Monday, November 07, 2011

Writing Stars

We've all heard of rock stars and movie stars, but what about writing stars?
(No, I don't mean the authors who wake up in a trashed hotel rooms with flammable breath.) 

The real writing stars, in my eyes, are the ones who take the time to acknowledge and appreciate the force behind their success: the readers. Sure, you can become famous by writing hit novels, but you're not a writing star until you show some humility. You have to be personable, take the time to listen, and be grateful for the support you receive.
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Want a couple examples of writing stars?
  • Janet Evanovich - This woman practically lives on the NYTBSL, yet, when I e-mailed her a digital painting a few years back, you know what happened? Her daughter, Alex, responded right away by thanking me and put my painting up as a news feature on Janet's website! How cool is that?

  • Virginia Smith - On the other end of the spectrum, we have an author whose work I read by chance. (It was one of those free e-books on Sony's Reader site.) Normally freebies don't float my boat, quality-wise, but this one stood out. I e-mailed her my praise, and you know what? She replied the same day! That left an impression on me. Her genre isn't one that I typically follow, but I'll probably keep an eye out for her books now--just because of that.
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I guess what I'm trying to say is, no matter where you are in your publishing journey, don't forget to be a person first and a writer second. Then, and only then, will you have what it takes to become a true writing star. 

So, who are your writing stars? If you've had a good experience with one, we'd love to know. :) 

Have a great week, guys!

26 comments:

prerna pickett said...

great advice!

Carrie Butler said...

@Prerna - Thank you! :)

Fairview said...

That is awesome.
Janet also has a book "How I write" which was one of the first ones I ever read on the subject.

Angela Brown said...

One writing star for me is Evelyn Palfrey. She is an author of "Marvelously Mature" romance. It isn't the genre I usually read, but I chose to read them because she loves interacting with her readers. I love it.

Jenny S. Morris said...

Elana Johnson & Lisa Schroeder both replied the same day, when I e-mailed them to let them know I loved their books. Beth Revis is very personable on Twitter, and Ally Condie tweeted back within minutes when I thanked her for a book signing. I'm sure there are more, but these are the people I've reached out to.

Iain said...

Robert Muchamore is a YA author over here. He's written the Cherub series. When he started out, he made sure he replied to all of the mails that he received. He made time for the kids who went to his book signings, and my kids think he's great. He also does readings before his signings. He is a very accessible man.
He is someone I will model myself on, if I ever get to be in print!

Lynda R Young said...

It really does make a difference when writers are approachable and take the time to respond.

Cassie Mae said...

Oh, don't you just want to pinch yourself when someone you admire takes the time to appreciate your words? I feel that way with Jolene Perry. Her debut novel just came out, but that doesn't stop her from hopping on my blog and commenting, or shooting me an email thanking me for my comments on her blog. :)

Peggy Eddleman said...

You paint? How did I not know this? That's freaking awesome!

My favorite is Brandon Sanderson, because he's got such a soft spot for aspiring authors. J.Scott Savage not only answered my son's email, but came to my his pack meeting to talk to the kids! And Elana Johnson pretty much rocks in that department.

Lisa L. Regan said...

Gillian Flynn responded to both of my emails about each one of her books. She was probably the coolest because her emails were really long! Lisa Unger and Karin Slaughter too have responded to emails that I sent them. I don't contact a lot of writers but every so often if something really, really, really blows me away, I'll send an email. I thought it was pretty awesome that those ladies took the time to respond to my emails.

Does this mean that one day when you're famous, you'll still respond to my emails? ;)

Melodie Wright said...

I'm interviewing my newest writing star on my blog Friday - Alicia Bessette. You'll see why then.

And Juliet Marillier is another one. She's an internationally bestselling fantasy writer (so. awesome. You must read her stuff.) whom I complimented a while ago. She responded the same day.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

Great advice! I had to email an author for my senior project, and I emailed Katherine Roberts, author of SongQuest, because that was the book that started me writing. She emailed me back within a week, giving me great advice (don't stop hoping and don't quit your day job). It was awesome. :)

Nancy Thompson said...

I don't contact writers whose books I read. It seems a little stalkerish. But if I could talk to one writer, it would be Greg Iles. I aspire to be just like him.

On the other side of this are all the writer friends I've made on Blogger or through critiquing. Though most are not, some are published, but either way, I've learned a lot from all of them, including you!

Joylene said...

I promise when I'm a huge writing star I will acknowledge everyone who takes the time to email me. Okay, maybe not "everyone" but my blogger friends for sure. Heck, I'll even send you an autographed copy of my newest book once you pay big bucks for it. I promise!

Carrie Butler said...

@Fairview - Oh, I love that book! It was so helpful. :)

@Angela - I'll have to look her up sometime. Like you, I love authors who interact with their readers. Thanks for stopping by! :)

@Jenny - Wow! That's pretty impressive. I love that these people are giving authors everywhere a great reputation. :)

@Iain - Oh, how cool! He sounds like a great person to model yourself on. :D

@Lynda - Absolutely! :)

@Cassie - Yes! That's a great way to put it. People like that are awesome! :)

@Peggy - I do! In fact, I just finished painting something for a freelance gig. (That's why I'm late on revision updates... *cough*) Wow! He came to your son's pack meeting? Extra points for that one! :D

@Lisa - I'm the same way. If I send an e-mail, it means I was really impressed by something. Whoa! Long responses are the best. They seem so much more personal.

Hah! I assure you, should that ever happen, I will always respond to your e-mails. Now you better make me the same promise. :P

@Melodie - Oo, I can't wait! :) Don't you just love when that happens?

@Bethany - That's so cool! Did you print that sucker out? I would've! :D

@Nancy - Stalkerish? Aww, c'mon. Don't you want readers to contact you, after they're blown away by THE MISTAKEN? ;) Thank you!

@Joylene - I read your comment while I was waiting in line to vote. Do you know how hard it was to keep a straight face? *grins* I'm glad you won't forget us! :D

Ty-shaun Aristoph Coles said...

Awesome advise! Thank you for this post, Carrie!

Carrie Butler said...

@Ty-shaun - Aww, thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

Mohamed Mughal said...

Vonnegut was one of my writing stars. I wrote him many years back; he wrote back!

Carrie Butler said...

@Mohamed - How cool! I'm sure that left quite the impression on you. :)

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Lydia Kang said...

It's so cool that they are so reachable and thankful for their readers. The one thing I worry about though, is that for every thousand readers like you--nice, normal, sane, and appreciative--they must deal with some really sick psychos. I hope they continue to stay in touch despite those people!

Carrie Butler said...

@Lydia - That's a good point! I guess we'll just have to make the extra effort to outnumber them. :)

Donna K. Weaver said...

I the part about humility. I think that's especially important because I think when you quite learning you might as well die. And you have to be humble to be teachable.

Carrie Butler said...

@Donna - Too true, Donna. I'm glad you brought that up. :)

Laila Knight said...

I love authors who are kind to their readers. No sense letting fame get your head. Life is short. :) And that's so cook she posted your picture.

Carrie Butler said...

@Laila - This is very true. :) Yeah, I was so excited!