"Tiger and I thought it might be time to start a meme to discuss some of the frustrations that are unique to book bloggers. What happens when the hobby you love becomes more of a chore?This meme will appear on the first and third Mondays of the month. One of the hosts will give us a question to respond to and a linky for sharing our responses and developing community.
This week's question is: Author interactions. Have you ever emailed an author to tell them you loved/disliked their book? As a book reviewer, do you think we should cross that line? Do you mind when authors re-tweet or comment on reviews? Does that intimidate you in any way in regards to review writing, knowing that they may be reading it? Do author interactions - both pro or con - change how you view their work?
I have never initiated email contact with an author to tell them I loved or disliked their work. I have answered emails authors have sent to me. Darby Karchut and I have emailed back and forth on a number of occasions. I would never even consider telling an author that I didn't like their work. It would be like telling someone I thought their child was ugly. How rude! And, while I may gush about a book on my blogs, I wouldn't email the author. I want them writing books not reading/answering emails.
I don't mind if authors retweet or comment on my reviews. If I have said something that they find useful, I am proud to have them retweet or comment. I remember being jump-up-and-down excited when I got my first comment from an author. I think I have still saved them in my email with the tag Wow! Of course, I have been doing this for a while and have gotten sort of jaded. It helps to know that authors are just people. Admittedly, people with a talent for writing and story telling, but still just people.
I don't feel intimidated knowing that an author might be reading my book reviews. I say right up front that I am telling my thoughts about the book. Every book doesn't connect with every reader. I have a special problem in that I read a lot of young adult books and am, by no one's definition, a young adult. I am not the target audience that the author is writing for. I do try to put myself in my students' place when reading YAs but sometimes I just can't do it. Also, I have read lots and lots of books—250+ a year for more than 40 years. Things that would be new to my students are old hat to me.
I try not to let things I know about an author's life change my view of their work unless it noticeably influences their work. I don't agree with Orson Scott Card's politics but Ender's Game is still one of my favorite science fiction stories, for example.
What do you think about author interactions?