I think this Author Appreciation week is a fantastic idea. Yes, we give them praise when we read their books but how often does that spotlight stick once we pick up a new book? There are plenty of authors I like and love but rarely do I really think about why that is, other than I liked their book. I'm appreciative of their writing much more than I am of who they are and at least for me, narrowing down my picks makes me focus on the authors themselves.
My first picks are two authors I have a lot of respect for because they are college students but also published authors, balancing college classes and life with what can often be a full time job of writing.
First off is woman who is brash and speaks her mind and that alone makes me appreciate her. She isn't afraid to dive into an extreme topic for her first book and she has no problem showing who she is to the world instead of feeling like she has to hide behind some proper public persona all because she's a published author. Even more impressively, she wrote her first book at 16, juggling school and didn't care she was "young." This book was a strong start and she has plenty of time to really improve and crank out some impressive works. Need a hint on this one? Hannah Moskowitz and if you haven't read her debut work Break, I suggest you do. It's worth it.
Next up is Estevan Vega, an amusing guy with some interesting book ideas. Currently, he's pushing the promotional aspect of his book Arson and though he's had a few published works prior to this one- and yes, he is in college now which makes him another successful "young" writer- he is really hoping Arson is "the one" for him. I think it has all the makings to be a huge hit and appreciate this author even more for how hard he's working on spreading the word of his book. He isn't leaving it up to others or even sending out a few review copies and hoping the bloggers do the work. He's involved every step of the way while still hitting the books for school.
Both of these authors have a promising road ahead of them in the literary world and I look forward to more from them both. They also both are very appreciative of their fans and understand how important they are- and are very public about how much they love their fans. Despite being busy, both will take the time to reply to emails, pass along links to reviews of their books, and plenty of other things that make their readers feel warm and fuzzy. For all the reasons and above more, I want to say I appreciate what these two do, are doing, and will do.