Friday, June 18, 2010

In Which I Get A Little Bit Lucky

I never win anything. Never, ever.

Well, I take that back. When I was an employee of the U.S. House of Representatives, I won so much that I stopped letting my name be entered into doorprize drawings, because when you're a House employee, you have all sorts of ethics reports you have to fill out, and all sorts of hoops to jump through.

But before that? One 12-pack of Peppermint Patties. In junior high. Since I left government work? A delightful book awarded by Harley May. And that's just because she likes me. (I think.)

So imagine my surprise when yesterday, I won something on Twitter -- and not just anything on Twitter, but a most fab book ... a Joshilyn Jackson book, BACKSTREET SAINTS, courtesy of @GCPeditor on Twitter.

I have a confession about Joshilyn Jackson. I really dragged my feet about her first book GODS IN ALABAMA. Everybody said it was great. Everybody said I HAD to read it. So of course I didn't.

I'm contrary that way.

I DID pick it up several times in Barnes & Noble. But every time, I'd say to myself, Eh, if everybody's reading it, I'll wait.

So one day, many moons later, I found an audiobook edition of GODS IN ALABAMA in my library. I was hooked from the moment I heard a real southern accent, none of this Hollyweird version of what they think we sound like.

But it was the words that really hooked me. Jackson's voice, the way she saw things that I'd seen a million times, but saw to the core of them, got me. I loved that book. I loved that book so much that I went out and bought me a copy of my very own.

How is it that I so nearly missed such a stellar author? Why didn't I give her a chance? Why was I so resistant to other reader's suggestions?

I guess it was because I didn't think any book could live up to that much advance billing. I'd read other books that had let me down.

But Jackson's book made me do two things: 1) whisper, "please, please, please don't let me down!" as I drove the long way home and parked in the garage to finish listening to the audio version, and 2) make me seriously wonder if I had any business anywhere NEAR a keyboard.

She didn't, and after a very sweet reply to my gushing e-mail of praise for her book, I got over my keyboard phobia.

So that brings me to my third thing I learned: if someone recommends a good book to you, read it. Give it a chance. After all, what have you got to lose?


SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

Isn't it funny how we do that? Don't read something just because everyone is saying it's good. I do that ALL the time. And usually I regret not listening. (not always, but you know) Congrats on the win! I love the opportunity for winning stuff out here on the Twitterverse and Blogosphere! It makes me happy :D

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! My VW is SWINE! Seriously! That's ridiculous!

Linda G. said...

I won two chickens in a raffle once, when I was a toddler. We were living in England, and apparently the farmer's wife who lived down the road from us offered to kill & pluck them both in exchange for keeping one. Since we had no place to keep pet chickens (and, really, they don't make very good pets), my parents agreed. Glad I didn't realize any of this at the time.

Oh, and I'm the same way about glowing book recommendations. I'm always so afraid they won't live up to the hype, I put off reading forEVER.

Valerie Geary said...

I just put this book on my to-read list!! So when you're done.... could you send it to me...? :) Ah, I'm just kidding. But I would love to know how you liked it!

Elizabeth Ryann said...

Haha, yay, winning! Thanks for the heads up about Joshilyn and the contest, and thanks for answering 30 seconds after me. There's no one else I enjoy besting in competition as much. :^D

Kelly Breakey said...

Since I have read one of your books and LOVED it, I will be taking your advice and getting this one ASAP.

Tawna Fenske said...

I've never heard of that book, but I really love that cover! I'll have to check it out (because I'll admit, I totally judge books by their covers).


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your book win, Cynthia!

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

For the record: you won a Magical Mention prize in mine and my mom's contest but you never replied, or sent your address. I even commented in one of your previous posts to tell you about it--but still no reply.

Makes me wonder how many other things you've won in life but didn't know about.

Mm, hmm. Better double check those old lotto tickets. ;)

prashant said...

I love the opportunity for winning stuff out here on the Twitterverse and Blogosphere! It makes me happy
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