There is a coffee mug at Barnes and Noble that one of these days I’m going to buy. It says, “Choose an author as you would a friend.” I love that. In fact, it is the way I choose many of the contemporary authors I read.
It’s why I love going to conferences and meeting writers. Of course, the real issue is that I’m a cheapskate. I don’t want to pay $10, $15, $20 for a book and then hate it. So I wait. But even good reviews don’t push me over the edge the way connecting with an author does. Whether listening to their heart as they teach or connecting through actual conversation, when I find an author I enjoy as a person, I’m much more inclined to spend my money on their book. That’s why I bought my first Brandilyn Collins book a couple of years ago, even though I’m really not a suspense reader, and a Randy Ingermanson book, even though time travel isn’t my niche either. It was the same with Meredith Efken, Rene Gutteridge, Kristen Billerbeck, and others. When I read their books, it is like listening to a friend.
So I came home from the conference with a whole new group of friends for my bookcase. Susan Meissner, Deanna Gist, Susan May Warren, Deborah Gypanog. And each one is calling to me as a friend.