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Posts Tagged ‘readers’

kissing computerIf you’re a social butterfly, you might not want to consider a job as a writer. It’s a pretty lonely endeavor. Most of the time, the computer is your only companion–unless you count the characters in your book, which I don’t, since my characters and I disagree about almost everything. For instance, I think they should provide me with clever banter and fascinating, fast-paced action, whereas they seem to think they should be able to loll about on the page, doing nothing at all for days at the time.

However, I’m getting sidetracked… 🙂

My point is that, while I can certainly see why writers love to hear from readers, I’ve never been really sure why readers want to connect with writers. After all, the reader has paid his money…he doesn’t owe the writer anything further. The book is right in front of him. He can read the very best ideas the writer has to offer, the funniest jokes and the wittiest one-liners. (Believe me, with a few notable exceptions like Neil Gaiman or Truman Capote, we’re rarely more interesting in person than we are on the page.)

And then, whenever the reader wants, he can set the book down and go dancing.

lorelei and k from fbSo when I was lucky enough to meet the lovely local reader who has started Lorelei’s Lit Lair on Facebook, I couldn’t wait to ask her why she seems so enthusiastic about meeting and corresponding with writers. Turns out she’s one of those wonderful people who just love to discover new things, learn about new people, and “give back” when she feels she’s been lucky enough to “receive.” She’s the kind of reader we all hope to run into someday…the kind that makes us feel pretty darn good about all those hours we spent in solitary confinement, telling stories to our keyboards.

Her enthusiasm is so infectious, and her account of her correspondence with author Kristan Higgins so uplifting that I asked if she’d share it here. I hope you enjoy reading it!
lorelei white t shirt

Q) Have you always been such an enthusiastic reader? Have you always preferred romance above other genres?

A) No, I started when my daughter wanted to read the Twilight series. I never enjoyed reading, not even paperbacks, much less would I want to read a book THAT big. ( I know, what was wrong with me!)
I asked her what it was about: Vampires and Werewolves, she said. HA! Really? I went to the first page, just to check it out, you know, to see what all the commotion was about.
7 days later, I read all 4 books and it was like a switch in me was flipped ON. Since then, I was hungry for more. I’ve read women’s fiction, drama, then I really found my match in romance!

Q) What made you decide to be more than “just” a reader–and to interact with and support your favorite authors?

A) In 2007, I found an author that I really connected with. She had all the elements I love in a story, truly gifted in my opinion and that author was Kristan Higgins. She has a great voice, makes you laugh, swoon, cry (the touching kind), and always has happy endings.
When I finished reading her 4th book, I wanted to learn more about her. I found the Dear Reader page in her book . She seemed so down to earth, and approachable. It did say, “Let me know how you enjoyed the book. It’s always such a pleasure to hear from readers.” That gave me the courage to write her an email. I told her how much I loved her work .
Honestly, I thought I’d get a response in a month or so, or maybe never.
To my surprise she replied the next day! I was ecstatic! I told my best friend and she said it was probably her publicist. I knew it was her, because I recognized her voice. I remember replying then with OooMmmGgg!
She was so nice, and I immediately followed her on Facebook. I became her BFF: Biggest Fan Forever. I realized what a wonderful group of women are out there and felt encouraged to support them. It lead me to you, Kathleen 😉

Q) Obviously you’re a huge fan of Kristan Higgins. Are there other writers you have written to, as well? What draws you to a particular writer?

A) Oh, yes. While I had to wait months for KH’s next release, she recommended other author friends. I was very impressed by the support displayed, all great recommendations. I read Nancy R. Thompson’s Angel of Provence, and wrote to her on FB. I was so thrilled and lucky to meet her! I Also wrote to PJ Sharon, Robyn Carr, Lauren Clark, Jill Shalvis, Marliss Melton, just to name a few.
These are women just like me, but with a special talent. You can tell they love what they do and are genuine.
The connection authors have with readers is what draws me to follow them and cheer them on.
It’s a special bond that’s created and I believe that’s what makes the difference in the reading experience all together.

Q) What is Lorelei’s Lit Lair? What do you want to accomplish with the site?

A) I created Lorelei’s Lit Lair to connect with readers and authors, to share our common passion for reading. It’s also a great way of supporting authors, too. I hope friends join so we can chat about what they’re reading, to find inspiring posts and have some fun! It can be about books or how your day has been or something great you’ve stumble upon. I’m a big believer of paying it forward, too.

Lorelei’s Lit Lair fills me with good vibes and I hope friends will find that, too. I love cheering people up. Once a reader was feeling down, and I shared music videos to cheer her up and it made her laugh! If feels so good helping others… My page is not just about promoting books, but connecting with people of similar interests.

I’ve made some great friendships across the world, in France, England, Canada and Australia which is awesome. The authors I’ve met, all absolutely amazing ladies.
If you like read, doesn’t matter the genre, I encourage you to join! Readers have different interests and tastes, and I hope they find something they’ll enjoy.

Q) How has your friendship with the authors you’ve met affected you? What does it bring to your life?

