Armchair BEA Day #2 – Author Interactions

Armchair BEA Day #2 – Author Interactions

Armchair BEA week rolls on! Links to daily topics, Armchair BEA Headquarters, my GIVEAWAY, and more are on the sidebar.

Today the topics to choose from were “author interactions” and “more than just words.” The latter focuses on the many mediums used to enhance storytelling, such as audiobooks, graphic novels, and so on. I chose not to delve into that, since I know little about it, but if this is of great interest to you, then be sure to visit the bloggers who will be talking about it.

“Author Interaction” is a subject that has a dual meaning for me. Obviously I am an author, and nothing delights me more than interacting with my readers. NOTHING! This is the first aspect of “author interaction” that pops into my mind.

Communications with readers are often one-sided, such as via a posted review or comment about my novels on a social media site or blog or forum unconnected to me. In those cases I relish the warmth of satisfying a reader, but usually cannot respond. Most of my “interactions” with readers are more direct. An email to me, a post on my Facebook page, a message sent, a tweet… In those instances I am at liberty to reply, and I always do! Over the course of time I have established friendships with fans, some of them quite close. Names have become familiar to me, and I instantly smile when I see them.

On a number of occasions I have been blessed to meet Darcy Saga fans face-to-face. Whether a surprise or a planned encounter, these are very, very dear to me. Below are a mere few of those I was lucky enough to snap a picture of. Sadly, most of the time I was unable to record the meeting in a permanent format other than the sweet memory inside.

reader interactions1
reader interactions2
reader interaction3


The second aspect of “author interaction” are my introductions to other authors. Above all, I am a reader. As such, the concept of meeting an author I love is a true squee-worthy one! Admittedly, many of my all-time favorite authors are either dead (JRR Tolkien, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Jane Austen) or beyond the circles I hang out with (David Eddings, Ken Follett, Raymond Feist), so my odds of meeting them are next to nil. LOL!

Nevertheless, I am fortunate to attend functions where romance authors collect, and since I adore reading romance, I have run into a number of authors who switched on the fan-girl inside. Just look at me in a daze when Nalini Singh came to my table and asked for a signed book! If not for my daughter, I never would have had the nerve to approach Eloisa James, and I can add Nora Roberts, Diana Gabaldon, Dr. Juliet McMaster, Barbara Vey, and Sherrilyn Kenyon to the list of awesome authors and notable persons I’ve met.

Sharon with Nalini Singh

Quite a large number of authors met along the way are now my friends, and some of them will be guests on my blog in the months to come! My close author pals are vital to my life and career, and I dearly love all of them. As an author, connections to others in the industry is a must, and fortunately the romance community is the BEST!

Hopefully I will someday get the chance to chat with David Eddings. But if given the choice to do that over any of the experiences I have thus far had, I wouldn’t change a thing.

In conclusion, trust me when I tell you that reaching out to an author you appreciate–in any way–is SO worth the effort. We love to hear from satisfied readers! So while it may seem like an embarrassment or bother, it isn’t. We thrive on your feedback!

Share your author interactions with me. Then be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win for participating on my blog this week.





26 Comments for Armchair BEA Day #2 – Author Interactions

  1. it was such an awesome experience when I met you, Sharon!!!! thank you for sharing the picture!!!!

  2. Thanks for sharing! One of these days I hope to get to some of the author conventions that I read about. I have been to scifi fan expos but no author expos! In the meantime, I content myself with following my favs via social media.

  3. I love all the photos you shared with us. Thanks! And pretty cool that you can fan girl it…lol…I totally get that. I’m looking forward to reading your books, I must say. Decided I want to read them in print (rather than get the e copies), they seem perfect for sitting and reading in my backyard on my new hammock!

  4. I have been honored to meet you and think that author interactions are fabulous! The day when I met several of the JAFF authors in Fort Worth was high on my list of incredible experiences. I agree with you that several of the people I would love to meet are deceased, but there is so much joy in interacting with the people whose writing you devour. LOL I think I would love to meet Susanna Kearsley. I love her time slip novels.

    Side note: I agree with Joy ^^ Your approachability (and even responding to an occasional email) is amazing. We (the readers) are so enriched by it. I know I am anyway.

    • It was a deep pleasure to meet you, Stephanie. Sadly I did not manage a pic of just us two, otherwise I would have added it to the montage! I know Susana Kearsley and she is a lovely lady who enjoys meeting fans as much as I do. I hope you can arrange a meeting someday. 🙂

  5. It was amazing meeting you and discussing all the things you wanted to accomplished. You have done that and more!! I also enjoyed meeting Eloisa James at that conference in Orlando as I had also read her books

    • Seli, Meeting you and your wonderful family is sincerely a high point to my career! Dear friends forever!! And that was the conference I met Eloisa James at too…. and would have nervously never done so if Emily hadn’t literally shoved me to do it! Now I have a picture to prove it happened, which is a good thing or I might believe I imagined it. A true fan-girl moment!

