Before my book came out, I sent out emails to everyone I knew announcing its publication. I also went a step further and emailed a few of my favorite authors--when I could find a reliable address. I didn't expect a response, but I wanted to thank these writers for being so pivotal in my path to authorship. A couple weeks ago I got a congratulatory response from Lynn Robinson who is an inspirational writer my mom first introduced me to. Today, I got a gracious reply from Chris Bohjalian of Midwives fame. Mr. Bohjalian has been a personal mentor for me in many ways. I saw him give a speech at a local library luncheon in April of 2006. At the time, I told him I had a book coming out, and he wrote the most heartening inscription in my book--the hope that I would sell my novel by the pallet load. It was later that same month, while sitting on the top of a mountain on a fine spring day that I decided to quit my job and write full-time. I was up on that mountain for hours with my journal and the Chris Bohjalian book Waterwitches.
In my email to him, I said: I can’t think of any specific ways that authors have affected my writing, except for this—I want to grab the reader immediately—like Chris Bohjalian does. I also like dealing with situations where opposites dance—and I think you do that, too.
Perhaps the best compliment of all is the listing of my book on Amazon.com. The double purchase option--better together--features my book and Bohjalian's Double Bind. To have him write back to me is encouragement beyond measure. I can't wait to read his latest book.