When you are a performer, you get to give thanks verbally to the audience. It’s pretty much part of the show. Often singers, for example, even before they start will say, “thank you to the (insert venue) for having me here tonight.” Perhaps, they might even go bigger and say, “(insert name of city), you’re awesome! And then at the end of the show, they might say, “thank you and tell the audience how great they were.” Two nights ago, I saw a string quartet, Aeolus, and the principal violinist ended the concert by saying how much he appreciated us as listeners. However, middle grade authors don’t usually have an opportunity to do that. I mean, sure some of us have that little part in our books where we thank our writing group, our editor, our agent, and probably our family, but, we don’t always have an opportunity to thank the larger community, and, since Thursday is Thanksgiving, I thought I’d give a moment to give some middle grade thanks.
1) Thank you to readers. I know this is an obvious one. It’s so obvious that it’s easy to forget. But really, I know it’s easy to decide you’re too tired to read. After all, there’s lots of wonderful movies, games and, by golly, the great outdoors. So, yes, thank you for reading.
2) Thank you to librarians. You read everything, all of those review journals, but most importantly you introduce books to readers and readers to books. It’s like being a matchmaker. “Hmm, you say you’ve read the Harry Potter series eight times, have you tried Dianna Wynne Jones….”
3) Thank you to reviewers. Okay, sure, I admit that reviewers can be scary for authors because ego and sales can be on the line but they are so vital. Now once upon a time, I used to work in publicity and the adage was—”there’s no such thing as bad publicity because any publicity is good.” No matter the outcome, it’s a privilege to be reviewed and I’m sticking that to that!
4) Thank you to educators. You are the ones who teach kids to read and then keep them reading. You truly can’t be thanked enough!
5) Thank you to the internet. Yeah, yeah, sometimes being plugged in can be a real distraction, a true opportunity to procrastinate, but it also allows us to research and become armchair detectives. It also allows us to connect with a greater community of readers, librarians, reviewers, educators, other writers as well as the the publishing community.
6) Thank you to the publishing community. Almost anyone who goes into publishing is in it for the love and not for the money. It’s demanding work, yet rewarding. Thank you for working so hard to be where you are (everyone in the biz knows you had to pay your dues by working for free as an intern first).
7) Thank you to snack food manufacturers and tea makers. I do try to eat healthy snacks, and I appreciate that you make them, as well as so many delicious herbal teas (love licorice tea). I couldn’t write without you. Okay, I could but it would be much less yummy, and I’d be without my insta-reward/bribing schemes to get through daily word counts and editing.
8) Thank you to my fellow bloggers and readers of this blog. I’m in deep appreciation for your presence, passion and attention to the Mixed Up Files of Middle Grade Authors.
You’ve been such lovely readers. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!