Monday, February 8, 2010

Dear Susan Branch

Mr. Big Cheese I'm not one to fall for celebrity.  Back in my 20s, I was secretary to a woman who was married to the biggest newscaster in town.  I worked for her for six months before I decided that "Cal-if-or-nia was the place I wanna be" and on my last day the big cheese asked me (after speaking to me every work day for those six months) if I was "the new secretary."

Then I worked for 20th Century Fox for almost six months.  During that time I got to see and meet a LOT of celebrities and downright TV and Movie Stars.  (Including Alan Alda, David Ogden Stiers, Harry Morgan, and even Sigourney Weaver.)  But after my brush with Mr. Newscaster, I was no longer impressed with celebrity.  Which made it a lot easier for me to leave that job and come back home to Western New York.

In my time as a published author, I've met quite a few big-name authors at mystery conferences.  Believe me, I haven't gone out of my way to meet them, either.  I'm always afraid that people whose work I've admired might end up being like Mr. (now fallen from grace) Newscaster (who doesn't even come up with a Google search).  (Take that, Mr. Arrogant Has-Been!)

So why have I been so tickled to make the virtual acquaintance of author Susan Branch on Twitter

Christmas Heart Home I've have LONG admired Susan's watercolor-illustrated cookbooks.  The first of her books I received was Christmas from the Heart of the Home (which is now out of print.  Oh, that STUPID publisher. How could it ever deprive the world of the best Christmas cookbook (with lots of extras) that (wo)man kind has ever known? ).

When I first saw that Susan was on Twitter, I was quick to follow her.  But how thrilled I was when I retweeted one of her posts and she thanked me for it.  Me.  Right here.  In backwoods old Western New York!

Since then, we have corresponded maybe six or seven times.  The other day, I commented on one of her Tweets and we went back and forth three times.  Wow!  How wonderful it is to "talk" with someone you've long admired and she was just as nice as I'd always imagined.  (And even more cool--that we'd recently both reread a favorite book.)

Susan Branch I have no illusions that Susan and I will ever be friends.  But I love to hear about what she's working on.  (Like when she posted about finishing her 2011 calendar.)  And I love just about everything she draws and writes.  It it just so cool to have had the opportunity to let her know how much I admire her work. 

Have you "met" anyone online (or in person) who you were really impressed with?