Vickie Fee

Depending on the kindness of authors—and other strangers

I remember the very first author I friended on Facebook. It was Jess Lourey. I met her at Murder and Mayhem in Milwaukee, where she had appeared on a panel. After the session, I worked up the courage to speak to her. I told her I’d just signed a book deal and that my first book would be coming out in a little over a year. She was congratulatory and not only signed a book for me, she invited me to friend her on Facebook. This was even after an awkward moment when I may or may not have briskly rubbed her upper arm (in a totally platonic way, I assure you). Long story. Anyway, I was already a Jess Lourey reader. Her kindness made me a fan.

In the months before my first book released, other writers and members of the mystery community were also incredibly generous to this first-time author, including Dru Love, who hosted me on her blog, and Sherry Harris who invited me to guest on the Wicked Cozy Authors.

I connected with other authors at conferences and online, including some cool Chicks I now call friends. I corresponded with some, and they were nice enough to answer my greenhorn questions. (My agent is a patient woman, but she had already fielded countless questions from me and I thought I should give her a break.) As my books released, I asked some authors I’d never met in person to do bookstore signings with me—and they said ‘YES’! (Thanks, Peg Cochran, Allyson K. Abbott/Annelise Ryan, Julia Buckley, and Stephanie Blackmoore.) And I have a signing coming up in July with the fab Maggie Pill/Peg Herring.

My fourth book was recently released and it’s been two-and-a-half years since my first book came out. I still feel like a newbie author in many ways, but I’ve now had the opportunity to see book signings and author presentations from the other side of the table. In fact, I was lucky enough to be invited to lead a session at a regional conference last Saturday on “Writing the Traditional Mystery.” I had an attentive and interactive audience, who laughed at the right times and asked lots of good questions. And afterwards some people came up and said they had read my books, asked me to sign a book, related that they’d met me at a book signing, or told me they were working on a novel.

I truly hope people enjoy the books I write—but when folks who have (or have not yet) read my books meet me—I hope even more that they remember me as the author who was kind. And I try to remember to invite them to friend me on Facebook.

In the comments, share about meeting a favorite author or someone who was kind/encouraging to you at the beginning of your career.

39 thoughts on “Depending on the kindness of authors—and other strangers

  1. This is a wonderful post. I agree, I have yet to meet anyone who isn’t fabulous. I’ve met many authors who are more excited about me starting my career than I am!
    My most memorable meeting? My first. Was cruising through the Tattered Cover (pedestrian, not in a car!) one day, and there was this crowd sitting, frozen in awe as they listened to a speaker. I sat down to find out what was so exciting. It was Dianne Mott Davidson, talking about this thing called a cozy mystery. FYI, this was like her 7th book.
    What the heck is that? I asked myself. I listened to the talk and was sold on the concept immediately. I rushed to the cashier to buy her latest book while people stood in line to get the books signed. I very shyly handed my book to her, and something stupid like “I’ve never heard of this cozy thing, but I like cooking and mysteries, so it sounds like fun. Will you sign my book?” She then spent like 5 minutes explaining the concept of cozies to me.
    I’ve been in love ever since.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes! I’m still surprised for some reason when I meet an author whose books I love and they’re SO nice. I guess I’m thinking, “Don’t you know what a big deal you are?!”

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  2. Annette Riggle Dashofy, Beth Terrell (Jaden Terrell) and Jacqueline Rhoads went out of their way– way out of their way– to encourage me. In fact, I may name my heroine for Beth. I read all their works and comment freely.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jackie, I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Beth or Jacqueline in person, but I know Annette is a sweetie! And best of luck with your WIP!

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  3. Waving to Vickie! We had a blast at our book signing/talk at B&N. Fortunately our hubbies hit it off because we were too busy talking to pay any attention to them! I have to give a shout out to Krista Davis. I would definitely not be where I am today if it hadn’t been for her opening a door for me and providing tons of guidance. It’s a wonderful community to be a part of!

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  4. Thanks for the mention Vicki. I love helping new and established author anyway I can. I love meeting authors, especially after being on social media and then meeting for the first time. It’s like we’ve always been friends. It’s a good feeling.

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  5. Great post, Vickie! It was a delight meeting you and your husband when we did a library presentation together. I hope to see you again soon. And you’re right–mystery writers are a friendly, hospitable group!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. The very first author friend I made online was Cynthia Harrison. If you’ve never heard of her it’s because she writes mostly romance. But she recently figured out mysteries are better (no bias here, just stating facts!) and her first crime novel comes out this year. I am so excited for her. Also excited because, after five years of online friendship, I will finally get to meet her in person at Bouchercon. I’m hoping to meet some other authors there whom I only know online too, including the fab Jess Lourey and some of you wonderful Chicks!

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  7. What a lovely post, Vickie! I agree with Mark. The kindness of the mystery community has truly changed my life. It’s given me more faith in myself. It really shows the ripple affect (effect?) of kindness. You’ve inspired me to do something kind today! And every day, of course. 😉

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  8. Most all the authors I’ve come across on fb and in real life are so kind, generous, giving, humble and tons of fun! I feel authors are a big deal and what they do is hard, tedious work, I don’t care how much they love their work, it’s hard.( Even if I do not prefer their type of read or not, is beside this point). The mystery community of authors are my favorite and are Fantastic!!! I’m just a reader, not an author, but in my book..Super duper job!!!! I thank and appreciate y’all.

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  9. For me, my first real mystery conference was Crime Bake in 2014. It was where I first realized exactly how amazing the mystery community was. I got to meet Lisa in person. (She initially reached out to me online through Guppies.) I also met an amazing thriller author named Peter Swanson. I’ll never forget how we all ended up kinda hanging out throughout the conference. I just remember thinking “Wow. I have author friends. How amazing.”

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    • Aww…that was a great conference, Kellye! I remember us eating cheese and crackers in my room so we could keep our strength up. And history was made…Here’s to the next great conference!

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  10. Vickie, I don’t think there’s a day that’s gone by lately that I don’t think about this very thing. It’s what keeps all of going, imho. Thanks for putting the feelings into perfect words!

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