About a month ago, I was asked if I would provide a back-of-book blurb for a new cat book coming out called "Cat Mulan's Mindful Musings." The author mailed me the manuscript and--as I found the writing and pictures to be fun and enjoyable--it was easy to provide a blurb. I mailed my comments back to the author in the enclosed pre-addressed envelope she'd sent along with the manuscript.
When I went to check the mailbox yesterday, there was a medium-sized box addressed to me from the author. I opened it up and it was as if Christmas had come early. The first thing I opened was her thank-you letter. She'd taken pictures of Cat Mulan "opening" and "reading" my letter, including little quotations like, "It's from Dena!" and "Yes, uh-huh, excellent. Very good." It was laugh out loud funny. Tucked inside the box were then kitty toys galore. There's also a cat mug and wrapping paper with Cat Mulan's image on them. It was like the bottomless box as I kept pulling one thing and then the next out.
It was incredibly sweet and fun, more so because I wasn't expecting it in the least. I find her thoughtfulness touching. It's also smart networking on her part. I'm giving a talk in November (along with my good friend Pam Cable) on "Publicity, Promotion, & Pulling Your Hair Out," at the NC Writers Network Fall Conference. This is a good example of a small thing an author can do to make a difference. Will I remember this author now? Yes. Will I think kindly toward her? You betcha.
Meanwhile, Lucy & Olivia are having fun with their new toys. And I think they're jealous their own images aren't (yet) on a mug. I'm working on it girls... I'm working on it.