Wednesday, May 5, 2021

IWSG: The Best Surprises are Unexpected!


It’s May, a time of flowers blooming, getting a year older (for me), and writing another Insecure Writers Support Group post. This month’s question is a pleasure to answer in recognition of some wonderful people.

Our IWSG May 5th question is “Have any of your readers ever responded to your writing a way that you didn’t expect? If so, did it surprise you?”

My writing career has been full of reader surprises that began with fan letters. Does anyone get those stamped envelopes anymore? Something about those handwritten notes of excitement and praise kept a mom of two young boys at the word processor from the time they napped, which eventually became the time they went to school, until the dog told me that lunch had long since passed. That these people I didn’t know took the time to write a letter or send a card blew me away (and I still have my favorites tucked away with my other valuables). This was before Facebook and Twitter and online writers forums . . . or actually, online anything! Just strangers writing to a stranger because they were somehow touched by a turn of a phrase. Just . . . wow!

When I released the first trio of books in my “By Moonlight” shapeshifter series ten years ago, another huge surprise – a fan made me a book trailer (this was waaaay back before they became a thing or had all the cool graphic programs we have now) and set it to music. Come to find out, she was working as an assistant for bigtime bestseller Darynda Jones, who happened to be a fan of my vampire romance series. I’ve enjoyed meeting Darynda several times since then at book events. Small world! Here’s the trailer:


My most cherished reader fan turned writer friend is Sandra Hoover . . . a former IWSG pal! She unashamedly called Max, my hero, her book boyfriend and formed an entire Goodreads Group to share her enthusiasm for him and my shapeshifter books! My “Nancy Gideon By Moonlight” group now boasts close to 500 members who read, support, and help me promote my new releases through a monthly newsletter and a variety of fun and informational forum discussions as well as some great book chat topics. And the wonderful Sandra just surprised me with this gift any bedtime reader would adore – a gorgeous book sleeve with a quote from my “By Moonlight” hero.


And by far my greatest surprises came from two different groups of Michigan writers, one in Mid-Michigan and one in Greater Detroit. When the Detroit chapter invited me as a guest speaker, I was able to sign copies of my latest Dana Ransom historical. One of the attendees surged up to get her copy signed – because her name was Dana. That enthusiastic fan became multi-published author Dana Corbit Nussio. Later, a group of Mid-Michigan writers who carpooled to meetings in other cities when I first joined that RWA group invited me to ride with them. Those brainstorming drives were the highlight of my month because I never talked about my writing, let alone allowed anyone to read my WIPs. When I found out they also meet for critiquing, I self-consciously asked if I could join them. To my surprise, they’d been too afraid to ask me! Hey, even published authors need support, right? The six of us, Detroit Dana and my other five Mid-Michigan pals have now been meeting for critiques for over twenty years!


The best surprises come when you least expect them and, if you’re lucky, make a lasting mark on your work and your life.

Now, I need to uncover your surprises!


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.The awesome co-hosts for the May 5th posting of the IWSG will be Erika Beebe, PJ Colando, Tonja Drecker, Sadira Stone, and Cathrina Constantine!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

14 comments:

  1. Wow! You have some awesome stories about fans. That's an amazing resource to have a Goodreads fan group like you have.

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    1. I'm hoping their interest will translate over to the romantic suspense from paranormal. We shall see!

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  2. That is awesome! A fan made a Facebook group for you.
    I had a fan make a video for me and it blew me away.

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    1. Those spontaneous gestures are what make our efforts worthwhile!

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    1. And getting you to say you enjoyed a vampire romance was one of the best!

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  4. Hi,
    I find that fantastic. You have been able to really get the cream out writing from people that admire your work.
    All the best.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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  5. I love that a fan made you a book trailer. How cool!!

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  6. I don't know if I love the book trailer or the book sleeve more. Either one is such a sweet gesture. Things like that make even the bad writing days so much better!

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    1. You are so right there. Makes those awful days of frustration worth while.

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  7. You're lucky in your fan surprises. Kudos for you!

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    1. Thank you, Olga! Feedback from my critique group is helpful but fan response is what keeps me going.

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