by Laura A. Grace
My Papa’s legacy lives on.
Granted, I don’t recall ever seeing him pick up a book (well, unless maybe it was a train book with lots of pictures) except his Bible when he got older.
Yet his extrovert self still inspires my introvert self to actively get to know other people online, especially authors and writers.
He and my Grandma would share stories of how he met so-and-so online and then, when on a cruise, go and meet that same person. More than once did they tell me how they got “exclusive tours” because of an online friend my Papa knew.
Reflecting on those stories, I am mind blown at how he used the internet to make new friendships that extend over the ocean (and he didn’t even have social media to do it!).
It’s even more exciting to know that I’m following in his footsteps.
Just as it was for him, the internet has opened new gateways that the seventh grade me never would have imagined as I began devouring Nancy Drew mysteries. I thought the most I would ever be able to do was read and tell friends (which I still do). However, someone introduced me to the idea of meeting and interacting with authors online and transformed my life as an avid reader.
Now my inner fangirl does a lot more of this:
And quite a bit of this:
Now I could easily be doing this outside of social media (which I still do at some point while reading, and on multiple occasions if I might add), but now I am able to use book blogging to really get to know authors. I can reach out via Facebook messenger or email and ask if they would be interested in an interview or guest post. Then somehow as we’re chatting, the conversation keeps going and this amazing thing sometimes happens … (insert big breath) I get to know and call them friend. Talk about a dream come true! I have to try and remember daily that these authors genuinely call me friend and not let my inner fangirl explode with squeals and giddiness in every conversation (but don’t worry, when they release a new novel, they get a big dose of that).
Recently my close writing mentor just released her short story on Amazon, and it is surreal to think how I can help get her book out there through blogging. I can show and talk about my friend’s story in a way that wasn’t possible when I first started reading in middle school (well, at least I thought wasn’t possible). I can make memes, do an interview, and make a fan-made book trailer to name a few fun ones.
Now I have to admit, it’s one thing to share the latest book trailer I made, but it’s whole other thing when I’m asked if I would be interested is hosting a blog tour under God’s Grace Blog Tours. By this point, I’m pretty sure my inner fangirl cannot help but faint from joy and excitement (whether I know the author or not). Not only am I able to gush all the amazingness of their story, but I get to do it with different bloggers all over the United States (sometimes even from all over the world).
Enter me stalking these bloggers’ sites for their posts of reviews, guest posts, or some other feature in the name of sharing the book love, and I feel my mission is partially complete.
What is my mission as an avid reader, book blogger, and blog tour host?
Support the author, read the book, and share the book love (no matter what order I do these).
Usually the final and even more fun part of my mission includes participating in one of the coolest virtual book events I know on the internet: Facebook parties.
Oh my goodness! What an epic way to chat with other readers and favorite authors. Enter lots of fun chat and games with giveaways, and you have this mega fangirl party with lots of squealing and laughter off screen (at least for this inner fangirl).
Yes, I can definitely say that I’m thankful my Papa showed me how wonderful of an adventure it can be when getting to know people online. A few years ago I would have been a nervous wreck even thinking about remotely wanting to reach out to people I don’t know (even at Facebook parties).
Not so much anymore. And as a result, my Papa’s legacy lives on.
Just with a lot more sequels of excitement and dancing over new book releases.
(Before I go, can I take a moment to share how I feel being featured on Ralene’s blog today? Yeah, I also might have been feeling this as I was reading her novel, Bellanok. Thank you, Ralene!) From Ralene: Aw, thanks, Laura. You know how to make a gal feel special.
Laura A. Grace loves to read with a passion. Her personal goal: to read all the books as well as write a few of her own (maybe even a hundred!). She’s a firm believer in spreading hope, and book blogging makes a perfect outlet. More than once her husband has caught her staying up late to support and get to know Christian indie authors online. You can find her in her North Carolina home, attempting to capture her characters and force them onto paper—or trying to read just one more chapter before going to sleep.
HOPE through the Pages (website): https://pagesandhope.com
I wrote an e-book, One Bookish Friend Challenge, sharing how I gave myself personal challenges to get to know other people online. I made it a freebie to those who sign up for my newsletter. You don’t have to share, but I thought I would mention it.
Here is the newsletter signup link and I’ll attach the cover in case you decide to share (again, if not, that’s totally okay): http://eepurl.com/csu9yr
Also, was unsure if I should mention, but if someone was interested in learning more about God’s Grace Blog Tours, here is the link: http://pagesandhope.com/gods-grace-blog-tours