When I was in sixth grade, I wrote a letter to Jason Bateman's fan club. A few months later I received a signed black and white photo and a short letter from Jason, thanking me for being a fan. I was over the moon. I even taped the picture in my locker at school. That was the only time I've ever engaged in fan worship - until last year.
There have been a number of YA books that I've read over the past year and really loved. There were times where I've been so blown away by a book that I've even gone to the author's website and sent them an email telling them how it affected me. I always hesitate to hit send, wondering if I'm wasting their time or pointing out something that I like about their book that they are already aware of. I also email authors if I'm writing about their book in my blog.
It may be hard to email an author about their book but it's even more nerve-wracking to talk to them in person. I live in New York and regularly go to a number of events sponsored by the New York Public Library, where YA authors read and discuss their work. There's no time to re-word what you're going to say when you're standing in front of an author. I think one of my dorkiest (but most sincere) moments was when I blurted out to Carolyn Mackler, "I really, really love your word choice!" As I blushed, she replied, "That's so nice to hear! I spend a lot of time on word choice and it's very important to me."
So yes, I'm a little author struck. And I'm definitely humbled when I get to talk with a good writer who has managed to complete the trifecta: writing a book, navigating the difficult world of finding an agent and then getting published. All of the authors I've met have all been extremely nice, encouraging and gracious. It gives me hope that a financial journalist who loves to write YA fiction in her spare time (that's me) will someday get her own book published!
Have you ever emailed an author? And what happened? Let me know in the comment section below!