Thursday, September 20, 2007

From the reader's POV

Take a good look at the photo to the left. Uh, in case you haven't figured it out, that's me on the right--the one with a serious case of the frizzies. (Hey, it was summer in Iowa, whatdya expect?) I bet you more easily recognized the classy red-head sitting next to me. Yep. That's the incomparable Janet Evanovich, author of the spectacularly successful Stephanie Plum series. I--along with a gazillion other readers and fans--had the opportunity to hear Evanovich speak at an author event last summer.
You know how you get an idea in your head about what the author of a favorite book must be like? Well, in the case of Evanovich, I wasn't disappointed. She was exactly what I'd expect the person who penned the Plum books to be like: Witty. Snarky. A bit irreverent. And hilarious. I keep the photo of Janet and yours truly in a frame in my office and last week when reorganizing (okay, organizing) I picked up the framed photo and got to wondering about what my readers think the author of the Calamity Jayne series must be like. Scary, huh?
I have the best readers in the world. I know. Every author says that. We owe everything to the collective group of devoted readers who go out and buy our books each time they are released, who rave about them to friends and pass them on and recruit more readers. And this was never more clear to me than yesterday. The dismissal bell at school had just rung and, as usual, I turned on my cell phone. Generally this is the time I hear from one of my three children still at home inquiring a) if they can hang out with friends, b) what we're having for dinner, or c) was I planning to fix so and so for dinner because they ate it. Sure enough, my phone chirped but the number displayed an area code for northern and eastern portions of the state.
"This is Kathy," I said answering and I heard a breathless "Ohmigosh! I didn't think I'd actually get you!" from the female on the other end of the line. Turns out the call was from a reader in northern Iowa who had borrowed her niece's signed copies of my books and the dog had ripped one to shreds. This woman should be a detective. Or maybe a bounty hunter. She tracked me down through connections in the state legislature and to a bookseller who has my contact information. All that time and energy just to find out if she could send books to me so I could sign them and she could replace the one that had been chewed up by the pooch! Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is a reader! And a darned nice aunt to boot.
So today's post is dedicated to all my wonderful readers out there who go to great lengths to pick up (or replace) my books! You are the absolute best part of this writing gig--and I don't ever plan to forget it!
See you next week!
~Kathy 'Bullet Hole' Bacus~


Estella said...

That reader is a REALLY dedicated person.

Christie Craig said...

Ahh, Kathy.

What a wonderful story. We all want readers like that. And yes, I think we do try to imagine our favorite authors.

I was wondering about you. And you didn't disappoint.


Crime Scene Christie

Kathy Bacus said...

You're right, Estella. And it's folks like this that keep us writing--and selling--books!


Kathy Bacus said...

I blogged over my lunch half-hour today, Christie, in between bites of yogurt and granola. I'm amazed it made sense. And yeah, I'm still on the diet kick. But it was strawberry cheesecake yogurt so I felt a little naughty...!

I feel really blessed in that the authors I've been fortunate to meet have been absolutely incredible, giving, caring, (and hysterically funny) folks. I don't think there's another business I know of where people actually mentor and assist their competition. Very cool.


Enchanted by Books said...

Wow that's crazy. A bit stalkerish perhaps though! Why didn't she just email you to ask for you to sign it rather then call your home? LOL It was nice of you to be so cool about that.

I met Janet Evanovich too. I stood on line in NJ for 5 hours to get her autograph and a picture with her. I feel stupid for not framing mine. It's somewhere in my room. I didn't even think to take good care of it! I should find it!

Unknown said...

I was so bummed I missed Janet when she was in the area.

All my Calamity books are signed -you should feel special. They are starting to show signs of wear and tear as they've been passed around to so many friends. Always high on my recomendation list. We can't wait to get our hands on the latest.

Keep up the great work (by the way how's college?) We plan to brainstorm ideas at our next book club for your "bike ride" book since we've all had experience with the bike/beer fest!! Should be a hoot we'll let you know what we come up with.

Nathalie said...

That was a nice post and us readers always like to know what the authors think.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for telling Thanx to your readers... that was very sweet :)

Anonymous said...

Guys... I love your blog and I think it is us - the readers - who should thank you for writing such nice books! I can't imagine my day without a novel.

Stacy S said...

That was great!! I was so nice of you to that too.

Kathy Bacus said...

My local chapter of RWA was lucky enough to have a group picture taken with Janet, too, Rachael. I don't have that one framed, however, as I had a really dopey look on my face. And there's the hair thing.

I was absolutely thrilled when Janet selected Des Moines as one of her tour stops a year ago and it would have taken an act of nature (or God) to keep me away. Ooooh, let me know any funny bike ride ideas you all come up with, Brenda!!! I'm currently in choppy waters on the high seas with book six. Aarrgh!

Truly the emails I open first are the ones that come to me from readers through my website. It really makes me feel good when I hear that a book I wrote permitted someone to have a good laugh or get away from some not-so-funny things going on in their lives and I wanted readers to know how much I appreciate them.

Thanks for checking in!