Sunday, July 10, 2016

How Kind Strangers are to Authors! by Rolynn Anderson

It goes without saying that authors are extremely generous to one another, offering advice and promo help, writing reviews, and playing cheerleader.  We know how tough the writing/marketing business is, lucky to be helped by blogger friends, mentors, conference buddies and the like.  In turn, we try to pay the benefits forward.

Authors understand each other; we help each other.  But the ways non-writers reach out to help us, moves me to tears.  I’ve told you about my ‘bad trip’ on an anesthesia drug, and the two experts who are now my advisors: my anesthesiologist and his buddy, a pharmacologist.  They are both giddy about being acknowledged in Cézanne’s Ghost.  The surgeon who performed my minor surgery started reading my novels after my first visit to her office.  She, too, has offered to serve as a consultant.  Two local Starbucks managers, friends of mine, let me have book signings at their coffee shops; scores of local folk have bought my novels without knowing a thing about me.

Remember my need for a waterproof notebook for the drowned character in Lie Catchers?  I sought out the Rite in the Rain Company and talked them into putting my cover and info on mini waterproof notebooks for one quarter the cost (I never could have afforded swag as expensive as their retail price).

My new 'kind stranger' story is about an artist, Jeff Haines, whom I contacted because I wanted to put one of his sketches on the front of Cézanne’s Ghost.   When we first talked on e-mail, he said he'd never worked with a novelist who wanted cover art.  Basically, he does custom drawings.  The price he gave me was impossible for me to pay, so I passed on the picture.  But I liked the sketch so much, I decided to try one more time.  I explained to him how I would use the picture and the most money I’d ever make on the book.  He said he liked the artist-to-artist relationship and gave me I price I could pay.  One time only.  Period.

I can’t wait to show you Aline, my heroine, sketched by Jeff, but I better wait until I have paid him.  Plus I’m a suspense writer…I like to keep you waiting and wondering, don’t you know?

So, tell me about a stranger’s kindness you experienced in your adventure as an author.  Bet you’ll have trouble picking one from many!


Speaking of covers, FAINT is up for a cover RONE award.  I’m proud of my collaboration with Kim Mendoza to create this cover!     


https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4990049.Rolynn_Anderson

15 comments:

Andrea Downing said...

Greetings from London, Rolynn. I'm taking a day off to work (is that possible?)and thought I'd drop by. I think people like the idea of giving advice to writers. For Dances of the Heart, a Texas friend put me in touch with someone who worked for some land organization or other and he was a huge help without reservation on all sorts of things to do with ranching and Texas--even to telling me what beer they'd be drinking! Funny thing, however, was we emailed for a while, spoke on the phone etc., but when the book came out and I sent him a copy I never got a thank-you for that. Now I'm left wondering if he read it and hated it! I know he and his wife moved house so I'm hoping it was just the turmoil of that...

Rolynn Anderson said...

LOVE London. I am so jealous! So nice you dropped by, Andrea. Your story about the helpful Texan is a good example of how we're helped by experts. What would we do without them? You know, I'd write and ask if he got the book...say you're worried he didn't get it...that it was your way of saying thank you and now you're worried the thank you message never got to him.

I was worried about getting the FBI described correctly in my next book. FINALLY found an agent who will talk to me, but he doesn't want to be acknowledged in my book. At least yours agreed to that!

Brenda Whiteside said...

While Andrea takes time from London, I'm taking time from unpacking. I like her time better. LOL Outsiders/experts are so kind to you! But I know you and can imagine they just can't say no to such a nice author!

Vonnie Davis said...

One of my youngest son's closest friends is a Major in Special Forces. They wrestled together in high school and college. Mike was the one this Green Beret called when his wife went into a coma after delivering their second child. Mike, a single dad by then, packed a diaper bag and put Ryan in his car seat and drove from Maryland to Fort Brag to sit with his friend. When I have special forces questions, I email Liz his wife who asks him. He prefer there not be a record of my emailing him since he's into a highly classified area of mind control over prisoners. He'll respond on her email. So we can't call him a stranger since I've known him since he was a high school sophomore.
My current book takes place in a tattoo parlor and I asked my tattoo artist a gazillion questions as he gave me a butterfly tattoo on my ring finger. He was giddy about my using him in my forward as my expert go to guy.
One of my books hangs behind the restaurant at our local Bob Evans because I wrote so much of it there. It's in a shadow box with a hand-written note of thanks from me about allowing a writer to use the restaurant as a writing space with unlimited amounts of coffee to keep me going.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Brenda, you are very sweet to say I bring on the kindness of strangers. It truly makes me happy to forge these connections...it's what keeps me going/energized!