  6. It has been shocking, soothing, and pleasing to me how the Jane Austen writers and readers have responded to my writing effort with such encouragement and help. I am such a techno nit-wit that it is a huge challenge to post and have it actually publish on a blog or page. This is a great group of individuals and I can’t wait to meet some of you in person. Maybe when we return from South America permanently I will have a chance.

    Sharon, you were the first author that responded to my post -ever. Thank you so much for your approachability.

    • You are very welcome, Joy! I am delighted to interact with fans and fellow authors. Maybe too much so as I can rapidly lose track of time and forget that I need to write the next book! LOL!

      Just as a side note: JA writers and readers are awesome (for the most part), but I mingle and trust the romance writing community far more. Hands down, romance novelists and the readers of HEA stories are the loveliest people on the planet. Take it from someone who has been heavily involved in both for equal amounts of time.

  7. I’m a relative newcomer to the world of JAFF and was surprised but delighted to find out how much you lovely authors appreciate contact with us lowly mortals. I’m always in awe of people who write fiction. Where do the ideas come from? Having the discipline to sit down and write and all that sort of stuff! A close friend has become a published author in recent years (two novels down and a third on the way) so I’m now in awe of him as well. I can write (fairly well, I’m told) on non-fiction things that are work related and I enjoy taking part in discussions like this online. Creative writing, although something I’d love to do, is a non-starter when I compare what I have hidden away on my hard drive to what I read from people like you, Sharon.

    Apart from aforementioned friend, and he was a friend long before he became an author, I’ve never met an author apart from in online communities. Since I became aware of the JAFF online community quite by accident, I follow blogs, comment on blog posts and am always thrilled to get a reply from folks like you. I even have published authors as Facebook friends now, which also surprises and delights me whenever a friend request is granted. (I have sent one to you, somewhat belatedly, having just realised I thought I had but actually hadn’t).

    The chances of me meeting many of you are few and far between due to the simple fact geography but I WILL have a camera with me should it ever happen!

    • P.S. I love audiobooks. They’ve been my old friends these past few years. They’re great for taking your mind off things like housework! Also good for travelling. I sometimes have quite a long commute to work and so I bought a device to plug my iPod into the car radio.

    • Hey! None of that “lowly mortal” talk! Readers are essential to us!! Without readers we would quite simply have no purpose in writing. Unlike some artistic endeavors that are rewarding merely in the doing of it, writing a novel is pointless if no one ever reads it. We owe everything to those who read books!

      Meeting authors in person is becoming more difficult, I think. In-store book signings are almost non-existent. Even the big name authors are not going on tours as they once did. Social media outlets have taken over, and while that may be sad in one respect, it is better in that the interaction can be ongoing rather than just a minute or two across a table.

  8. I only recently began interacting with authors. I had joined Austen Authors a while ago, but mostly observed, and very seldom posted. Recently, I bean posting on Austen Variations and found that I’ve enjoyed the interaction with the authors as well as some of the other followers. I have also friended authors on facebook and twitter and we have some of the same interests. As I would eventually love to go back to England and see the areas Jane Austen wrote about in her books, I’ve even been given ideas of where to go and what to see, such as places used in the movies. I also, would, one day, love to meet some of the authors whose books I read, but haven’t found many venues in the NYC metro area. Thank you for the opportunity and incentive to encourage my thoughts Sharon.

    • Hi Deborah! Facebook and Twitter are excellent places to connect. One can do so in a fast, easy way (and the author can respond as quickly and easily). I would think that NYC is a hotbed of author activity considering it is the hub of the publishing industry. I can tell you that the Romance Writers of America National Conference will be in New York in 2015. Each year there is a HUGE literacy signing open to the public with, on average, some 500 romance novelists present. More info is here:

  9. I love your pictures. I have a few with some fans of mine at my book signings. You never forget those fans who cherish your work and crave for more books from you. I love interacting with my fans and other authors. I’ve been to several book signings but haven’t attending a book conference yet. I’m planning to do so next year. I was recently picked up by a manager. He’s given me a book tour coordinator and a virtual assistant. We’ve been working as a team to create my book tours next year. I want to attend BEA, RomCom and the Historical Fiction Society Convention, just to name a few.

    • Allison, writers conferences are the BEST!!! I have attended several– JASNA AGM x2, Romantic Times once, RWA Nationals x6, and many smaller book festivals and the like –and have always gone away renewed and energized. From craft lessons, connections with authors and others in the business, to the joy of connecting with readers, book/writer-centered events are SO important.

  10. Thank you for sharing from the author side of the tracks! 🙂 very good to know how authors appreciate and think on readers’ words.

    • Hi Gillian!

      Honestly, I do not know a single author who has not said how dearly precious are the positive words of feedback. However it is shared–directly to the author or as a review, for instance–everyone I am friends with is inspired by fan expression.

      • I must add that the converse is true. Negativity can be very discouraging to a writer. And, since in general folks seem to relish being unkind rather than kind, the negative swiftly outnumbers the positive. 🙁

    • Hi Brenda! Thanks for stopping by.

      I can’t assure that ALL authors are as giddily thrilled to meet a fan as I am, but I can attest to the overwhelming warmth in the romance writing community. Oh, I could tell some great stories!

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