Chick Chat: Our Favorite Fan Moments

Being an author of mystery novels can be lonesome, stressful, aggravating, and plain hard work. But the benefits FAR outweigh the negatives, and one of the best parts of this life is interacting with our readers. So today, we’re talking about our favorite fan moments we’ve had over the years.

Lisa Q. Mathews

I am beyond thrilled and grateful when readers just come up and say “Hi, I think I know you!” I especially love it when they talk about my characters as if they’re real people. (Maybe they are?) Especially Dorothy’s nemesis, Gladys Rumway, and the ever-precocious Juliette-Margot. I get lots of spin-off story suggestions for both of them, and much sympathy for my sleuth Dorothy who has to deal with that loudmouth Gladys.

 Ellen Byron

My favorite moments are when I get an email or message saying my books brought a bright spot to someone’s difficult days. A couple of years ago, I got this message from a reader: “I am 76 years old and my husband is 77. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 4 years ago and I am his caregiver. Little by little he is ‘leaving me’ after 55+ years of marriage. My cozy mystery books are my ‘escape’ every night. I try to read for an hour each night before turning off the light and going to sleep. Thank you for writing wonderful books I had trouble putting away and going to sleep.” This message moved me so much I turned it into a graphic I titled, “Why I Write.”

And meeting the readers and bloggers at conferences! What a fabulous experience. I love the Author-Reader Connections at Left Coast Crime. I’ve become friends with readers I met through these events. In fact, I needlepoint every chance I get with reader Ruth Behling on the Saturdays she works at Needlehearts, a nearby shop. I’m a fan of all of YOU, readers, reviewers, and bloggers!

Leslie Karst

I love, LOVE interacting with my readers, so any chance I get to do so is a favorite time for me. But if I had to choose my most favorite of the favorites, it would have to be at Malice Domestic back in 2016, when the first book in my Sally Solari series, Dying for a Taste, had just been published. There I was, having just sat on my very first ever panel, now sitting at my very first ever book signing table, and lo and behold, someone actually came up to me with a copy of my book they’d just purchased, and ASKED ME TO SIGN IT! Wow. What a fabulous feeling.

And to make it an even better story, I do believe that first purchaser/asker-for-a-signature was none other than our pal and wonderful blogger/reviewer, Mark Baker! (Two days later, Mark and I ended up in the same Metro car on our way to the airport and got to further chat–another lovely author-reader moment.)

Kathleen Valenti

There aren’t enough exclamation points to express the excitement and gratitude I feel when I hear from a reader. There have been some lovely moments, but my favorite is when a reader sent me a book bag embroidered with my name, as well as that of the series. It was so incredibly kind, and that book bag has gone on many on adventure with me (just like the books within).

Becky Clark

Every gushing email I get from a reader makes me positively gooey—the ones that say my books helped them get through the darkest times in their lives, or just that I gave them a giggle, or that they want to hang out with my characters, or that my ending surprised them. But my very favorite note from a reader was an actual letter written by an actual kid (I know this because he handed it directly to me) after he’d read my very first book published, a middle grade historical fiction. “I didn’t like to read until I read your book.” If I did nothing else in my career, I could happily point to that as one of my proudest achievements.

Jennifer Chow

Cozy mystery readers are the best! Tammy B. made a special drink recipe (“Mimi Lee Fluffs Up A Clue”) for my Sassy Cat series. Risa R. asked me to sign several iPad covers over the years. And guess what? She actually frames them and puts them on her wall. At Malice Domestic last year, I met up with Angela Maria Hart of the Cozy Mystery Book Club. She interviewed me with her amazing recording equipment, complimented my work, and offered me a thoughtful gift bag. Thank you, fans, for showering us with love and making us feel like movie stars!

Readers, drop us a note in the comments below!

23 thoughts on “Chick Chat: Our Favorite Fan Moments

  1. I have had many author meetups since I have been going to Bouchercon since 1992 and Left Coast Crime (LCC) since 2000. But like Ellen, I really enjoy the LCC author-reader connections which started in Portland in 2015. That is when I first met Becky and her pal Peg Brantley at dinner. Your author-reader connection at this year’s ABQ LCC was so much fun!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Grace, I’m so glad I met you! That was such a fun time in Portland. We had absolutely no idea what to expect. I think that was my first LCC and their first Author Reader connection, but it was marvelous and a great new tradition. I’ve done at least one Author Reader Connection at every conference and I love every one of them! (And yes, Albuquerque was a HOOT!)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. LESLIE: Yes, I met you and Ellen at the Phoenix LCC author-reader connection Crooked Lane lunch. But I really loved the Honolulu LCC Chicks author-reader connection with Marla playing the ukelele and your singing!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoy going to the occasional convention, book signing, workshops, etc,
    Meeting people, we as readers, think are unapproachable, because they are famous authors.
    But nope, seeing them as real people who truly enjoy meeting their fans is surreal.
    My favorite COTC moment? Watching Leslie whoop and holler when Ellen won the Agatha. Yes, those cheers and crying at the Oscars are real, unless Ellen learned a heck a lot of acting from Tony Shalhoub.
    But the all time best for me was when I met Lee Child at a signing at sleuthfest. He was asking about what I liked to read and talking of books and movies in general. He was very humbling when he warned me about his books. He was afraid they may be too intense for me and wasn’t sure I’d like it. Imagine an author trying to talk you out of buying his book!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. That was one of MY favorite moments, too, Hestia–when Ellen won the Agatha! And I love your story of Lee Child, lol! But truly, the first time I met you, when you sat at my Malice table, was pretty darn terrific, as well!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Cozies do get me through the tough times. The last couple of years have been tough for me and my family. The books are a way that I can escape for a short time and spend some time with favorite characters, and join them on their many adventures. I plan on going to Malice next spring and hope to get to meet all of you!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Carol, if you can do it, I highly recommend malice! I try to go every year I can afford it. Granted I live in the area, but I refuse to miss a single moment and stay at the hotel.
      And yes, these cozies have gotten us through a lot the last couple of years, haven’t they? The cozy has helped med deal with my father. I couldn’t have done everything I have to without my cozy friends to keep me sane.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. I adore the authors I read. My faves… my chicks. 😉 I’ve only had the pleasure of meeting one so far (in person) Lots of messages, texts, emails, and zooms though. I like the authors to know I separate the author and book from the person they are. If I’m speaking to them (say if a pen name is involved) and not talking about their books, I use their given name. I want the person- I already know the author. There is a difference.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. It was great to meet Lisa, Jennifer, Leslie and Ellen at Malice this year. Speaking of great moments as a writer though, I’ve just had my best yet. My novel Killers! has been chosen as a finalist for the Silver Falchion award at Killer Nashville this year. I’m going to risk Covid to go go to the awards dinner to find out if it wins.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Leslie, I was wondering if that was me. I definitely remember getting to ride with you part of the way to the airport from Malice. That was my first Malice, too, and I was thrilled to get to extend it a bit talking to you.

    (I was on vacation last week, so I’m just now seeing this.)


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