It's no secret that I enjoy interacting with readers. I've long made it a habit of replying to reviews, be they good or bad, to show my appreciation for the reader who took the time to read my work. That I know of, I've not made anyone uncomfortable. However, more and more I'm hearing that reviews, especially at places like Goodreads, are for readers and reviewers, not authors, and that I should under no circumstances reply. This saddens me, because I sincerly hope that no reviewer that I've responded to feels that I'm "invading their space", and I've made several good friends that I met in this manner. But because I don't want anyone to fear the "crazy stalker author" I've since stopped this practice, but still eagerly respond to email, inquiries, and private messages. There's no author rule book, so how exactly can a writer reach out without the contact being unwelcome?
I've discussed the issue with some of my fellow writers, and we believe we've found a solution. On August 27, we're launching a collaborative effort blog. Via Facebook and our own Goodreads Group, we'll gather questions from readers. We'll post the questions on the blog to be answered by members of the author group, and open up the channels of communication. We hope to create a safe and fun environment for authors and readers to hang out together.
As the time draws near, I'll post additional details, such as the profiles of the other authors taking part in this effort. Until then... stay tuned!