Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Best Readers

Before I actually say what I want to say, I have to just mush about this amazing weather that (at least East TN) we're having today. But on top of that, both of my classes were cancelled today, so here I am, sitting at my favorite coffee shop with a yummy cup of coffee, getting ready to edit--my weekend has begun!! I have been one of the loudest voices in the I-hate-this-unseasonal-weather-it-should-be-cold, but I think I'm coming around. I know I'll regret that statement come TN June, early July, but right now I'll just savor it.

SO...readers! Readers are what make us authors. Our writing makes us writers, but without readers, we'd be selling to no one. And I have to tell you, I have the most amazing readers! I met my first fan at my book launch here in Chattanooga. She'd read and reread Ascension before the launch, was there before I got to the store, and stayed the entire time, showing over her extremely well-loved copy. She made my day/week/month and made me feel like a bona fide author for the first time since publication.  She fits into the age range that Ascension is essentially geared toward.

Then, there's my 90-year-old Swiss friend who, upon discovering that I'd written a book, said she must have it in her lovely accent. And she read it so quickly!! And guess what? A 90 year old Swiss woman, who has never read a vampire book, LOVED Ascension. I'm not bragging, I swear. I think that's just the coolest thing ever.

Upon returning back to school after Christmas, I ran into the head of the Creative Writing department, who had bought my book for her nephew for Christmas. She made my day when she told me that A) He was quite irate at the ending (mwahaha) and B) said it was my favorite book of the year! She told me to take this as a huge compliment because he's a very avid reader. This was a big moment for me because it told me that Ascension would not just be liked by girls, but guys too! Woohoo!

And the most recent reader story I have may be the funniest. So though I am a career woman now (scoff, I'm still a student), I still babysit occasionally for a family friend here in Chattanooga. Their daughter Evie is about the most perfect angel child I have ever met or had the pleasure of babysitting in my entire long life of babysitting children, though I have had some great ones. But Evie came with a group of her close friends to my Chattanooga book launch, and though she's only in 3rd grade, she devoured Ascension and again LOVED IT! A third grader loved my book. Like, what is life? She bombarded me with questions when I came through the front door and showed me a book that she was working on. And when it came time for bed, she said to me, "You know what would be cool, Miss Hannah? If you read your book to me." Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I read Ascension as a bedtime story. It was a fun, happy part, however fleeting those moments are in my book. But she loved it, and it was definitely one of the most memorable Ascension moments for me.

All this is to say that, readers, we writers pay attention to you, treasure you ,need you. You make our day when you buy our books and fall into the worlds we've created. Whenever I start to think about any negative feedback I've gotten, I'll just think about these amazing readers, their dedication and love for reading and for our characters.

Happy Almost Mardi Gras!

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