Mar 10, 2011

Fan Mail

What I’m reading: Red Lotus by Pai Kit Fai

What I’m listening to: The blessed hum of air-con

Making me smile: It’s Friday!!

We all have favourite books! Those stories that immediately draw you in with gripping emotion and characters you feel you know and want so desperately to win out against the odds. The book I’m enjoying at the moment falls into that category, a keeper I will remember for years to come.

Red Lotus traces the adventures, and hardships, of a girl child growing up in rural China at the start of the 20th century. The prose is beyond beautiful, Li X’ia is everything a heroine should be – brave, intelligent – and the author lives in Australia.

I want to tell this writer how much I admire their talent and fell in love with these characters.

But will I?

Admission. I read a lot, however, it’s rare that I contact authors to praise their work. I feel as though I’m intruding on a busy person’s life, or that surely they must know already the worth of their work. And yet, for me, receiving feedback from my readers is one of the most rewarding parts of my job/passion.

When was the last time you wanted to drop a note to an author about a book you loved, or actually looked up their website and took the plunge?


  1. Interesting post, Robyn. Until I joined RWA I had never even thought to thank an author for their book no matter how much it touched me. I felt they were too important to bother with a letter from silly me. I still feel a bit that way but every now and again I am moved to send something, or say something if I meet someone, and I'm humbled by the lovely responses, the time they take to personally reply even if they don't know me.

    Writing is such a lonely game in your head, I think feedback is important and I should do it, but I'll probably always be hesitant. I'm glad someone else is too!


  2. I've looked up websites, Robyn, but never written notes to my favourite authors. Perhaps I should! The author I'd most like to send fan mail to is Lois McMaster Bujold. I love her Vorkosigan series. A Civil Campaign is one of the best books I've ever read!

  3. That's a good question. Authors would probably like to hear from readers and they often say they do hear from readers, but i'm like you, I wouldn't want to bother them.


    I just came across your blog at Nas'. Your latest follower!

  4. Hey Cath! Maybe the best part of being a writer is having someone say your story touched them. I wonder how many fan letter writers like Jodi Picoult receive!!

  5. Well, Em, now I'm going to have to go to the Book Depository and put it on order! Recommendations are the best. And maybe you should email her and let her know. Messages like yours can keep a person smiling for days!

  6. Hey Denise! Great to see you here =) I've daydreamed about meeting some of my all time fave authors and telling them in person how brilliant they are, but I know I'd probably just stutter and stumble. Pressure!! =)

  7. Robbie, what a gorgeous post! Before I was published, it would never have occurred to me to have sent a letter to an author I admired. They were such very important people!

    Now that I have received the odd reader letter, though, I know how much it means to know someone enjoyed my book. I think I might try and counter my shyness and start sending some I-loved-your-book notes out into the universe.

  8. Hey Michelle! I terribly shy. First time I met the lovely Helen Biachin I could barely get a word out =)

    I wonder how many fan letters the author of the non-fiction on 14th century European economy and famine I'm reading gets. Just might send him one coz I'm really enjoying it 8)

  9. hi Robbie,

    I love getting fanmail - wish there were more! LOL - and yet I've never thought to send on myself.
    And BWG on Helen Bianchin, I felt the same way when you introduced me to her all those years ago, and wasn't she so lovely!

  10. Mel, HB is one of those truly beautiful people! Bet she gets *stacks* of mail.

  11. Thanks to eharlequin I have sent thank you notes to a few authors. Since there are a number of HM&B authors who regularly participate on the eharlequin boards it became easier to see authors as 'accessible' people.

    I've also discovered that there are some authors that are 'too busy' for their readers. They make it obvious by having a web presence, but there are no contact details on their websites. It leaves me feeling that if I sent a snail mail to their publisher it would not even reach the author. No need to lose sleep over it--there are plenty of other authors that are accessible. :)

  12. Thank you for the recommendation for the book Robyn. There are books out there that I will certainly remember for the rest of time but I never have thought to contact the author and say thank you. What I do participate in tho is author's websites who want to keep in touch with their readers like Janet Evanovich and Suzanne Brockmann ESPECIALLY when they have a new book coming out. It's lots of fun and it helps with the excitement of a new release.

    Oh and I read Natalie Anderson's updates regularily because I'm a proud Kiwi who LOVES reading about other Kiwi's successes :D

  13. I don't think I'd ever sent fan mail to an author before I started writing myself. I was probably thinking the author wouldn't be interested in little old me and how much I loved their book (wrong!). I still don't do it often, but I will if a book really moves me. :)