When Lauren Beukes tweeted that The Shining Girls had been picked up by Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way for development for television, I was thrilled for her. Not just for us, the folks who love the book, but genuinely happy for Lauren.
It felt (almost) like it was happening to one of my friends and I was glad for her success. I don’t know Lauren Beukes and we are not friends (well, there was that one tweet where she asked about my hardback … ), but I feel a connection to this writer-who-lives-in-my-twitter-feed and want her to do well.
Before you laugh at me (too late now) , think of all the protagonists out there in the literiverse and how we feel connected and get caught up in their lives. We want to root for them and we either do or we don’t based on what we see on those pages.
I was intrigued by my emotional reaction for someone who lives in my computer, so had a look at the literary folks that I follow on Twitter to see how I feel about them.
There’s my countryman who endures harsh winters, the follies of the Premier League and always seems to be writing at ungodly hours. The funny YA author whom I’ve never read, but relates her days with hilarity and warmth. The foul-mouthed book-production machine with the good advice, beard and really cute kid. The recently-moved author with a potential blockbuster YA series, who always writes before bed. Those smart SF guys who share nice, cool, sciency stuff that makes the world a better place. The highly-regard author who posts a welcome message for each new follower/subscriber and is every bit as welcoming in the real world.
There are agents whose postings remind me that there are people out there who are even more clueless than I am.
Then there is that author whose first book I loved, who signed with a publisher I like, scored a movie deal before the second book even came out and whose feed seems to be 99% robo-posts imploring me to retweet. There are the author/producers whom I have never heard of, but they followed me, so I followed them and they end up posting nothing but retweets that don’t tell me much beyond the fact that they don’t have anything original to say.
And I react to all of them.
For the folks falling in the first group, I want to buy their books. Even if I don’t want to read them. I want to buy their books for my kids, my family, my friends.
I feel connected and I love when they do well.
So, I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Lauren Beukes and to my other TwitterFriends™ who are enjoying success.