I am often the first to complain about social media and the Internet. With some many electronic devices competing for our attention these days, it is getting more and more difficult for the old fashioned book to get the time it deserves. But I recently discovered that Twitter and Facebook allow us to communicate with our favorite writers and sometimes even enhance our reading experience. This modern method of fan mail is just fine with me.
Recently, I enjoyed reading Me Before You, a novel I picked up at the Book Expo last summer in New York. JoJo Mayes' tale was totally engaging. The book tells the story of a 26-year-old young woman who still lives in her small English town with her parents and has settled for an existence rather than a life. When she loses her job at a local café, she has to take a job as a caregiver for a bitter male quadriplegic.
Me Before You was one of those books that made me forget everything else I had to do until I finished it early on the MLK holiday Monday. I cried at the ending (no spoilers here). Later that morning while watching the inauguration and because I follow several writers, I happened to see a tweet from JoJo Mayes, the author whose book I had just tearfully completed. I decided to tweet her about how much I enjoyed her book. I did (see inset) and a few minutes later, she replied, "thanks." I was thrilled. I had actually sent fan mail and gotten an immediate response. How cool is that?
So now I will tweet Barbara Kingsolver and Michael Chabon and more authors and tell each how much I appreciate their writing. Just in case you are wondering, here are the writers and writing-related folks I follow on Twitter: Susan Orlean, Very Short Story, Richard Blanco, Eating Our Words, World Book Night, Language Bandit, Bob Goff, Donald Miller, Caitlin Moran, Writer’s Relief, Book Expo America, GrammarHulk, Oscar Wilde, John Green, Marilyn Johnson, Nancy Pearl, Grammar Girl, Smith Magazine, OwnYourStory & Page Turner. I’m sure I will follow more writers now that I realize (finally) that I can communicate directly with my favorites.