Today I visited Imagicon, a local and, compared to the other fantasy and science fiction cons I’ve been to, slightly smallish con. I ended up getting to talk to a friend that is slowly becoming quite the excellent author, after which I went to a lecture by an author I had never met before but who had written a bunch of very cool books. Between the lecture, the conversation, and something another friend of mine pointed out a couple of months ago, I had a bit of a realization. We don’t always let the people that do things we value know we appreciate them. This goes for friends that organize parties and gaming days but also for the authors whose books we thoroughly enjoy.
Now, I am quite the ferocious reader. I love to disappear in the world of a story. There a quite a few books that I’ve read more then once, just because I couldn’t get enough of the book, the characters and the world depicted inside. I firmly believe in voting with my wallet. So I tend to translate my admiration of the work of an author into purchasing more of their books. But just because you’ve bought a book, doesn’t mean you liked it and appreciate the author for the grueling work of writing it. Putting in my part of enabling them to write more is not the same as a simple note saying a heartfelt ‘thank you’. And since authors are human too, the second bit should not be forgotten.
That leaves the bit of ‘but I don’t want them to have to take time out from their lives in order to answer me’. They write their books. That’s enough for me. But then again, they don’t have to answer me. They don’t even really have to read the message I’d send them. Giving them the opportunity to read it and learn they’re valued for what they do, is actually enough.
So I guess I have some letters to write in the coming weeks. To let people I can’t say it to in person, know I appreciate them for what they do.