Tonight my dining room table is stacked with books I must ship, wrap, shelve, or sign and send to Mom. This will be daily duty for another couple of days, and a happy one. One more stop to make at the bookstore for some gift cards, and then I'll have finished my shopping for now. I'm already thinking what books I can buy for my daughter's upcoming birthday. I'm pretty sure that Kate DiCamillo has a new book out, and I think she'd enjoy some of Judy Blume's titles.
Some folks have asked why I give away so many books. Aside from the fact that it's fun, books are what we writers read, enjoy, anticipate, search for, collect, appreciate, ponder, pass along, discuss, analyze, fight for, and believe in. To us and our readers, books are like dreams we can hold in our hands. They're constant, uncomplaining companions who will go practically anywhere with us. To be able to write them is a privilege. So is sharing them.
I give books to everyone in my life. Under the tree this year will be novels by Jack London, Robert Louis Stevenson, P. L. Travers and Laura Ingalls Wilder, a guitar how-to guide, a collection of e.e.cummings, some art history books (my idea) and some guides on how to draw Manga (my teenager's idea.) While none of the books I buy as gifts have buttons, can be plugged in, make sound or come with their own collectible action figures, my kids still ask for them -- often by title -- every year. Take that, Nintendo.
I've had a blast over the last twelve days, and I thank all of you for joining in and posting so many great comments.
I have one more author/book story to tell you. The very first erotica book I ever read was one I picked up on a whim while out Christmas shopping. I bought it to see what the genre was all about, and picked the title because the author's name was Emma Holly (which sounded appropriately seasonal.) I have fairly decent luck finding good authors with this method, but Emma Holly's work proved to be so exceptional that it blew me away. Based on the strength of that one novel, I bought up her entire backlist. I've also bought everything she's written since.
From paranormal historicals to steampunk romantica to contemporary erotica, Emma Holly's range keeps expanding and providing readers with a terrific variety of novels every year. She's got a very distinct voice and style that stands out whatever she writes. I also can't think of a better author to warm up someone on a cold night, so I'm making All U Can Eat by Emma Holly the twelfth very
For a chance to win today's giveaway, in comments to this post name a favorite author you found by happy accident (or, if you're not accident-prone, just throw your name in the hat) by midnight EST on December 16, 2006. I'll draw one name from everyone who participates and send the winner unsigned copies of All U Can Eat, The Demon's Daughter and Prince of Ice by Emma Holly and Talyn by Holly Lisle. I will also send you the very first print copy of my January '07 release, Plague of Memory (and thanks again to my very kind editor for providing the early copy for the giveaway.) Giveaway open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something here at PBW in the past.