How to Stalk Your Favorite Author

Today, we have a guest post from Nichole Parks, a BHP intern and a devoted reader. Enjoy her tips…I sure did!

Stalker

“Abridged” was a new word for me. I reread the back cover of the audio book case. My thirteen-year-old heart hiccupped. “Abridged” as in someone-had-cut-out-parts-of-the-story? That abridged? I scattered the rest of the audio CD containers around me. I hadn’t heard the entire O’Malley series.

With that, I took to scouring cbd.com.

The Negotiator and The Guardian fit nicely in my shelf. But I was thirsty by then. Anything Dee Henderson wrote, I read. I even took to reading other authors simply because of her endorsements.

I studied her website.

Scoured the Internet for interviews.

I memorized her back covers. No joke. I can pop one of them out like a verse—it’s not exactly something I’m proud of.

Then I decided, “Hey, why not be a writer like Dee Henderson?” So, here I am, majoring in writing and interning at Bethany House in the publicity department. This summer I finally landed an interview with best-selling author Dee Henderson.

Stalker level: expert.

(But please don’t tell my boss. She thinks I’m here for the advanced reader copies.)

And because it worked out so well the first time, I keep author-stalking as a hobby. Thanks to social media, it’s easier than finding a tape player to listen to The Rescuer on cassette. But you’ve still got to know which windows to peek through.

Level One: Observation

Author Websites

Think of the author website as the gateway. Here authors lay out all of their social media information. With a click and a smile you can access their blog, Facebook, or Pinterest.
Once you’ve entered the author’s website, take note of the subject bar. We’ll take contemporary romance novelist Melissa Tagg’s website as an example.

Her “About Me” offers a general description that you can find on the back of her book covers, but slide down the page and bingo. Childhood pictures. Personal quirks and likes stream as if she’s sharing her heart with you over coffee.

Stalking your favorite author is like befriending your child’s teacher. You trust the teacher with something precious and expect them to nourish that treasure. The same is true for the author and your time. By getting to know the author, you are making a connection and learning why you should entrust the author with your time.

Blogs

Does your favorite author blog? If so, you’re in luck!

Most authors journal, share devotions, and run contest on their blogs. Some have even been known to share bonus material with their followers or tell book secrets.

Book review bloggers love to host authors for guest interviews. Don’t forget to Google “Author Name interview” to see their Q&As.

Newsletters

Not every author blogs. If you’re romantic suspense novelist Dani Pettrey, you newsletter instead.

Compared to blogs, newsletters contain less information. However, don’t discount them. Newsletters contain the most important information, marketing material such as contest or excerpts, and usually a recipe.

Yum.

You will most likely find newsletter signups on the author’s website or blog.

Social media is a wonderful place for author stalkers.

Social media is a wonderful place for author stalkers.

Facebook

If your author is alive, she probably has a Facebook.

Facebook is another gateway. It notifies readers of new events like contests or new blog posts and updates on the author’s life.

Twitter  

Want to know what your favorite authors are reading? What cute thing their kid or grandkid did? Their verse of the day? Check their Twitter.

Pinterest

Pinterest is more than DIYs and memes. Authors are starting to pin! You’ll find character wedding boards, setting boards, and book boards for your stalking enjoyment.

Level Two: Interact

Don’t be afraid to let your author know she has a fan. Like and comment on the author’s statuses.

Review her novel.

Enter the contest or online chat party.

Level Three: Contact

Not many dare try contact, but let me tell you. Authors are more scared of you than you are of them. Authors have big hearts. They like to share their art and if readers are silent, their hearts break a little.

Author Website Email

Authors want to know if their books made you smile or laugh or think for a very long time after. So, please don’t second guess emailing them.

Book Signings and Conferences

Keep an eye on the author’s events page to see if she’s coming to a bookstore near you. Get her autograph and snap a picture.
Or see if your author is speaking at a women’s conference. If you’re a reader who’s a writer, watch for your author to teach at the writer’s conference.

Nichole Parks is studying professional writing at Taylor University who stalks authors with her free time.

Nichole Parks is studying professional writing at Taylor University.

Stalking my favorite author changed my life. Through her books, she taught me what good relationships look like: sacrifice. On her website, I learned how to write more effectively. And by her example, I’ve seen how to humbly offer your talent as a gift to God.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have authors to make “stalkable.” An intern’s work is never done.

Thanks for joining us, Nichole! A question for the rest of you readers: which author got you started on Christian fiction?

38 thoughts on “How to Stalk Your Favorite Author

  1. Hi Nichole!
    You aren’t the only author stalker! As soon as I find a new author I adore, I look for their Facebook page, check out their website to see what books I may have missed, and if I really loved their books, I send them Facebook messages or emails letting them know. 🙂
    To answer the question for readers, Dee Henderson. I read True Devotion and was hooked! I then proceeded to devour all of her books, then go back and read them all again and again. 🙂
    Thanks for a fun post that made me smile!
    ~Sarah

    • Sarah, I think we are kindred author stalkers. True Devotion is one of my favorite Dee Henderson novels. There’s just something about a Navy SEAL named “Bear” that makes for very cuddly rainy-day read.

      If you like Dee, you should also try Dani Pettrey. I’m quite the fan of her Alaskan Courage series.

