Monday, July 27, 2009

Review from the Boss

About twenty years ago (geez has it been that long!!!?) the director of adult education in my New York upstate county hired me as her executive secretary. At the time, I was dressed in muddy sweat pants and a tee-shirt with a little rip in the shoulder seam.

I had been unemployed for nearly a year and was attending job training through a government program. The thing about government programs is that they don't pay unemployment benefits if you don't show up for class.

I spent the morning with the house hunk under our double wide mobile home trying to repair a broken pipe. Suddenly I realized it was getting late, checked the time and knew if I was going to reach school in time to be counted for that day there was simply no time to change clothes. In this case, the money was far more important than my appearance. The hunk was on disability, I was on unemployment, and we had six people to support (teenagers and adults).

So off I went to school after a quick brush down. When I arrived my instructor told me about the job available downstairs in the adult education office. I ran down, picked up an application, went back upstairs to class and filled it out. Then at my instructor's urging, I took it back downstairs and turned it in, after asking about an appointment for an interview.

The gal that took my application, carried it into the director's office as though she might catch something contagious. She came back in a couple of minutes and said, "She'll see you now."

"I'm not dressed for an interview," I protested.

"She knows." I swear the woman was pretty sure I was a washout.

Anyway, there I sat in the director's office, fielding questions and discussing my qualifications. No one was more shocked than I was when she hired me. Later--much later--I asked her why she hired me. She smiled and said, "I knew anyone who could handle an interview under those conditions could handle whatever might come along in this office."

I held that position thirteen years until the house hunk was transferred to a different state. I've kept in touch over the years and when my first book, Dancer's Delight was contracted, she was one of the people that wished me well.

That was over two years ago. Imagine my surprise when I received a note from her this last week. "Dancer's Delight! I just finished your book and found it delightful. Such a creative storyline! A delightful read."

The next day, I received another message..."I’m just mad at myself for taking so long to buy one of your books. I seldom go to the bookstore except in an airport, when we are going on a trip. My mother and I exchange books frequently so she keeps me stocked! Then I was afraid of ordering on line as I didn’t want to get hit with lots of junk e-mail…. Anyway, I loved it and will read another of yours soon, I am sure.

I’m so proud to know I personally know an author!"

I love receiving fan mail from all my readers, but this one was special. This was from a former boss whose opinion I strongly respect. So yeah... this was EXCELLENT!

How about you? What's you're favorite review or fan letter story?



  1. What a great fan letter! I have received a number, and have to giggle about the things they say. They tell me that they had to e-mail me in the middle of a chapter to tell me how they are laughing their fanny off at something my hero or heroine say, but this one was the most recent and startling.

    I was updating some old websites that I have maintained for many years from my Women's Martial Arts Association, and I contacted one of the women I knew casually when I was heavily into Martial Arts. She runs her own MA website. I asked to to update my web addy and then asked her how she was doing. She confided that she was not into MA recently since she just gave birth to twins, and I wrote back and told her I wasn't either, but it was because I wrote romance.

    She emailed back and said, "Wow! I just submitted a sci-fi romance to a publisher a few days ago." I sent her my covers to show her what I had written.

    Today, I got this e-mail:

    "okay, i just finished reading "out of her dreams" and i have two words for you--you rock!!!

    that was great stuff, lady! and i have to tell ya, i literally laughed out loud when sam went into the ring.

    unfortunately, it looks like i'll have to wait a bit to read the two other books you mentioned, but having read the first one, i can easily see how you got published. that was seriously good stuff! keep up the good work! :)"

    It was a pleasant surprise. :)

  2. What a wonderful surprise to have a former boss praise your writing, Anny. And she has great taste!

    Fran, you've had an awesome letter too.

    Sorry to say, no fan mail just yet.

  3. What a wonderful note, Anny.

    All the reader mail I receive is special. But I did get a note from a woman who was bed-ridden and very ill. She told me that my books took her mind away from her troubles and made her feel better, if only for a short time. That fact that one of my books could do that really made me feel good.

  4. Anny,
    What a great story! It's wonderful to have someone you respect admire your work. Fran was the first person who contacted me after my first story was published and her review made my day!

  5. How wonderful, Anny!

    No fan mail, but the best response so far has been the woman who bought my first book on a Thursday during a craft fair; she showed up on Friday and casualy mentioned she was enjoying it. On Saturday, she made a beeline for my booth, slapped both hands on my table and exclaimed, 'I loved it! I couldn't put it down...when's the next one coming out?'

    Amber, as soon as I read one of yours, I'll email you:)

  6. Any! It ALWAYS is a huge thrill to know someone enjoyed one of my books.

  7. How wonderful, Anny!

    When I was having a crisis of confidence, a fellow author sent me 16 emails one night. In each was a short comment referencing a specific line, or scene or emotion from Ageless Desires and why she liked them. It made me laugh and cry and get writing again!

    Tessie Bradford