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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Touching Readers and Building Community

I have some exciting news. Recently, I've been thinking about how best to serve my readers and thier needs. The result has been the formation of my first reader's group. Here, readers get to be on the front lines, helping me pick character names, telling me what they prefer in a hero (tattoos - yes or no?) and chat with each other about my books. This is been incredibly exciting and rejuvinating for me. These lovely ladies have kept me going, even on days when I felt like crawling back under the covers and hiding. (I know some of you writers know what I'm talking about.) In exchange for their help, I offer up gift cards, swag, and other great prizes from my author griends. Some day, it's my hope to meet each of these wonderful ladies in person.

As a reader, I got to meet one of my favorite authors once -- Terry Brooks. I remember standing in the long line and having no idea what I was going to say to him when I finally reach the front. I had read all of his books, many more than once. In the end, I told him that his books were the reason I had become an avid reader (They were. I started reading the Shanara Series in fourth grade). He told me that it was the highest compliment a reader could give an author. Back then, I had no idea how powerful my words had been. Now, decades later, I can see the conversation from his point of view and understand his comment much better.

Are you a reader who has met an author? Tell me about the experience  in the comments below. If you're an author, tell me about one of the most memorable times you got to meet one of your fans. I'd love to hear from you!

NOW UP FOR PREORDER: A brand new erotic eserial described as a modern-day, erotic Downton Abbey.

Leo Perconti's  life is spinning out of control. As head of his family’s hotel conglomerate, it’s his job to save his family from bankruptcy. At the center of his turmoil is Karin Norell, a quiet, alluring intern who compliments his dominating personality and lets him feel in control once more.

As Karin explores her passion her feelings for Leo deepen. Unfortunately, Karin and Leo come from  different worlds, and when the two worlds collide, the cost can be devastating. As the service staff at The Palazzo rise up against the Perconti family, both Leo and Karin are faced with losing what each of them holds most dear. Together they must learn that true power comes from vulnerability and trust that can only happen when you let your insecurities go.

Preorder Part One Here: Amazon,  Barnes and Noble


Rose Anderson said...

That sounds like an interesting idea that would appeal to fans. Good luck with with your project.

Polly McCrillis said...

Suzanne, your reader's group sounds like a great idea. I've never done anything like that on line. I started a Writers Helping Writers group that meets once a month in my bookstore. That sprung from so many of my customers saying they write or wish they could.

The closest I've come to meeting one of my favorite authors is when a friend of mine who lives in Boulder, Colorado, went to a reading and book signing with Robert Crais. My friend had his picture taken with Robert and had him autograph a copy of his latest book to me. The next best thing to being there!

Cara Marsi said...

The readers group is a great idea! The first time I ever met "real" authors was when I was starting to write. A friend and I went to a meeting of a local RWA chapter. These members were all published and they met during the day which left out those of us who worked. My friend and I took a day off to attend the meeting. We had stars in our eyes, real groupies, in the presence of "real" authors. One of the authors was Judy French, well-known historical romance author and her daughter, Colleen Faulkner, another well-known historical author. And there was Lois Nollet who wrote wonderful Regencies. My friend and I still talk about that wonderful day when we were in the presence of "greatness."

jean hart stewart said...

Love the idea of a reader;s group..I met Mary Balogh once after a speech she gave to my then RWA chapter. I asked her what her one piece of advice would be to a new writer like me who got stuck on the dreaded middle. Her advice was simple, and works! She said, Make it worse....

Sandy said...

Wonderful idea, Suzanne.

I have met Julie Garwood a number of times. She's always very gracious and sincere.

Fran Lee said...

The only authors I have met have been at Romanticon, but let me tell you, I made sure every one of my favorites knew how appreciated their books were! There is nothing more satisfying to me than having a fellow author or a fan tell me they truly enjoyed one of my books.

Thanks for sharing...

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