By Jenny Blake
Continuing on from last weeks blog post on readers responses to Goodreads this week I am writing about how a groups can bless both authors and readers.
Last week I mentioned both the Love Inspired Historical group and also Janet Tronstad - Dry Creek & Other Stories groups. Both these books have been a blessing to me. About 2 years ago I ended up in hospital after collapsing at home and the LIH group were so caring after I got back home. It was like having an extended family around the world. Then when my mother passed away they blessed me with a small gift. The group has also supported others who have had a loss or illness in similar ways. The reason this group is such a caring group is that the members share with each other and support each other. It is more than just a group where readers communicate with authors instead we see them as friends.
Last year a group of us meet in Spokane last year in May. This came about with my going to America for a holiday and planning to visit Spokane. Both the LIH group and Janet Tronstad's group were involved. A group of about 12 of us meet in Spokane for a weekend. The meeting took place over 4 days with most arriving on the Friday and leaving on the Tuesday morning. I was doing a tour so couldn't arrive til the Sunday afternoon which meant I missed out on meeting Camy Tang. Below is a photo of 10 of us take by one of the 2 husbands who were also there. This is not long after I arrived and at this stage I was extremely exhausted and overwhelmed. One of the other ladies had to leave early but am so glad we got time to meet.
These groups have been there for me in many difficult times and it was so good to finally meet some of the ladies. We had a great time getting to know each other better. We had time to visit on the Monday had a special lunch thanks to Janet Tronstad and Jillian Hart. This is where we had to say good bye to two of the couples which was sad to do. My biggest regret was not having longer with the group but it was definitely worth the visit. As a reader meeting authors is exciting and can leave us a little tongue tied but having known these ladies online it was more like meeting friends.
As a reader having a chance to meet other readers and authors who we have gotten to know online is a privilege and I hope to be able to meet them all again at some stage. This came about from a Goodreads group and I wrote this to show how a group can be beneficial.
In America there are many reader appreciation luncheons where authors and readers have a chance to meet and in July we will be hearing more about this from an authors point of view. I would love this sort of opportunity in Australia also.
Have you ever been to an Author/Reader event? Or would you be interested in participating?
Would love to hear what others think.
JENNY BLAKE (aka Ausjenny) is an avid reader. When not reading she enjoys watching cricket, in fact you could call her a cricket fanatic, and jigsaws. Her book blog is where she reviews books and interview authors. Her goal is to help promote new books and encourage authors. Her blog is at http://ausjenny.blogspot.com and is Co-Founder of http://acrba.blogspot.com