  2. Good post — Your tips hold true for “regular” readers and blog reviewers. Grace Livingston Hill was my first Christian fiction author — read her when I was a teen SO MANY YEARS ago!

    Carol

  3. What a great guide to author stalking! If a reader ever tells me that they’ve memorized the back covers of my novels, I’ll know that I’ve (at last) written something stalker-worthy. 🙂

    Thanks for the post, Nichole!

  4. LOL I love this! I laughed so much. I have stalked many an author (and fine, sometimes I cyber stalk Chris Hemsworth. And Needtobreathe. Sometimes.) Man, think about how much harder it had to have been to stalk our faves before the internet, though? I mean, how did people do it back then??

    • Hahaha! I’ve done a little Chris Hemsworth cyber stalking myself. “Back in the day” (Not too far back though, I’m still only in my mid-thirties) I would write letters to my favorite actors and singers and send it via snail mail. Yep, true story. Usually, I’d get some stock photo with a printed signature in return. Oh yeah, posters covered every inch of my walls. I bought tons of those teeny-bopper magazines, made mixed tapes and wrote letters. I went to all the concerts and speaking engagements I could. Good times!

  5. “Authors are more scared of you than you are of them. Authors have big hearts. They like to share their art and if readers are silent, their hearts break a little.”

    So, so true! Great post, Nichole!

    • The authors I have the honor of helping write so creatively and vulnerably that it makes my day when the readers respond in the like. 🙂

  6. Ok, I’ll confess that Grace Livingston Hill was the first Christian fiction author I read. My grandmother and mother had her books. My part time job in graduate school was at a used book store! I started collecting every GHL book at used paperback prices. My current favorite author is Dee Henderson. I’m very close to having all of her books. She includes suspense, Christian love, humor and sharing of the gospel with the best character development and interaction I have ever read. Besides being an amazing Christian author, she is also an author who graciously replies to emails.

    • Charlyn, I’ve read all but two of Dee Henderson’s books. I keep meaning to read the new ones then get pulled back into reading my favorites. 🙂 There so good!

  7. Loved this post! My first favorite author was Janette Oke, then Gilbert Morris, and then Lauraine Snelling! Back in the early 90’s I had no idea how to author-stalk–too bad this list wasn’t available then. 🙂 Now I’m an expert author-stalker. There are so many amazing, talented authors to choose from, and social media has made author-stalking a breeze. I hope you had an awesome internship at Bethany House!

    • Thanks for the comment, Gabrielle. Believe it or not. I am still doing a little interning for Bethany House. I am rather quite found of it. 🙂

  8. I first read True Devotion and was hooked from then on. Dee Henderson is probably my most favorite author and I’m loving the fact she’s writing so much these days. I’m currently enjoying Undetected . The way she continues to improve on her already amazing writing skills is so cool to witness.

  9. Nichole, I love the post. It made me laugh. I can so relate. When I discover a new author, I find myself online trying to learn all I can. This past May, I went to Book Expo America for the first time and was a total fangirl when I found out Dani Pettrey was signing her latest book! Made sure I was the first one in line 🙂 Oh, and I LOVE Dee Henderson!
    My first Christian author was Hilda Stahl and her Elizabeth Gail series. As an adult, it was Michael Phillips and his Stonewycke series..

    • Oh! I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Jen. In all honesty, my first Christian author was Nancy Rue. Mom read me a couple of the Lily books.

  10. The author who got me into reading Christian fiction, specifically romance, was Lori Wick. I then branched to Karen Kingsbury, Mary Conneally, Dee Henderson (who lead me to Lynnette Eason, Irene Hannon, and Dani Pettrey) I tend to buy their books in ebook format as well as print. I hate loaning out my books as I don’t seem to get them back, so if someone is interested in a book that I’ve talked about I’m more likely to buy them their own copy – this benefits me (don’t have to worry about my own copy), my friend (does’t have to worry about remembering to return the book expecially if a pet or child got ahold of it) and the author with royalties.

    • Elaine, you read my bookshelf. 🙂 Just the thought of Eason’s Dakota Richards makes me grin. And Mary Conneally! By the time I finish one of her books, my stomach hurts from laughing.

  11. Totally loved this post! I’ve been author stalking Melissa Jaegers lately and hoped I wasn’t scaring her. I also stalk Sarah Addison Allen although she isn’t a Christian author. Nichole, I certainly believe you will have author stalkers.

  12. If have to say Dana Mentink and Julie Klassen got me started on Christian Fiction. I like the way they balance faith in their stories. It’s just enough to encourage and not too much to offend.

  13. Reblogged this on Scribbles and Somedays and commented:
    Oh, Nichole! I am envious indeed of your Bethany House internship!

    Nichole’s post on author-stalking is laugh-out-loud brilliant, to use a term recently endeared to me by Roark St. John of Susan May Warren’s The Wonder of You. And her favorite author is Dee Henderson, one of my all-time, ain’t-never-going-to-change favorite writers!

  14. Nichole! I’m studying professional writing at Purdue University! Does Taylor have a strong PW program? (Well, silly question, Sarah! She wrote this lovely post on one of your favorite hobbies, and Bethany House hired her as an intern!) 😉

  15. One of my favorite authors is Hilda Stahl, but I can’t find much on her. She doesn’t have a website and died a year after I was born in 1993. Does anyone have info?

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