Vonnie, once again wrestling and the strong bond between teammates...it's truly amazing. And these guys don't want or need accolades. The way you're talking to your expert is the way my FBI contact talks to me...through his wife.
-I'm so jealous of your butterfly tattoo, and what a great way to make an expert a friend.
-Your book in a frame at a restaurant? What a testimony of the kind of backing people give writers. Yay!

Diane Burton said...

I agree. People like the idea of helping an author. Yesterday at a large (40 authors) booksigning, two people came up to me and said "your [daughter's name] mother." They were friends from her church and specifically came to see me. I was thrilled. My SIL is a doctor and I routinely ask him medical questions. He's pleasantly pleased that I include him in my acknowledgements. Daughter is very pleased. LOL Looking forward to seeing that new cover. Don't keep us in too much suspense.

Leah St. James said...

What a cool post, Rolynn. You're right, people are so generous with their time and expertise. I'm glad you persisted in your quest for the illustration, and I'm glad the artist decided to work with you! Can't wait to see it.

Betsy Ashton said...

Wonderful post. So many times I meet someone who doesn't know I write and publish books. They're shocked I'm so normal -- on the outside, anyway. Last week I was in my local post office filling orders I received through PayPal. My postmistress has my first book and wanted the second one. Well, lo and behold, I just happened to have one in the car. I fetched it and we swapped check for autograph. While we were chatting, two more women came in, caught up on the conversation and one ended up buying both books. From a chance conversation with my wonderful postmistress to three sales, all in the course of a few minutes. Yes, strangers and authors alike help each other.

Jannine Gallant said...

I haven't used a lot of outside sources, mostly because I don't try to write about places I'm not familiar with. But, I bug Margo to bug her husband and son every time I have a question about police procedure. My typical email title is "Ron Question." LOL They've been great about providing advice.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Diane, you make the point that the strangers are genuinely thrilled to meet authors...I've seen that too...and it still amazes/tickles me!

Thanks Leah. I can't wait for you to meet Aline, sketched

Betsy, I loved your story. Who needs a formal book signing when you can grab readers in a chance encounter at a post office? So proud you made the most out of the opportunity!

Jannine, I always get myself in trouble with inserting stuff I know nothing about. Then the domino effect begins...one unknown fact leads to another and I'm so deep in the 'topic' weeds I can't find my way out. I think I'd be better off sticking to what I know...but I can't seem to... Heavy sigh.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Thankfully, there are more good people than bad in the world. From my experience at least. Most people I run into 'business-wise' do seem to be thrilled to learn I'm an author. Even my kids brag about me now and then. Let's face it, the toughest audience there is. ;-)

Angela Adams said...

When I was editing "Magic Moment," I needed information regarding my character's boat. I contacted two of the yacht clubs in my area, hoping that at least one of them would talk to me since I was a newbie author with no name recognition. Both clubs came to my assistance and were very helpful. I agree with Margo -- there are more good than bad people in the world. Thanks for the post, Rolynn!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Margo, you HAVE to get those kid compliments on tape...precious! Seems like everyone yearns to be an author and is so pleased people like us went ahead with the dream!

Angela, you're welcome...I thought in this negative news cycle we needed an upbeat topic. I'm not surprised the yacht clubs were generous with their advice. As a 25 year cruiser, I witnessed more selfless acts among long-haul boaters than anywhere.

Alicia Dean said...

What a wonderful, heartwarming post. Wow...I love the 'deal' the artist gave you, and I can't wait to see the drawing. I've had some amazing experiences with people willing to help. When I lived in Kansas City and was writing a suspense set there, I emailed the KCPD and asked if anyone would be willing to answer a few questions. I received an email from the commander, no less. He was a former homicide detective and had taken special courses at Quantico and worked in the ME's office. He actually met me for coffee and before we met, he bought and read a few of my books. He was very complimentary about my writing. He offered to answer any questions I had any time. I emailed him and we met a few times but I am afraid we lost touch. After I finished book 2 in my series, I went a while without contacting him, so I'm not sure I could still even reach him, but I'll never forget his assistance. He was very generous and knowledgeable.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Oh, this is a great story, Alicia. How lucky you were to find someone at the top rung to speak to you! In these times when the police are under fire, it's good to hear an upbeat story about the force. Remember the author of WORKING by Studs Terkel? He found that people love talking about their jobs...and filled up books with their stories. Thanks for your kind words about my post.