Last year, back when I had time on my hands and no job I read a really interesting review for a book on Bruce’s inimitable site (which you can find on this very word) by retired Norwegian ambassador Nils-Johan Jørgensen. Later that day the publisher offered to send me a copy of the book for review, naturally I was well up for it and wrote the review, a few days later (also on this very word).
I forgot all about that specific review, what with life and other books and shiny things to distract me, when out of the blue an email arrived from the author thanking me for my reaction to the book, which he liked and would I email back my address so he could send me two of his other books as a thank you (reviews will follow throughout the year, naturally).
One email and a rather out of character smug(gish) post on Facebook later and I was still excited, only to be even more ecstatic when the package came through with not two but four books and a rather nice letter as well.
Now I’m not normally one to take half as much pride in what I achieve as what others do but I have to allow myself to indulge a little here, and as I was mentioning my good fortune to random people when out and about and how it felt good to feel like I was getting somewhere with my blogging, one guy said it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. To a certain extent I agree but in order to get networking, there has to be a degree of knowledge on one’s chosen subject.
If I hadn’t spent ages reading and then writing (and rewriting) reviews then would the guys from Book Guild Publishing have gotten in touch? It’s the same for everybody, you enjoy something and analyse it, looking at it in ways other people don’t, based on your own experiences and it is that which is eye-catching for such people as the BGP people I imagine.
Once again blogging has shown me that things I never expected can happen, connections made that I never considered before..well if I’m being honest, I enjoyed west of the west wind that much that I was hoping they would remember me as a reviewer, for the yet to be announced South of the South Win…but this was totally unforeseeable.
All of us have the capacity to push beyond what we expect and it really can lead to some fascinating collaborations like Christy and Resa’s post, combining Gowns and Poetry, for example. The opportunities are out there we perhaps just need a new way of looking to actually see them.
The most precious moment of the whole experience though was one simple line in the letter which just goes to show that the power of words can never be underestimated. Ultimately it shows me that through my love for books I am on the right path on this unpredictable adventure and I can’t wait to see where it leads next.