Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Your #1 Fan

Ran over to the public library to pick up some of your awesome book suggestions only to find it's closed until October 12! I felt like Clark Griswald pulling up to the gates of Wally World. Wha??? Closed?? So I hopped on my bike and pedaled to the next suburb over where the library is perfectly decent, but significantly smaller. They didn't have anything I was looking for, and I was in a hurry, so I picked up something just because the author is from Chicago (feeling a little Chi-town sentimental after the Olympics debacle). The title? The Amateurs by a guy called Marcus Sakey. Crime thriller, not my usual genre, but oh, man, I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN. Kept my eyes pried open until the wee hours just to get to the finish line. So exhilarating, no?

After finishing a good book, I usually bask in its glow for a while, thinking about the characters and the story and the art of putting it all together. Then, until this week, I'd return the book to the library or slide it back on my bookshelf, talk to a few friends about it, and that would be that.

But this time, armed with the @ sign and a Twitter account, I contacted Mr. Sakey just to let him know how un-put-downable his book was. I wrote a charming message in under 140 characters, hit enter and...felt like Annie Freaking Wilkes. I wrote a fan letter. I am truly a dork.

Or am I? Do people often do this? Do you? Social sites have definitely made our world smaller, ushering in an era of overfamiliarity. I felt well within my rights to contact Mr. Sakey directly, a far cry, I thought, from sending a letter to Ralph Macchio in care of Teen Beat magazine, complete with rainbow stickers on the envelope and purple ink. But, really, are they not essentially the same thing?

Then again, Ralph never wrote me back. I got a message from @MarcusSakey in less than 24 hours...hmmm...


  1. How fun! Glad to hear you ended up - unexpectedly - finding a great book and a great new author to read!

  2. What did it say? FUN! Name of book? Did I miss it? ;)

  3. The Amateurs. It's about four friends who've left their twenties behind and are kind of floundering about. They decide to rob the mobster boss of one of the group, and major complications arise. It was full of adreneline, but still had very important things to say about friendship, ambition, and the crisis of expectation. I highly recommend it.

  4. That's a nice Twitter story! I wrote one fan letter in my life: to Joe Bob Briggs. Really. I'm cool like that. He wrote back.

  5. Hey, I've met Ralph! I'll have to give him a talking to next time I see him...

    Sadly, I've written fan mail to too many people, it almost makes it less special. But each one represents a stage in my life:

    Santa Claus
    Punky Brewster
    Zack Morris
    Backstreet Boys
    Stephen King
    Dave Matthews
    Bill Murray

    I mean...total dork, right? I got gifts from "Santa" though, and some fan club stuff from "Gem" and for NKOTB--which I joined. Mark Paul Gossler "wrote" back and I actually ended up meeting BSB. Nothing from Stephen, Dave or Bill...but they're too cool (seriously, I love those guys) to write me anyway, so I didn't mind. Maybe I really should join Twitter and fulfill these dorky fan mail dreams...?

    And I'm done embarrassing myself.

  6. Jo-I think I'm most impressed by Punky Brewster. Seriously. Her outfits were fab.

    Stephen, Dave & Bill are like a cool guy triumvirate. "Crash into Me" was almost our wedding song, that is, until we decided some of the lyrics would upset my mom!

    So--you are feeling the Twitter pressure, aren't you? I say resist. You've cultivated an air of mystery--keep working it!

  7. Loretta, if I see you anywhere close to our house with an ax, I'm calling the police. Just sayin'.

    Jo - Just bite the bullet and join Twitter. You know you want to! Screw the air of mystery and opt for hours and hours of time wasted on the interwebs with the likes of us.

    Also, weren't you like 5 when NKOTB were singing Hanging Tough? I only ask because I was the biggest NKOTB fan EVER. Jordan and I were going to get married and I had a splatter painted pillow case and I was 25. Kidding, kidding. I was like 10, which means you were probably still incubating in your mother's womb.

  8. Loretta--I LOVED Punky Brewster. Soleil Moon Frye was soooo cooool.

    LiLa--I was 7 when they were Hangin' Tough came out, thank you. Oh, and I STILL have a paint-splattered sleeping bag in mint condition. It was the one thing I actually took care of when I was younger and I won't, won't, won't let my husband sell it on ebay--no way!

  9. *When they were Hangin' Tough


    *When Hang Tough came out

    Apparently I couldn't choose.

  10. Jo & LiLa--You guys were 7 & 10!!! It was `89 or `90, right?

    God, I was a freshman in college, sitting in coffeehouses lamenting the state of popular music and trying to seduce my TAs. Crap, I'm old.