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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What do you love most about being an author?

I've always been in awe of authors who can weave characters and plots into stories that make me gasp or laugh or sob so hard I can’t breathe. (If you’ve ever tried reading Where The Red Fern Grows to a class of sixth graders, you know what I’m talking about!) Having the ability to write something so strong and true seemed like the coolest thing in the world.

When I started writing, I appreciated even more the mental gymnastics required to knit together words that would bring my characters, actions, and emotions to life. Which makes being an author the perfect job for me because I'm in love with language. I get major satisfaction from digging into my thesaurus for words that will slip into my sentences like the key pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and create pictures for my readers. To put it simply, I like to play with words.

Being an author has put me in contact with many creative, fascinating people I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise. Each author, bookseller, agent, editor, blogger, and event promoter I’ve met has given me fresh insight into writing and publishing. More importantly, they’ve enriched my life with their friendships and encouragement. Authors are the most supportive people I know—in person or in cyberspace.

And I am so honored to hear from teens and adults who are fans of my book. When a teen writes, “I found your book very addicting and read it all in one sitting because I could not put it down!” or someone simply says, “I loved it!” I smile, and sometimes my eyes water a little. And then I thank them. Because nothing amazes me more than a stranger who reads my book and takes the time to tell me she enjoyed it.


Julie Wilson said...

I love reading your blogs on here!

Jenny O'Connell said...

That is so funny, our entire 5th grade class sobbed - including the teacher - when she read WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS aloud to us.

Kali VanBaale said...

Jan, love this!

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

I love the jigsaw too, Jan. And yes, fans of YA and fellow YA authors are the best :)