Guest Blog: “Thank an Author Day” – by Leslie Budewitz

Malice 2012 Agatha Winner Leslie Budewitz



Thank an Author Day

I’d like to declare a new holiday: Thank an Author Day.

Now I realize that coming from a writer, this sounds completely self-serving–because who doesn’t like to hear thanks? To hear praise, to hear that your work entertained someone, or helped them solve a problem?

I wrote last fall, on the late, lamented Lipstick Chronicles about the impact my daily gratitude practice has had on me. Cultivating the habit of saying thanks, directly to someone or simply to the Universe, for things large and small, has been enormously powerful. (Not to mention a great sleep aid, on difficult nights.) 

But since my first book came out, I’ve been experiencing gratitude on a whole new level. Yes, the cover still makes me smile–and so does the author photo. (Thanks to Nicole Tavenner, who took my panicked call on a Wednesday, fit in a portrait session on Thursday, and got me the files by noon Friday, so I could get them to the publisher when it turned out there was room for an author page and would I send my head shot toot-sweet?)

And oh, am I grateful to everyone who read, sold, reviewed, recommended, and otherwise talked about Books, Crooks, and Counselors–and for the incredible honor of the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction.

But I particularly want to acknowledge–to thanks for– thank you notes from readers. For this book, my readers are mostly other writers. They understand what it takes to make book–to conceive a workable idea, convince an agent or publisher to invest in it, get the words on the page, and get it out into the world.

My goal was to provide a reference that answered writers’ questions about legal issues that arise in their stories, and suggest specific, concrete ways the law can be used to deepen plots and characters and enrich setting. Hearing from writers that I’ve hit the mark, saved them hours of blind research, provided a detail that sparked an idea–well, it gives me deep satisfaction.

Those notes make it easier to write the next words. The work-in-progress is completely different–the first in my cozy mystery series, The Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries, set in a lakeside resort community in northwest Montana where locals and tourists alike are obsessed with food. The words don’t always come easily. They’re not always right. Some days the characters stumble and trip across the page.

But those two little words–“thank you”–help me keep my backside in the chair and my fingers on the keyboard.

So who have I thanked recently? Chris Pavone, for his thriller Expats, which my local book club read in March and discussed over ham sandwiches. He wrote back from the Amsterdam airport, in between flights and wishing he had a ham sandwich. (Read the book. You’ll want one, too.) Jane Friedman , whose presentation at the Flathead River Writers’ Conference last fall and blog posts have taught me invaluable lessons about writing and selling in the modern world.

So I am declaring Thank an Author Day. Whether reader or writer, your mission is to find the last book you loved or that made a difference for you. Google the author, and write an email. Nothing fancy needed–just those simple, but powerful words. Press send. You’ll both feel better, I promise.

Leslie Budewitz’s first book, Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law and Courtroom Procedure (Quill Driver Books) won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction. A practicing lawyer, she writes and blogs about ways writers can use the law in their fiction at .

Her cozy series, The Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries, set in Jewel Bay, Montana, a small lakeside resort community on the way to Glacier Park that calls itself “a Food Lover’s Village,” will debut from Berkley Prime Crime in 2013. Leslie lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a doctor of natural medicine, and their Burmese cat Ruff, an avid birdwatcher.

0 thoughts on “Guest Blog: “Thank an Author Day” – by Leslie Budewitz”

  1. Welcome Leslie! So glad to have you visiting “It’s Not Always A Mystery” this week. Congrats again on your Agatha win – glad they know what those of us in the legal or mystery writing business already realized – “Books, Crooks and Counselors” is a must have. dhg

  2. Great idea, Leslie! I think you’re going to make a lot of authors happy today.

    As someone who works on both sides (writer and editor) I’d like to thank you and the other folks who provide reference materials for writers and who are so generous in answering questions.

  3. Leslie, it never hurts to be reminded how a simple message of appreciation can make anyone’s day brighter and I’m going to try to be better about telling an author when I love her book 😉

  4. lawandfiction

    Notaword, you’re right — simple gestures can have big ripple effects!

    Ramona, you are most welcome! And thanks for your support!

    Debra, thanks for having me here today. You can probably see my “Agatha Award glow” through cyber-space!

    1. lawandfiction

      Debra, a delight to be here today! I’m afraid Gravatar didn’t like me and wouldn’t put my smiling face up — but hey, if that’s the only complaint in a day, what a great day!

      My thanks.

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