Let’s talk interacting with authors IRL (in real life) or online. This is your opportunity to talk about your favorite author readings that you have attended. Or, you can feature your favorite author fan moment (i.e., an author sent you a tweet or commented on your blog). Maybe you even want to share how your interactions have changed since becoming a blogger or share your own tips that you have learned along the way when interacting with authors as a blogger.
This is going to be a super hurried post because it's 9:03 and I just got home for the day. (I actually had to go look at a retail space for my book store! so exciting! unfortunately it's not going to be "the one" but hey it's a start)
Having Iowa City, Iowa so close has afforded me the opportunity to see quite a few author talks over the years. and some AMAZING ONES... there are author readings almost every week at the famous Prairie Lights bookstore and the Iowa Book Festival where the author talks are non-stop!!
But it was a totally different reason in Iowa City. It was a connection through University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Children's Hospital that I connected with two authors...
At 17 my daughter had to be in the hospital for 7 months fighting Leukemia. Much of the time she felt decent but had no immune system. I spent as much time as I could with her but as a single mom traveled back and forth. Aside from the internet, she needed ways to keep occupied. (we just aren't tv people). The hospital actually has an amazing library and we would go up often. During one trip my daughter found a galley on the shelves. Excited that it was a galley she checked it out and read it in like 2 days. She then posted a quick review on Goodreads.
A couple days later she gets a Goodreads email. From the author. His name is Alexander Maksik and the book was You Deserve Nothing. I read it too and corresponded with him a bit. I tried to get my daughter to agree to let him come and have coffee with her, but she wouldn't. I did get the hospital Library Director and Xander in contact with one another to (hopefully) put together a writer's clinic there at the hospital someday. Although I doubt he remembers any of this, his communication with my daughter and with me was unforgettable.
Another event that happened at the hospital... I write a little (not enough but that's a different post) and was working on a project. One of the nurses sort of asked what I was up to. When I told her she said "OH that reminds me of Heather Gudenkauf, Have you read her?" It turns out that her child had fought this horrible battle as well and she spent time there too. While she was there she worked (and finished) her projects. I read one and got online and emailed Heather through her website. She emailed me back and we corresponded a few times. Iowa City Book Festival was only a couple weeks away at this point and when I saw the author line up... low and behold. Heather was going to be there. So I went to her reading and book signing.
Well when I handed her my book copy I said, "Hi Heather, I'm Laura. my daughters on 3JCP" which was the cancer unit... she stopped, stood up and came around the table and saying... Oh hon I have got to give you a hug.
Her newest book, Tender Mercies, is due out in June.
And that's how I've crossed paths with two the coolest, biggest hearted authors on the planet!!
And my daughter is in remission now and attending the University of Iowa. As an English Major. :)