Thank goodness for a short work week this week. I’m so sorry to those who have to work either on Thanksgiving, on Black Friday, or both days. I remember having to work Black Friday when I was working at Macy’s and it was NOT fun for me. I think that was my first experience working with such a huge crowd and having such a long shift where you had a mix of patient people and jerks that just wanted to have you do whatever they wanted for them. I think from that point, I have always made it a point to never do any sort of shopping or leaving the house on holidays like that because I don’t want to contribute to the notion that customers will forgo spending time with their families to shop, which means employees will have to forgo entire days with their families to work a store.
But that’s just me. I also don’t like crowds anymore so I tend to avoid any big sales involving a huge group of people. That’s a huge no-no for me!
This week’s prompt is a Thanksgiving Freebie, so we get to think about something that we are thankful for in regards to books or bookish things. I sat on this for a little bit, and I don’t know how this one will be, but I think I wanted to share the authors that I’m thankful for. While this isn’t a full list, these are the authors that have made an impact on me this year that has really shaped me and the ventures that I want to take in the future to support more authors. So, I have to thank them for being so influential to me in ways that they probably had no idea of.
I never thought that I would have the opportunity to speak with Pintip in person – on Zoom but still – and learn more about her both as a person and as an author. I’m sure I’ve mentioned a little bit of my talks with her on another post before but I still smile thinking back on it. Pintip is one of the first authors that I truly wanted to work with when I first started Hear Our Voices, and I was so thankful that her and Entangled Publishing gave our new company that opportunity to do right by this amazing novel, and this amazing person. I wouldn’t take away that experience for anything, and I am a forever fan of Pintip.
Not only was I so thankful that this book came into existence this year, but I was so honored to be able to interview Tracy and get to know her in such a way that I could never imagine. Throughout our entire conversation, I was just constantly in awe of her story, extremely emotional by what she went through and how rather than letting that keep her down, she used that to bring to the world what Legendborn is today. I felt like it was such an amazing tribute to her mom, and her family, and I thought it was so beautiful. Tracy is a beautiful person and I couldn’t have been more grateful to learn from her.
Amparo was one of the first Latinx authors in the book community that has been such a huge source of positivity in my life in 2020. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to speak with her or even get to Tweet her if it wasn’t for Natalia, and I think it is so amazing to be able to support Amparo in everything that she does. When I saw that she was getting Blazewrath Games shirts made, I knew that I had to get my shirt. I freaking love it so much, and I know that I would do as much as I can to support Amparo, especially with how much she helped make a positive impact in my life.
Oh my gosh, I could write a whole post about June – but I won’t because that may be a little embarrassing and I don’t want to do that! From the moment that I had the opportunity to read The Silence of Bones, I knew that June was going to be a forever auto-buy author for me. I also had the opportunity to listen to some of the panels that she participated in and learned more about her process in writing The Silence of Bones and why it was important for her to bring this story into the world. June’s energy and positivity in social media is just so heartwarming and makes me so glad to be able to support her as much as I can. I’m so thankful that she has her stories in the world, that she’s still writing, and that I have the opportunity to read her stories and share my love for them. I truly can’t wait to read The Forest of Stolen Girls when it comes out, and I hope that I can get to speak with her on a one-on-one level in the future.
Amelie was one of the first authors that I got to interact with on a live chat through the TBR & Beyond Facebook group. I was so worried that the questions that I wanted to ask were going to be either too nuanced or just… not cool enough to answer. But she answered a lot of my questions, and I thought that was so cool! It also changed the way that I thought about Blood Heir, and hearing more of her personal story, I could see the instances in Blood Heir that are reminiscent of what Amelie went through in her life. Being able to hear about her past in this kind of personal level made me really thankful that she was willing to be so vulnerable on our group, and it really solidified my reasoning for wanting to support her as much as possible.
I am so terribly thankful for Leah and her first novel because it made me feel so seen and so validated as a Black girl. It was such an emotional novel for me, one of the few that actually made me cry both happy and frustrating tears in one shot. I had never come across a book where I felt like I was reading a novel that could have been about me in another lifetime, in another universe where I could have been brave enough to just be myself. And Leah showed that it’s okay to be yourself, and it’s okay to learn about who you are and continue to learn, and that you didn’t have to have an exact answer immediately. There were so many lessons in Leah’s novel, and she is the kind of person that I am just so thankful for for being around today, and someone that I can look up to and find inspiration from.
Jordan! I could never be thankful enough for Jordan for believing in me to show how amazing Raybearer is to the world, for being able to gather amazing, beautiful, talented Black creatives to continue to show the world why the need to read Raybearer immediately. Jordan was also another author that I had the honor of interviewing and having a one on one conversation and I loved learning more about her. She is just such a wonderful person and I love being around that kind of special person in my life, even through social media. I can’t wait to keep seeing Jordan continue to grow and write more books and do more amazing things.
Gosh, I don’t even know how to put into words why these authors mean so much to me. It’s not just their novels. It’s not just the characters that they created. And I don’t even know how else I could show to them how much I am grateful to them, and support them. I remember actually talking to one of the authors above, asking her what else I could do to support authors. What more can I do? And we talked about it, and I was so grateful that she actually took the time to respond to me when she really didn’t need to. It was a humbling moment in my life because someone who probably has so many people wanting to talk with her about different things was able to find some time in her busy day to give me some advice.
I will never forget it, and I will never forget all of my experiences with these authors.
I guess, yeah. That’s really what I’m thankful for this year because I would be lying if I didn’t say that books truly saved my life this year. They really did, and these authors also helped me remind myself that there is so much more that is coming in the future, and I need to be here in order to be a part of it. So, thank you so much Pintip, Tracy, Amparo, June, Amelie, Leah, and Jordan. Thank you so much for everything that you have ever done for me. I couldn’t thank you enough, but I’ll keep trying.