No matter what the memory happens to be, we tend to hold onto them with both hands because of the happiness it brought us. Not every day is filled with fabulous reviews or inboxes filled with pleasant fan mail. Contrary to what some believe, an author's life is not so glamorous. It can be lonely and, on some days, downright frustrating as we sit in front of a blank computer screen trying to pound out the next best selling romance novel. But on those particular occasions when we're lucky enough to receive positive feedback from readers, we never forget how amazing it felt to be lifted to a level of stardom.
My fondest memories as an author have come in the form of fan photos.
I am a visual person. So to me, a picture is definitely worth a thousand words. Take this photo for instance. It may not be the best quality, but a friend sent this to me from her phone when she was in Joseph Beth bookstore one day. My book was sitting on the shelf between Shiloh Walker and Danielle Steel. Talk about a great place to be!
Or how about the time when my cover model, Sam Bond, (for both RAELIKSEN and THE FALL OF RAIN) sent me a picture of him holding my book in his very hands! He also, being the gracious man that he is, signed it before sending it back to me. I could not have been more excited to open my book and read his personalized message.
Last weekend, I returned from a long 5-day horseback ride and came inside to check the massive amount of emails that had hit my inbox while I'd been away. To my surprise, I'd received an email from a friend from Belfast, Ireland about their trip to Inís Mór. Already, I was excited. But included in this wonderful email was a photo of him sitting on the rock wall outside a pub holding my book!
The friend I speak of, is none other than band member John Tracey from Fretwear. If you've read THE FALL OF RAIN, then you should recognize the name of the pub behind him and the picnic tables where Leif and Lorraine, my hero and heroine, ate lunch. For those of you who've not read the book (and shame on you if you haven't), I've also written that the awesome Fretwear played in the pub, Tí Joe Watty's, for the celebration of Leif's birthday. In the scene of the book, John announces to the local pub crawlers that his song, Women Whiskey and Beers, is dedicated to the man of the hour.
All I can say is - WOW! To know that my book had traveled across the ocean to Ireland as a Christmas present last year was more than humbling. But to find out that this man and his girlfriend, Gillian, actually thought enough about me to bring the book with them on their holiday travels and pose with it on the site where my hero spent his days is quite another. There are no words to express my gratitude for what they did for me.
Like all of these photos, I treasure my fans and readers very much. I'm so grateful that they were able to give me these unforgettable memories as an author and I look forward to many more in the future.
*Readers: Have you ever taken a photo for one of your favorite authors? Have you ever sent a personal email to let them know how much you enjoyed their book? If so, tell me about it and why you felt compelled to do such a wonderful thing.
*Authors: Have you ever been on the receiving end of a memorable fan email and/or photo? I'd love to hear about your experiences and how it's touched you.
Renee Vincent is an award-winning author of historical and contemporary romance.