Touring, Fans & Friendship

horseheader1.jpeGood Morning!

 Perhaps it’s because I have a book coming out in March that my attention is centering more and more on touring.  This year, unfortunately for me, I will be unable to tour — mostly because I am away from home.  Because touring gives me a chance to get out away from home and to meet people who read and who enjoy reading books (and hopefully my books), I thought I’d devote this time to talking about fans and friendships.

group-11.jpguntitled-91.jpgIt seems that we writers have a unique opportunity to meet people from all over the United States, and sometimes from around the world, as well.  Because people do read our books, it seems that it is easy to become close with each other in a very short order, indeed.  The pictures above include friends Lois Greiman, Jodi Thomas and writers and readers from the Amarillo, TX area.  The second picture is at Sunshine Bookstore in the Los Angeles area and with friend, Glynnis Campbell (aka Sarah McKerrigan).  Many readers and fans have become friends, even though we may not have ever met face-to-face.  This is because we correspond on a monthly, weekly or even a daily basis in many cases.    It is, indeed, a most fortunate circumstance — fortunate because in my opinion, one is only as alive as he/she has friends.


Above are pictured from left to right, myself with Lois Greiman at Borders in New York (this group is now working with Barnes & Noble), Bookseller, Tina Wood at Waldenbooks/Broders in Orlando, FL.  — in Alabama with Books-A-Million rep, and at the Temecula Barnes & Noble in California.  In this business, friends are for keeps, and your fans and your readers and booksellers are definitely friends.  I guess that’s why many of us who write keep an open door approach to readers and fans.  We want to hear from you, we want to write to you, to get to know you and hear about your hopes and dreams — even those things that might frustrate you from time to time.  Writing is a very personal experience, and I think that often, after one reads a book, it is as though you have come to know that author pretty well, and hopefully to think of that author like a trusted friend.  Therefore, it is perhaps an opening to a warm friendship.

For myself, I think of my friends and my readers in a rather intense way.  I think readers are a very special people, who seem to have bypassed the need to watch television every night,  who instead prefer to get their news and/or entertainment from books rather than having events spoon fed to them by news agencies, many of whom only seem to  mouth the most recent propaganda.  We who read seem to subscribe to the idea that we are still entitled to think for ourselves and we’d rather read about it ourselves and make up our own mind about things, events, people.  If you read, and I’m certain that most of you do, you will probably agree with this, I think.

pats1.jpg8-birmingham1.jpg6-watkinsville1.jpgFrom left to right, myself with the two Pats.  Then a wonderful reader from Alabama and another terrific fan from Georgia.  So in closing let me say how much I appreciate each and every one of my readers, every one of my fans and everyone of you who come to this blog and dare to write to us.  You are one of the main reasons I and many other writers continue to write.

May it always be so.  TBR4 

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KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the multi-published author of American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.
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21 thoughts on “Touring, Fans & Friendship”

  1. Hi Kay,
    Great pics of your friends and fans! Thanks for sharing those today. Good luck with your March book!!
    And I do agree that fans are wonderful and make a writer want to continue to write. Often time, I don’t think they realize how important their comments and dedication are to us. I don’t know what I’d do without my friends and their support.

  2. Hey Gal Pal!

    Miss ya loads. You offered me friendship without asking for anything in return–the exception these days, when I wish it were the rule.

    So glad we met, and I’m here if ya need me. Friends who eat organic are hard to come by!


  3. What a lovely tribute to friendship Karen!

    Friends are such a blessing and they enhance who we are. Friendships grow and change over time, but sustain us in a very special way. We have those who have been with us since childhood, those we make throughout our adult lives and those we gain through work and similarities in circumstances or interests.

    Very early on when I started writing(in my teens), I always thought real writers were out of reach. You couldn’t just contact a writer, heavens no! LOL

    But in the past couple of years I’ve been blessed to find so many writers online who have become acquaintances as well as people I consider friends. It’s a different kind of friendship~ a transition in my own life to get to know other writers and not only learn from them, but find encouragement and lots of wonderful conversations.

    It has opened up a whole new world for me to know I can talk with writers and it’s these new friendships that have helped me feel like a part of the writing community.

