Saturday, April 9, 2011


By June Shaw

People are kind. I have found authors to be more so than most.

Writers urge on and help other writers who are actually their competition. I belong to writers' groups like Mystery Writers of America, Guppies, Sisters in Crime, Murder Must Advertise, and Romance Writers of America among others.Published authors in these groups are always giving suggestions to the pre-published and published on how to improve and market their work. They also give assistance through their blogs. Those who weren't published yet also continue to help and encourage and read each other's work.

So many writers help those struggling to perfect their query letters, often editing many drafts of them. Authors suggest places where the pre-published might send their work, and I have found authors--even many N.Y. Times Bestsellers--most generous in reading advanced reading copies of newbies and kindly offering a quote.

Heather Graham is one of the kindest authors I know. I have admired her work for a number of years and met her once at a conference after I eventually sold a book. When I sold my second, I worked up the courage to ask if she might look at my ARC.

Immediately she said yes. She didn't know me from a tree but was willing to give a new author a chance. (And thank goodness she loved my book, KILLER COUSINS, comparing its main character with Miss Marple.) I saw her again last week at a conference. It was the birthday of my oldest daughter, Dawn. I called during the book signing hour to extend greetings and make plans for later in the day. Heather Graham sat behind huge stacks of her books, signing and speaking to readers. I leaned in and whispered that 2it was my daughter's birthday, pointing to the phone. Heather put out her hand, took my phone, and sang Happy Birthday to Dawn, which she'll never forget.

Other authors took my phone and wished my daughter a great day or sang the birthday song to her. What considerate people. I have discover kindness in so many individuals. Writers are the best.


Jean Henry Mead said...

I agree, June. So many successful writers have helped me when I needed it most. I can't think of a better group of colleagues than fellow writers.

Earl Staggs said...

So true, June. I love hanging out with other writers. Normal, sane people who don't write just don't understand us.