Why You Should Write to an Author You Admire
Inspired by Carolyn See’s Making a Literary Life in which she suggests that if you read a great book, article, or anything, that you write a simple thank you note to the author—I started emailing and tweeting thanks to authors after I read a particularly good book.
At first, I felt a little awkward contacting writers this way. But I keep it simple and I never ask for favors (like read my book, introduce me to your editor, or tell me everything about how to get my book published!). Overall, it’s been a successful experiment. If an author’s website has their email address, I’ll send a SHORT email. I emphasis SHORT because no one wants to read a page-long email from anyone any more. I’ll write about what I enjoyed in the book and thank them for writing it.
I even wrote to Carolyn See for making me laugh about the rejection process. I was feeling so crummy about getting so many rejection letters, but her chapter on rejection made me realize that it’s better to laugh about it, then continue to write.
Here’s a tweet I sent to Yangsze Choo after I read THE GHOST BRIDE. I sent her a few questions about her book and I shared her answers with my book club. It was great to get the author’s insight while discussing the book!
Being a writer can be a lonely process. And who doesn’t like being told their work is awesome? Too often Twitter is used as a dumping ground for nasty comments (UGH), but it’s been great to send positive notes to fellow writers. I wrote to Jojo Moyes after reading ME BEFORE YOU, and she was so kind in her response. Btw, ME BEFORE YOU is a gorgeous, funny, and heartbreaking book (add it to your reading list!).
Take the time to thank someone whose work you admire because kindness is always welcome.