    I appreciate all the writers I’ve met online, especially the Fillies here at P&P. Thank you all for being so welcoming.

  4. What a great post about friendship. I think good friends are hard to come by and harder to keep. I’ve been blessed with some great friends in my life, many of whom I’ve met online. I’ve had my share of “best friends” but my very best friend is my husband. That’s a rare thing I suppose and strange to think about. But it’s true. I sort of wish that people were more open to making new friends, opening their hearts to friendship, and worked at maintaining friendship… at least around here. Life is just so busy these days.

  5. Beautiful post, Karen!!

    Wonderful friends have been the biggest bonus of my whole writing venture. For a person who entered this business so shy that she could hardly say hello when she entered a room (and often times couldn’t even enter the room), I now look forward to social gatherings and adore meeting readers at book signings. When I joined Romance Writers of America, I wasn’t looking friends…I just wanted to figure out how to get published *lol* But for the first time, I was surrounded by people with common goals and interests and the crazy thing is, my toughest competition on the writing contest circuit became some of my dearest friends. We started off by hazing each other–sending each other emails when we saw that we’d finalled against one another–something like, “Geeze, would you SALE already and get out of my!!!” 🙂 Brings back such fun memories of my days in the contest trenches. We had so much fun commiserating together that we banded together and started our own social yahoo loop a few years ago, where we could share and laugh and support one another when book deals didn’t come as quickly as we’d have hoped. We just launched a fun group website this month:

    People often say that writers are introverts–and I was; even posting an email used to terrify me–but writing is what helped me to come out of my social shell–thank goodness. Romance writers and readers are some of the nicest folks around 😉

  6. Stacey, You were or are shy? Wow, me too. I mean I do okay now, because I force myself to behave, but all my inner reflexes are to withdraw. I think that’s why I’m so happy writing. I can have both sides of the conversation myself and if I say something stupid…well, there’s the delete key. 🙂
    I do well writing though and most people who read my emails and blog posts don’t get that I’m pretty much of a wallflower at heart. And so HAPPY to be a wallflower.
    There are opportunities to do public speaking that go along with being a writer and I just go NUTS when I am forced to do this. Not that I’m so bad at it, but the BEFORE, I just am tormented by what I’ll say, and the AFTER when I mentally beat myself up for every word.
    Ahh! Agony!
    Leave me at my computer in peace. I really need to do better at getting out and being with friends because I can really drift toward being a hermit.

  7. Dear Kay,
    A long time ago when my husband was in the military and we moved from one base to another. I use to cry over friends that I was leaving behind. I knew I was going to miss them. Oh we exchanged addresses and promised to keep in touch, send pictures of our children and even visit when we could. Some of us did but then one or another thing happened in our lives and we moved on in one way or another.My husband laughed at me and said I was foolish to think of any of them as friends that there is no such thing in this world as a true friend only acquaintances!
    Friendship – an intimate acquaintance! I have had the pleasure to have many friends in this life time but most have only turned out to be acquaintances. They seem to come and go just as fast. I use to think that everyone I came to meet would become or were my friends but it takes a special person to become a “real” friend. I have found out that some friends use you for the time and move on. Some will be there only when THEY need YOU. But a REAL friend is one that knows you, can feel your ups and downs, can sit with you not only in person but in thoughts and sometimes never even speak a word through their mouths. They don’t need to ask you how you are feeling today, they know. They don’t have to say they are sorry, you know. They don’t need to be with you every day, but “you know” they are with you every day. You don’t have to worry if you can trust them, because you just do. And when you hurt, or are happy they are too, for you. Even though they have no idea why you feel that way, they are just there. But most importantly…. “YOU MUST BE A “REAL” friend first”, and open up your heart and let them in.
    HUGS my friend.

  8. Hi Charlene,

    Thanks so much for your comment — it’s true, that we really depend upon our fans and readers so very, very much. I knew you would agree!

  9. Hi Kelly!

    How true — friends who eat organic. : ) But you make it so easy to be friends. There are not many people like you out there, either, Kelly. Sending you much love. : )

  10. Hi Taryn!

    I really agree with your words of wisdom. Interestingly enough you write as though you yourself aren’t a writer and you very much are! So I know how much you appreciate all your readers and fans, as well.

