I know, I know … I should be writing words in my book today. I feel guilty … trust me!
As I’ve gotten older, the time change’s disruption to my schedule is less tolerable and I desperately needed a nap yesterday. I lay down and while waiting for the cat to tuck in behind my legs (instant sleeping potion, I’m telling ya), I turned on my Kindle. I’m reading Kevin J. Anderson’s “Clockwork Angels.”
TB snuggled in, my mind started getting fuzzy, my eyes were missing words and I tucked the Kindle and my glasses under the pillow beside me. As I drifted off to sleep, I realized that I had communicated with the author via email back in the late nineties, before fandom exploded all over the internet.
Then, my mind tracked to another author who had communicated several times with me in the same time period – Bob Mayer, of the Area 51 series. I had reached out to both of these men, after doing a little research to find an email address for them, to tell them how much I appreciated their writing and enjoyed their books. Their responses meant a lot to me, even though I’m sure that since they’ve had so much input from fans over the years, I was nothing more than a blip in the cosmos to them.
Grand Canyon. Copyright 2008, Maxim M. Muir
Before I completely drifted off, I began thinking about how much the world has changed and what a short period of time it took to make that change. That was only 15 or 16 years ago. The communication chasm that separated an author from their readers has been bridged and it is amazing.
It was amazing enough that in 1998-99, I was able to communicate at all with an author in a short period of time. I’d written letters years before to authors, but had never received a response. All of a sudden, I could send a quick email while the thoughts were fresh in my mind and communicate with someone whose work I appreciated. Then, within hours or maybe a day, I had a response. That encouraged me to read their next book and try to discover other things they had written. I thought it couldn’t get any better.
But it has.
Last night I posted a quick (and vague … sorry) bit on the Bellingwood Facebook page regarding a plot twist that would be happening in today’s work. The people who read my books get to enjoy part of the writing process with me and I get to talk about what I’m doing while it’s happening. For me, that lessens the solitude of the writing process. But, even greater, I can speak with people I’ve never met before, but have connected to because of my books. That is one of the best parts of how this bridge has changed the world.
This morning when I woke up, there were messages and comments from these new friends (and many old friends) who wondered what I might be up to with the plot. How fun is that? The communication chasm is completely bridged. There is no longer any separation between an author and readers. This is changing everything.
The relationships I am uncovering with new friends on the Polly Giller Facebook page is one of the best parts of writing these books. I believe that any author or musician, artist or designer, or any other creative person would agree – the opportunity to connect with people is as important as creating.
Funny story … random … a little along these lines. It’s been over twenty years ago … I went to a science fiction convention in Omaha with a friend. We had a blast. George Takei was the featured speaker and the place was packed. All day long, we had seen signs reading, “George Takei. Sulu. Live and In Person!” We waited and waited, wandering through the various booths. There were very few costumed guests in those days, but some were trying their hand at it and they were always entertaining.
We heard the announcement that people should make their way to the room where “George Takei. Sulu. Live and In Person” would speak, so we did. We couldn’t get in. There wasn’t enough space. We’d had a great day and though we were disappointed, it didn’t really change the fact that we’d had so much fun up to that point, so we decided it was time to go.
I didn’t think much more about it until now. Because the internet has bridged this communication chasm, I follow George Takei on Facebook and get to see him “Live and In Person” every day. I don’t have to be disappointed because the room is full … there is no limit now to the number of people he can speak to at any given moment. What a fun transformation this has been.
It just occurred to me (I’m a little slow sometimes) that I hadn’t followed Bob Mayer or Kevin J. Anderson on Facebook yet and though I love their books, it might be even more fun to follow their progress from book to book. I just fixed that.
And now … it’s time for Polly to discover a body and call the Sheriff … it’s what she does.