Stories of the Reader-Author Relationship

covers of autographed books
South of Justice reader

Before becoming an author, I was a reader.

Of course, I still read as often as humanly possible, but before publishing my first book, I’d stand in long lines to get authors’ autographs and thank them for writing.

In Hawaii, I shared a cab with screenwriter Jeffrey Arch. Ben Bova helped me locate an artifact for Mars. Laura Lippman taught a week-long workshop that was worth the whole conference. Dave Barry embarrassed me in front of my mother, which made her day. I embarrassed Ridley Pearson when I pointed out his father was in line for an autograph after Pearson gave a keynote speech on humilty.

I had the priviledge of being on a panel discussion at a writer’s conference with Linda Fairstein, whose books inspired the Law & Order SVU series. James W. Hall gave me priceless advice on writing description. David Morrell swapped flying stories with me because, being the consumate researcher, he got his pilot’s license to write a book that featured a pilot.

Steve Berry shared his exhaustive writing process with writers at a conference in Florida. Kristin Higgins is as hilarious in person as the characters in her books.

Each signed book has a story about meeting the author. I have a bookcase of stories.

 

As an author, I strive to connect with readers on the page and in person.

At a book club in Highlands, North Carolina, I was asked to sign a book for Ann. When I opened the book, it was already signed to Ann. The lady gasped and said she bought the book used and didn’t notice it had already been signed. What were the odds of that?

Readers have shared photos of themselves reading  my books at the beach, on a boat, on a plane, at a hunting camp, and at home.

book club group shot

Readers in Japan surprise me. Haven’t done any marketing in Japan. Sales are steady there thanks to someone who spread the word.

Last week a reader from Waynesville, NC wrote to tell me that someone up there was hosting a game of Cow Bingo. She thought I had made up the game in a book. I confess, I stole the idea from living in a rural small town.

Last week a friend told me that she knew a lady who mailed a copy of my book to her niece in New Zealand. It cost her $40 to mail it. I’d have autographed it, if I’d known. Wowza.

Book clubs are the most fun because they ask great questions. Since research is the best part of the writing process, I love to share insider knowledge that didn’t make it into the book. I’m a pilot, so the scenes about flying in South of Justice come from experience.

To all the readers who buy books from newbie authors like me, God bless you! To all the readers who leave reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, BookBub, LibraryThing, and social media, you are golden. Thank you for sharing your love of reading with others and for recommending books by lesser-known authors.

You make this lonely process worthwhile!

 

Have you met your favorite author? 

2020 Kindle Book Awards

Kindle Book Awards 2020

West of Famous is a finalist in the 2020 Kindle Book Awards. This third book in the Compass Crimes series features Martina Ramos, an Oxford grad student who takes a part-time job over break as a body double for a pop star–and gets kidnapped.

Congratulations to the other semi-finalists in the horror/suspense category:

The Eidola Project by Robert Herold
Cane Field Revival by Joann Bassett
The Diary of a Serial Killer’s Daughter by L.A. Detwiler
Beautiful, Frightening, and Silent by Jennifer Anne Gordon
Fire, Pain, and Ruin by Konn Lavery
Canny Danny by Gerhard Dennis
Soul Shift by Calinda B.
The Trapper by Ellie Douglas
Prime Time by Matt Drabble
Gate of Torment by V.C. Marello
Seminar by Jay Klages
West of Famous by Joni M. Fisher
Scream for the Camera by Colleen Connally
The Holding by Daniel Greene
The Boy in the Barn by Ciana Stone
Sometimes We Ran 4 Survival by Stephen Drivick
The Deadly Match by Kishan Paul
Raven’s Glen by Nancy E. Polin
Memoir from Hell by Stephen Ross
The Witch of Gray’s Point by JP Barnett

To see the complete list of semi-finalists in all categories, go to:

The Compass Crimes Series