  11. Hi Ally,

    Thanks so much for your post. You are right. We get so darned busy in our lives that sometimes it’s hard to take time out to really appreciate what we have. Perhaps it’s the world we live in — where things are so fast and furious — or perhaps it’s our economy, that doesn’t permit one to garner much time anymore. I think it’s wonderful that your husband is your best friend. I also think that’s the way it’s supposed to be and I’d have to say the same thing about mine.

    But like you I’ve been lucky (knock on wood)to be blessed with some wonderful, true friends.

    Have a super day!

  12. Wow, Stacey, I loved your post. While not a shy person necessarily, I have been very shy in this business, I must admit. I once had to have a very dear friend hold my hand as I spoke to my agent — that’s how terrified I was. : )

    Like you, because of this business, I have so many more friends, some readers, some writers and I love each and every one of them.

    What an inspiring post, Stacey!

  13. Hi Mary!

    Again, I would never have known this about you. Thank you so much for telling me. Like I said, while I’m not necessarily a shy person about many different things, there are some things that make me withdraw and one of them used to be editors and agents. To me they were like semi-gods.

    But I’ve grown up now and have since realized that we are all human and all have human likes and desires. I may not be as shy as I once was where writing is concerned, but I certainly remember my back off which lasted, I must admit, about 14 years. : )

  14. Hi Nance!

    Thanks so much for your insightful post. You know, I probably shouldn’t say this, but I’ll go out on a limb here and say that I disagree with your husband. I think friends are to be found anywhere — and although we might lose touch over the years, they are still friends. And when you get together again, it’s almost as though time hasn’t moved on at all.

    Some people are better at writing than others. Some are so involved in their life and trying to raise a family and work and keep house, that’s it’s all they can do to finally crawl into bed at the end of the day. There are some people who are my dearest friends that I may not have seen in 20 years, and yet when we get together, it’s as though we are still in school, or still doing that class or still working together.

    I loved what you said at the end of your post, Nance. And thanks again. Wonderful words.

  15. Kay,
    I have been here waiting and reading your responses. LOL I neglected to add that today he is a very lonely man! And you are right to disagree as I have too all these years. I have always dreamed that he would be my best friend no matter what but I too have grown to learn that he is not and most likely never will be. How sad for him.


  16. Hi Nance!

    It’s too bad, isn’t it? I wonder if there’s something in his life that has caused him to have this attitude? Perhaps some emotional incident that’s just too hard to confront or something?

    But like you, I think that friends are the thing that makes us all a better person.

    Some friends will abandon us, and that’s too bad. But at least one doesn’t have to change in regards to them. One can always be a friend. Someday, they might change their mind and need us again.

    Have a super day, Nance!

  17. This is your friend whom you talk to daily. I wanted to be sure and connect with you here on this blog. I enjoy this site immensely and come here often.
    I am glad I have gotten to know you through your emails.
    Today is a blustery day in the Ozarks. I told my daughter is is so windy I cannot help but think of Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day. Better to smile about it. It got up to 69 degrees but now is dropping fast.
    Wish I were there with you where it is warm and not going up and down.
    Love to you and lots of hugs.

  18. “We who read seem to subscribe to the idea that we are still entitled to think for ourselves and we’d rather read about it ourselves and make up our own mind about things, events, people” – I really liked this statement. I’ve always been open-minded and just cannot understand people who are more like intolerant sheep lol. As for friends I always like the comment that you don’t have a choice as to who are your family members but you get to pick who your friends are! Great post.

  19. Where would we be without our reader/writer friends, Karen? My very first reader letter ever was from a woman in CA who read my first book. She invited me to dinner if I was ever in the area. It so happened I had a trip planned and took her up on it. We hit it off, and we’ve been close friends ever since, through so many ups and downs, joys and tragedies. When she started a web business, I had her design my beautiful web site. Barbara, if you’re out there and reading this, I love you!

  20. Hi, Kay, as usual I’m late coming in with a comment. Enjoyed your post very much. Tons of wisdom, and if I hadn’t been out of town, I would have been in the picture of the Amarillo folks. I’m sorry I missed the opportunity to meet you. Hopefully, you’ll come visit us again some day. Thanks for sharing your memories.

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