The Essence of Fabulous

I was asked once what my favorite thing was about being a writer. My answer was probably the standard, “I get to write the books like the ones I loved as a kid and share them with the world.”

I’m adding a caveat to that today.

I do get to write the books I loved as a kid and share them with the world, but that world includes other authors…not just the ones I loved as a kid, but the ones who inspire me now, as well.

As many of you know, one of my 21 Most Influential Books of All Time is Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce. Her character George Cooper was my first fictional love, and I will  never, ever forget him.

I had sent Tamora an ARC of ENCHANTED, just because I wanted to imagine myself on her bookshelf somewhere. I discovered the other day on Goodreads (and squeed to the world) that Tamora had not only given it 4 out of 5 stars, but had also written about ENCHANTED: “It’s a wonderful mix-up of fairy-tale tropes, a clever love story, and a delightful tale all on its own!”

Now, forever and ever amen, I get to tell people that Tamora Pierce said this wonderful thing about MY BOOK. It’s such an amazingly special feeling. I’ve written fan letters to Tamora (and had her sign about 20 books the first time we met), and in essence, she’s written a fan letter to me in return.

I still have trouble processing the sheer importance of the whole thing. Boy, I wish I could go back and tell my fifteen-year-old self THIS!

In light of this experience, I’m sure you can imagine my unfettered glee at receiving another email last night…from the agency of Sarah Addison Allen.

Like me, Sarah was raised in the south and knows a thing or two about sisters. And magic. (Read 100 more random tidbots about Sarah here.)

I first listened to her debut novel Garden Spells as an audiobook, so I can honestly say that I fell in love with every word. It is the book I handsell most at the bookstore, when women come in asking me what to read (most don’t seem to like YA, fantasy, or SF, strangely enough). I’ve reviewed many of her books over at IGMS.

Word apparently got around to Sarah about what a champion I was of her work, so when ENCHANTED was released I asked to please send her my very last ARC. As with Tamora, I expected nothing. Then last night, the Jane Rotrosen Agency sent me this:

Sarah Addison Allen sent us a blurb for your novel, ENCHANTED. We’re glad to be able to pass it along. It is:

“I can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon than caught under Alethea Kontis’s  spell.  Enchanted is, in a word, enchanting.”

Joy. Absolute, tremendous joy and happiness.

That’s right, folks, I CAST SPELLS. You better watch out. Only right now, I feel like I’m trapped in one of my own. And it’s a really, really good one. *happy spins*

Sarah and Tamora, thank you classy ladies both so very, very much for sharing the love and making this little girl very, very happy. *hugs*


[If you have not read either of these books, clicking on the covers will take you straight to Amazon, where you can read more information about both of them. Tamora writes great YA epic fantasy with strong female characters. Sarah writes gorgeous adult contemporary  magical realism, set in the south. I highly recommend them both. –AK]