Saturday, February 2, 2008

Fan Letters

I wrote my first fan letter to an author many years ago. I read my very first LaVyrle Spencer book (Hummingbird) and absolutely loved it. I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to tell Ms. Spencer that. I never expected to hear back from her. After all, I was only a little peon and she was a FAMOUS AUTHOR!

I was surprised and delighted to receive a postcard from her a few weeks later, thanking me for writing to her. Not only did I love her writing, but she was nice.

Now, in the days of electronic mail, it's much easier to contact the authors we admire so much. Most have websites with e-mail information on them. Many authors have blogs, such as this one. Yahoo Groups makes it easy for authors and readers to interact with each other. It's like we're all one big happy family!

I've received some very nice e-mails from people who've read my books. It amazes me that someone will take time away from his/her busy schedule to write to me. I received an e-mail this week that said she referred me to a friend, who bought five of my books. Wow! What a huge compliment.

I love writing. I truly love it. There is nothing in life that gives me greater joy than to create a story about two people falling in love. (Or three, in the case of my menages.) The ups and downs, the misunderstandings, the forgiveness for those misunderstandings, the realization that they truly love each other and want to be together forever... Ah, it's so sweet.

Did you ever write a fan letter to an author? Tell me about it.



Rowan West said...

Over the years I have written to Catherine Coulter, Donna Kauffman, Maggie Shayne, Leanne Banks and Rebecca Paisley and heard back from them all. I've written both fan letters as well as letters asking for advice (what does it really take to get published). Most authors have written back with warmth, encouragement, and kindness.

In the last year Daisy Dexter Dobbs, Ashlyn Chase, and Charlotte Boyett-Compo answered emails with such great support that I knew I was part of a great family at Ellora's Cave. I am honored to call them friends. And I will always be their fan.

I look forward to the day I can pay the kindness I have been shown foward,
Rowan West

Micqui Miller said...

I wrote a fan e-mail to mystery writer Nancy Martin about a year ago. I absolutely love her Blackbird Sisters Mystery Series. It's a hoot. Don't know if she still writes romance, but I know she's was/is a member of RWA.

She responded a few days later, had visited my website, and wished me success. She's made a fan for life, not only with her excellent books, but with her respect for her readers. Her mystery series is fun, easy reading, and with quite a little romance going on as well. I rate it *****!

Micqui Miller

N.J.Walters said...

Years ago, I emailed Maggie Shayne about one of her books, and was shocked to get a lovely email back.

Cherry Adair sent me bookplates for all her books after I wrote to let her know how happy I was that she was back writing after several years without a book. I still had The Mercenary (her only book for several years) still on my keeper shelf. I just finished reading her latest paperback release and look forward to the next one!

Tina St. John sent me a lovely letter as well, along with bookmarks after I wrote her about her first historical romance. :-)

Lori Foster also replied after I emailed her to thank her for inadvertently kickstarting my career. LOL I just finished Hard to Handle last night. YUMMY!

I love receiving emails from readers about my books and reply to each and every one. If someone doesn't hear from me, it's because it accidentally got sent to the trash and deleted as span. Sometimes the computer does that.

Laura K said...

I love to write emails to authors. I've written so many as a reader/reviewer, I've lost count!! Whether I bought the book, got it in a raffle, or got it as a free copy as a reviewer, I've acknowledged these lovely authors.

It has always been my policy to send a thank you note when I've received a package in the mail like a paperback, goodies, etc. My mother raised me with class- she always said to thank the giver. I can't believe that there are people out there that don't even email the author back when they receive the package!

The only thing that disturbs me is hearing a reader write/blog about an author who is snarky or doesn't even bother to reply to their words of praise. It is so true that with email (doesn't cost a thing but the internet connection)you can get in touch with someone so much more easier. Authors have to watch out for that boomerang effect- when they will make an enemy out of a dissatisfied fan.

I have a lot of authors I am looking forward to meeting at RT and Lori's event this year. I find that for the most part, romance authors are the most giving people around. I don't let a few bad apples spoil my fun!

Kaenar said...

I wrote to an author a few years ago to tell her how much I liked her book. She never got back to me and I remember feeling a bit disappointed that not even someone from her office would have written back. She was famous enough to have a staff.
Now that I'm a writer, I relish every single letter that someone takes the time to write me. I try to write back immediately and feel like I've made a friend just through that brief correspondence. With e-mail and that old 'reply' button, it's easy to take that few minutes to thank someone for their time.

Lynn LaFleur said...

Thanks for the responses, ladies. I love getting other people's opinions.


Nikki_Soarde said...

I wrote to Lisa Gardner several years ago. I absolutely adored her books, and told her so. It was also very shortly after I'd my very first book published under another name and with another MUCH less well-known publisher. In thanks to her wonderful response, I sent her a copy of my new paperback that I was soooo proud of at the time, but which, looking back now I know it was a pretty penny-ante effort on the part of my publisher's printer. But I was proud of it, and shared it with her.

To my absolute astonishment, she responded by sending me a complimentary, SIGNED copy of her brand new hard cover release.

Needless to say she made a fan for life.

I relish every letter I get, and am still astounded at times that someone who isn't a friend or relative likes my books enough to pay for them, let alone write and tell me about it! lol And I always make sure and let the fans know how much I appreciate it.

Titania Ladley said...

I've written several fan letters but didn't hear back from them all. :( On the other side as the author, it always awes and humbles me that people enjoy my books enough to take the time to write and let me know. I've always replied with sincere appreciation to every single one...although hopefully cyber goblins didn't eat any of them. LOL Great topic, Lynn!