Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Why I Write to Authors

When I was a kid, our local newspaper published a television guide each week that came in the Sunday mail. It always included a short Q&A column about celebrities and TV shows. Usually, there was at least one celebrity mailing address included.

Like a lot of kids, I suppose, I could usually think of at least one celebrity that I wanted to write to. My mom tried to discourage it because they wouldn't write back and it was a waste of a stamp. Very true, but it was kind of a bummer.

However, with email, just about anyone can be available to anyone else. And over the years, I've come to realize there is a group of celebrities (of sorts) that will take the time to reply to their fans: authors.

My two examples of this are Amy Waters Yarsinke and Daniel Black.

In 2003, Amy wrote the book, "No One Left Behind: The LT. Comdr. Michael Scott Speicher Story," and I found it to be a real page turner. Basically, this man, Scott Speicher (the first American pilot shot down over Iraq during the Gulf War), was screwed over by his own government and military, at least IMHO. I don't even remember how I found out about this book. Since reading it, I loaned it to a friend and never got it back. Oh well....good books are meant to be shared.

I ended up loving this book so much that I looked for Amy's website and realized she lives in Norfolk and is a writer of assorted other Norfolk/Hampton Roads historical accounts. I emailed her to tell her what I thought of her Scott Speicher book, and she actually emailed me back to tell me thanks and that she's working on a follow-up book to his story.

So here's my latest love: Perfect Peace by Daniel Black. This book came out in 2010. "When the seventh child of the Peace family, named Perfect, turns eight, her mother Emma Jean tells her bewildered daughter, 'You was born a boy. I made you a girl. But that ain’t what you was supposed to be. So, from now on, you gon’ be a boy. It’ll be a little strange at first, but you’ll get used to it, and this’ll be over after while.' From this point forward, his life becomes a bizarre kaleidoscope of events. Meanwhile, the Peace family is forced to question everything they thought they knew about gender, sexuality, unconditional love, and fulfillment."

I saw it on the shelf in a Barnes and Noble in Va Beach about a year ago. I kept waiting for Amazon to have it on sale. It was new enough there weren't any used copies available yet. I finally put it on my Christmas list and my husband got it for me, new, this last year. I've just loaned this one to a co-worker, because she heard me raving about it.

When I finished it, I needed more...I needed to know what happens to that seventh child when he leaves the barn with a friend as an older teenage. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT??? This wasn't a page turner for me, like the Scott Speicher book was....it was a PAGE BURNER. I need a sequel.

Like with Amy, I looked for Daniel's website and sent a message to him, figuring that would be the end of it.

I was wrong...Daniel Black emailed me back today!

"Hi Amy! Surprise! It's Daniel himself. Thanks for the laudatory words of praise. And perhaps a sequel will come...some day....
  For now, PLEASE tell others about the book!"  

Daniel Black, Ph.D.
(Omotosho Jojomani)
Professor of English and African American Studies
Clark Atlanta University/Morehouse College
They Tell Me of a Home
The Sacred Place
Perfect Peace

Wow, just WOW! :)

1 comment:

  1. I like to write to authors too! Recently Nicholas Sparks wrote me back. I feel weird doing it since I'm so old but oh well. LOL