Saturday, August 22, 2020

Would you? Could you?

Not just writing a Good Reads or Amazon book review, but personally contacting a New York Times Best Selling author… 

Would you? Could you? Have you ever?

I have. 

When my grandson was a young reader he was thrilled with a middle grade novel, Saving Zasha, a story about a boy and his German Shepherd during WWII.

I contacted author, Randi Barrow to express my thanks and tell her how much her book influenced Nicholas, who declared after reading Saving Zasha that he was going to join the military when he finished high school.

Until recently he was still so influenced by Randi Barrow’s book, he considered joining the Army. I am happy he changed his mind and will be entering college on Monday. Saving Zasha is a book that will forever remain with Nick.  

Randi Barrow replied to my original letter, and I presented her letter to Nick, who still considers it a treasure.

 Lesley Kagen is a New York Times Best Selling Author of ten novels. 

Her books are written from the viewpoint of children as narrators and they are set in the ’50s and ’60. Recognizable places, things, and brand names make me smile at the familiarity. Page after page transports me back to my childhood. Her themes address serious adult issues and empower the narrators.

About the same time Nick discovered Randi Barrow's Saving Zasha, I discovered Leslie Kagen's first novel,Whistling in the DarkI felt as Nicholas did, enthralled, lost in the story, a part of it. I didn’t want it to end. 

I contacted her and told her how her book was the escapism I needed to get through a particularly difficult time in my life. My friend Sheila was suffering from effects of brain cancer and I knew we would lose her soon. Through the pages of Lesley Kagen's book, I imagined Sheila and myself as the main characters.  

Lesley Kagen replied with a heartfelt response. A week later her next book arrived in the mail with a lovely inscription… a complete surprise, which made me cry.   

Authors are people who have lives just like you and I.

They thrive on positive reviews and encouraging comments.

This week I picked up another of Lesley Kagen’s books, Land of a Hundred Wonders, and I intend to get lost on another great adventure.

Lesley Kagen's latest and greatest, Every Now and Then, will be released October 6, 2020.

Do you leave book reviews? If not, please do.


Sioux Roslawski said...

Book reviews--positive ones, with specific points--are gifts to writers. It's like a love letter from the reader to the author.

I wish Nicholas luck. What college is he attending?

Susan said...

No, I don't leave book reviews. Where would I leave them, Linda? I have contacted Susan Branch, author and illustrator, and she was darling. She's like a sister. I love her writing style and illustrations. She lives six months in California and six months on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. I LOVE her writing, her blog, her website, everything. She is a light in the world for sure. Hope you have a great weekend.

Pat Wahler said...

Book reviews are incredibly important. They help readers discover new books. They provide a morsel of validation to authors, proving someone appreciated the million hours of blood, sweat, and tears poured into writing and editing.

I think sometimes people are intimidated by writing reviews, but a review can be as simple as, "I really enjoyed this story." or "I liked the book and recommend it."

Most review sites (like Amazon for example) have mysterious algorithms I can't pretend to understand. The more reviews a book receives and the more people who click on the book, the more often readers are shown the book. Otherwise, a book is buried in a sea of millions of other books.

As the meme says, reviews encourage an author not to give up writing for an easier pursuit... like, say, scorpion petting.

Kim Lehnhoff said...

I have never written a book review. I assumed an author would never care what I thought. Thanks for showing me I was wrong. I'll do better.

I do sometimes leave my opinion on Goodreads. Do authors read those?

Donna Volkenannt said...

That was so thoughtful of you to write the author who wrote the book that influenced your grandson and kind of her to write back. I do write book reviews and reviews of essays and stories in magazines that move me. It is a good feeling to support other writers. I will look for the authors you mentioned in this post.

Lesley Kagen said...

Thanks so much, Linda. So nice to hear from you again:) xo L

Karen Lange said...

How inspiring! This is so cool. I think authors and writers often underestimate the impact they have on their readers. Love hearing how these authors connected and resonated with you and your grandson. Wishing him well on his college journey. Thanks for sharing this, Linda. Have a great weekend! :)

Karen Lange said...

P.S. Yes, I do generally leave book reviews unless the book was terrible or something I cannot endorse. I know how much it helps authors, so even if it's a brief review, I'll leave one as soon as I can.

noexcuses said...

Thank you for this post, Linda. I don't have a lot of time to read, but when I do, I love to get lost books. I, too, try to let the author know when I've been touched by their writing. One of the above comments mentions how it good it feels to let the author know your feelings, and how good it makes the author feel to hear them. I always feel good after reading a post of yours. I am inspired to pick up another book, now. Thank you!