Monday, July 1, 2013

Book Blogger Confessions: Author Interactions

Book Blogger Confessions is a new Monday meme started by Tiger at Tiger's All-Consuming Books and Karen at For What It's Worth. Pam from Midnyte Reader joined with Karen to host this meme when Tiger changed the focus of her blogging. The purpose of the meme is best stated by Karen here:
"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?

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