A) If I hadn’t gotten a reply from my first email, I probably would have continued reading or maybe I would have found another hobby to fill my days.
But what I can truly say, is the anecdotes I can share, the causes I’ve supported, the prizes I’ve won, the joy and laughter that have filled my days and most specially the friendships I’ve made with readers and authors, would never have been possible if I hadn’t received Kristan’s reply that day. It has changed my life in a positive way, brightening my days, my little escape of this busy and hectic life we live in.
I believe in the phrase ” Everything happens for a reason.” One of them, was meeting you, dear Kathleen!

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I’m very excited to be rolling out my brand-new author photos today! For me, getting a picture taken is always stressful–and I bet it is for almost everyone!  I mean, even supermodels probably worry about bad hair days or whether they overindulged on the champagne and caviar last night… 🙂

And then there’s the picking of the perfect image!  The obsessive poring over the various shots, trying to decide which one makes me seem….Image

Well, that’s where things get confusing.  What exactly are readers looking for, when they look at author photos?  What do they hope to see?  Do they want to see intelligence?  Professionalism?  Humor?  Warmth?  Glitzy glamor?  (Oh, I hope it’s not glamor…:) )

Or…in the end, do readers really care about the author photos at all?  Is this more an exercise in personal vanity than anything else?

To be perfectly honest, I don’t pay much attention to author photos.  I don’t spend much time exploring the personal lives of writers–even my favorite ones.  Maybe especially my favorite ones! 

When I truly adore a book, I want to forget about the author entirely.  I want the characters to live and breathe independently–as if they were born, not written.  I don’t want to be thinking…oh, Margaret Mitchell decided to have Scarlett make a dress out of the drapes because Mitchell once had a cousin who did that.  I want to think…of course Scarlett made a dress out of the drapes, because that’s what fearless, think-outside-the-box survivors like my pal Scarlett always do!  🙂

What about you?  Do you like to glimpse the puppet master?  Does it spoil Oz for you to think about the little guy behind the curtain manipulating the great Wizard?  Or does glimpsing the real person behind the pages add a new, richer dimension to your appreciation of a book? Image

What, in the end, do you look for in an author photo?  Because if you want glitz, I have a rhinestone tiara and a pink boa I could dig out for the next one! 🙂 I hope you’ll give me your insights–and I’ll choose one poster to win a copy of WILD FOR THE SHERIFF, as thanks!

 

 

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Hi, everyone! I’ve created a new “author” page , and I hope you’ll stop by and “like” me!

This is the spot where I’ll be posting all the latest news about books, writing, reading–and, of course, contests!

In fact, I’ll start a new one right now. THE RULES HAVE CHANGED HERE, as I try to make sense of FB’s contest rules!

Over the next week, anyone who comes by this website and leaves a comment on this blog entry will be entered in a drawing to win a $25.00 gift certificate from Amazon.com! Remember, this contest is run by me, and not by Facebook, and you’re giving your information to me, not to them! 🙂 (This is me trying very hard to comply with their rules, because I believe in following rules!) You do NOT, repeat, do NOT have to “like” my page in order to be entered. Just leave a comment here and let me know what you think of the page!

I love to hear from my readers, and I always value–and USE–your comments and advice! It’s wonderful to have an ongoing dialogue about what makes a good book, and which books you’re loving right now! I hope you’ll come join the fun!

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Are the titles of our books important to you? Do the words on the cover influence your book-buying at all?

In a recent study in the Journal of Social, Evolutionary and Cultural Psychology, a couple of psychologist-academic scholars analyzed the titles of Harlequin romances. They created a list of the twenty most popular words, and drew some conclusions about what the list meant. If you’d like to read about the study, go here. To read their paper in its original form, go here.

They looked at more than 15,000 titles, published between 1949 and 2009. Here are the top five words:
Love
Bride
Baby
Man
Marriage.

Oh, yeah? I was intrigued. Some of my title words showed up on their “Top 20” list…some didn’t. Take TEXAS BABY and TEXAS WEDDING, for instance. BABY, of course, was number 3. TEXAS was number 16. WEDDING is 13. But is that a good thing, or not? Does that mean you, the readers, love those words and will be more likely to buy? Or does it perhaps mean you’re sick of them, and won’t even pick my book up? My new book, TEXAS TROUBLE, is half on, half off. What would that mean to you?

In truth, writers often have very little say in which titles are chosen for their books. The editors always ask us for input, but it’s not, in the end, our call. I once sent in a book called THE MOONBIRD TATTOO, and it hit the shelves as TRIAL BY SEDUCTION. I don’t mind. I assume the marketing department knows what it’s doing, and the publisher is obviously just as interested in my book being a smash hit as I am. Maybe more so!

The journal’s paper provides an interesting analysis, but the thoughts I really care about are the ones from the readers. I’d love to know what you think. How much difference does a title make? What titles have you adored? Would you rather see a new kind of title? Ever seen a title you absolutely can’t stand? Have you ever bought a book that didn’t match its title at all?

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