or little cheerios when I know them. The internet makes it so very possible and easy! What makes my day is getting a book in the mail. Have received a couple of freebies recently, and it was *so very, very nice* when they arrived! They were good reads, too, so that made it even nicer. Made my day.

Anonymous said...

Er... ahem, cough ... that wasn't a hint, sorry... But it still makes my day....

Cathleen Ross said...

Letters are wonderful things for authors to receive. It makes it real for us. One of my readers said that my book Man Hunt changed her life. It was an erotic novel, so I didn't like to ask how it changed.
Cathleen Ross

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi CC, I couldn't agree with you more.

There could be no greater thrill for a writer to get, from out of the blue, an email from a reader who has taken the time and made the effort to let you how much they love your story.

I can only echo your thanks to these wonderful people!

Laney4 said...

What makes my day? Other than the warm and fuzzy feeling I get from reading a good book? Okay. I'll bite. My dream-filled nights make my days.
I have been reading romances for over 35 years now, and I just love love love reading a good book and then toddling off to bed, remembering specific scenes but substituting myself for the heroine. My favourite scenes are when the heroine is carried by the hero or when the heroine isn't feeling well. These moments of weakness can be relived throughout many nights of interrupted sleep patterns as well. Then voila! Sweet dreams prevail again!
As for the kudos, I was lucky enough to read THE SHERIFF AND THE BABY with Sheriff Matt O'Malley and couldn't put this book down. I enjoyed the warm and loving relationships throughout the pages. I also liked how the storyline made sense, along with having realistic characters. I wrote down that I look forward to the "Babies & Bachelors" series, but now I see that COLORADO COWBOY is part of the "Men of the West" series. I am so confused! I guess these O'Malley men get around!

Leigh Duncan said...

Letters from readers are so great, CC. Have to agree with you there! Also great is when I'm talking with a newer writer, share something I've learned, and see that Aha! moment hit home.

susanwilson44 said...

Loved Colorado Christmas, just finished reading The Sheriff and the Baby, which I too, couldn't put down. Have already ordered Colorado Cowboy and am waiting for the Book Depository to deliver. Really love these stories and think you are one talented lady!
Now please - keep feeding my addiction to the O'Malley men x

CC said...

Ohmigosh! What lovely comments and they've really cheered my heart at a difficult time. I know the Aussies amongst you will be aware of the devastating floods that have hit the state I live in back in Aus, but perhaps others haven't. I apologise for my tardiness in getting back here but have been checking on friends and still haven't heard from one of them. Others houses have gone under or are on the point of it. My daughter's best friend is stranded in Brisbane between two bends in the river. And it's still raining with so much floodwater yet to come downriver.
It's times like these that the acts of kindness of strangers makes such a difference - from the rescue personnel who put their lives at risk to those who take people and families into their homes and give them somewhere safe to stay during such a traumatic time in their lives.
Sorry to sound morbid. I'll respond to your lovely comments personally when I've heard happier news about those I'm so worried about.

Rachael Johns said...

Oh CC - the floods are just awful aren't they. Do hope you hear your friends are okay and that your daughter's best friend keeps safe :)

Nicole S said...

Hi CC!

Just got Colorado cowboy today, can't wait to read it. I love the O'Malley men.

Hope you get good news about your friends!