Monday, March 11, 2013

Touched by a Reader’s Reaction

Occasionally a piece of fiction has an effect on a reader beyond entertainment. Most of the time we writers don’t even know it. Out of thousands of readers, a few of them might contact a novelist with kind words, corrections, or commiseration. But rarely does a short story spark interest in a reader enough to contact the author.

I never expected that to happen to me. Especially since my shorts are usually flash length; essentially as soon as a reader dips into my world he/she pulls back out of it. This week I was honored to receive an email from Linda Weber, who is a counselor, author, and a member of Boulder Media Women. With permission I pasted it below.

Hello Karen,

I'm writing to let you know that I just published a blog post that includes a link to your beautifully crafted story, "The Snow Day." Thank you for writing it and for putting it out there to us in BMW. Here's the link to my post.

be well,


I was surprised and flattered that someone I’d never met took her precious time to read the story, then even more so that she told me her reaction to it. Even more remarkable and touching was that she felt the story was fitting for the readers of her blog, Life Choices, and that she chose to post the link.

Sometimes it is this kind of compliment that can keep a writer going. I wrote up a storm after reading her note. And will likely keep it handy in a file I’ll create called “much needed praise.”

I learned something very important from this. When you read something that stirs you with its topic, characters, theme, or the writing itself, consider letting the writer know. Most authors can be chased down, even the bestsellers can be contacted through their publishers. This feedback was an immeasurable kindness. I plan to pay it forward.

Have you ever let an author know how their work affected you?


  1. YES, but mostly at signings and conferences. Of course now it is pretty easy to contact many writers directly through FB, email, Twitter, or their blog if they have one. I will make a point to "give the love" more often though! There are soooo many that have my heart.

  2. Fantastic! You really touched that reader. That's what we all hope to do, but we rarely know if we succeed.

    I was able to tell Lawrence Block what he meant to me in a blog post that was a review of one of his books. He liked it so much that he reposted it on *his* blog.

    Here's the blog post if you're interested.

  3. I predict many more of those kinds of messages coming your way. Your writing is evocative.

  4. Tres cool, Inky!

    Yes, I have let several writers know how their work affected me. One (Rob Butts) even wrote back and we became near lifelong pen-pal friends until his death a couple years ago. Most of the others never got back to me, and one was like pulling teeth while TRYING to have a conversation with him.

    But, congrats on your new #1 Fan! :-]

  5. Wonderful! With the magic of Social Media. I have contacted several authors to let them know that I appreciate their books.