Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Attending to Those You Love

By Matt Sinclair

How do you show your affections for those you love? How do you know when it’s enough?

I mean, it’s so easy to take for granted those we care about the most. A peck on the lips before bed just isn’t enough to say I love you. No matter how many bedtime stories I read, memory games I play, or tickles I dispense, the girls keep coming back for more. So do the cats, no matter how long I pet them. Are they starving for my attention as well as for their wet food?

What about the writers you love?

To me, when it comes to showering them with affection there’s the obvious and there’s the much more subtle. The obvious is buying their books. That’s kind of a no-brainer. From my perspective, I don’t care whether it’s an ebook or a print version, if I love a writer, I want a copy of their latest. There are some writers I follow on Facebook and on Twitter. I’ve even found myself smiling widely when an author responded to something I said on their Facebook page or thanked me for a comment on Twitter.

But I don’t think of these writers as starving for my attention. Well, perhaps it’s not my attention specifically, but attention? Stephen King aside, I suspect most of them would like a whole lot more.

Remember, I’m not saying they necessarily want specifically your or my attention per se (so put away the pup tent you were planning to stake into their front yard), but all of us – writers, readers, non-hermits – enjoy being appreciated. And if our appreciation and attention is enough to inspire others to check out a new writer’s work, they’ll appreciate us even more.

With that in mind, here’s a few writers whose work I currently love. Some you may have heard of, others might be less familiar. (And it should go without question that I love the work of my colleagues here at From the Write Angle.)

Christopher Moore. He's got a bunch of books out and is a New York Times bestselling author, but I just never get enough of his sense of humor. He’s one of those writers I’d love to interview.
John Connolly. His thrillers are intelligent and vivid, and his YA stuff is funny and often exquisitely written.
Robb Grindstaff. His debut novel Hannah’s Voice just came out a couple weeks ago. Brilliant, funny, and provocative are just a few of the words that come to mind. I’m looking forward to reading his next novel, scheduled to be released later this year. (To be clear, he’s also had a couple stories published by Elephant’s Bookshelf Press. But I’d love his writing even if he never responded to my emails.)
Josh Braff. I’m not Jewish, but I find his tales of Jewish families very understandable and relatable. Maybe it’s the New Jersey settings and characters. I follow him on Facebook and he’s also a very talented photographer.
N.M. Kelby: To be honest, I’ve not read a lot of her work, but everything I’ve read I’ve loved. I need to read more. She draws interesting characters and makes Florida look like a lot of fun.

Care to show your favorites a little love? Please share in the comments.

And from all of us at From the Write Angle, Happy Valentine’s Day. We truly love and appreciate our readers.

Matt Sinclair, a New York City-based journalist and fiction writer, is also president and chief elephant officer of Elephant's Bookshelf Press, which recently published its latest anthology, The Fall: Tales from the Apocalypse, which is available via Amazon and Smashwords. Earlier in 2012, EBP published its initial anthology, Spring Fevers, which is available through SmashwordsAmazon, and in print via CreateSpace. Both anthologies include stories by fellow FTWA writers, including Cat Woods, J. Lea Lopez, Mindy McGinnis, and R.S. Mellette; R.C. Lewis and Jean Oram also have stories in The Fall. Matt blogs at the Elephant's Bookshelf and is on Twitter @elephantguy68


Jemi Fraser said...

Great idea! Passing on the love and appreciation is always a good idea.

I've read a lot of romance lately - my all time fave is probably JD Robb/Nora Roberts and I've recently discovered Jill Shalvis - love her stuff!

I've also been reading a lot of blog/twitter/AQC buddies' books and they've been great. Currently reading Cheryl B Dale's book and loving it! :)

Joey Francisco said...

Tonight I passed on some love & gave a well-deserved 5* review to an author and scientist I miss, the late great Dr. Carl Sagan.

I also love the works of John Grisham (just finished THE RACKETEER) and recently finished THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES by Preston/Child.

It's also important to pass on announcements from your friends who are writers on twitter and support them too. Soon I'll have more time, and like Jemi, I plan to read books by our AQC friends.

I'm blessed to have good friends who are such talented and inspiring writer. Happy Valentine's Day!

Joey Francisco said...

Forgot to add, if you read a great book, do send a little love to the author by posting a gracious review.

It will mean a lot to them. <3

Matt Sinclair said...

Thanks Jemi and Joey. I agree about posting reviews. Especially for those of us trying to establish or build an audience (which is pretty much anyone reading this blog), it's vital to share a review for writers whose work you appreciated.