Friday, October 23, 2015

That moment when your reading life and real life collide

Let me take you back to January 2014. On a whim, I downloaded the eARC of a book called A Snicker of Magic by debut author Natalie Lloyd on NetGalley because I had heard great things about it at NCTE but didn't get a chance to pick up a physical ARC there.

Well I hadn't even gotten past chapter one and I was already searching for Natalie on Twitter to fangirl over this enchanting story. This picture was the first tweet I sent her:

And from there a Twitter friendship was born. I gushed over how much I loved the magical town of Midnight Gulch and the crazy ice cream flavors she conjured up at Dr. Zook's Dreamery Creamery (seeing as how I'm a fan of crazy ice cream flavors myself) and I continued to evangelize my love for this book long after I finished reading it.

I wrote my review of the book for the Nerdy Book Club blog instead of my blog because I wanted it to receive a bigger audience so more people would read it. I interviewed Natalie here on the blog the same day my Nerdy review went live. I went so far as to drive three hours to meet Natalie at an event near Columbus, Ohio and made her my version of the signature flavor of Dr. Zook's Dreamery Creamery: Blackberry Sunrise.

Over a year later and we still exchange emails and tweets back and forth. She even Skyped with my 8th graders back in May.

But nothing prepared me yesterday for the moment when my reading life and real life collided when Natalie sent me this email:

You see, Natalie wrote a short story that revisits the town and the characters in A Snicker of Magic. And in that writing process of this new, yet familiar story, she thought of me. And she gave my name a place in her story and therefore in her heart. And for that I am so grateful. Because, you see, A Snicker of Magic is a book that touched my heart from the moment I began to read it. It is put on that literal and metaphorical shelf where books like Charlotte's Web, Because of Winn-Dixie, The One and Only Ivan, The Fault in Our Stars reside... the shelf of books that won my heart and soul and that I will never forget as long as I live. And so the fact that Natalie validated my love for her story as a reader by thinking of me and including the four letters that make up my name as a permanent fixture in Midnight Gulch, touched me more than I can adequately express in words. I guess that's why she's the writer and I'm just the adoring fangirl. So thank you dear Natalie. You are a beautiful writer, a beautiful person, and a beautiful soul. And I still wish we were neighbors so we could go on lots of foodie adventures together. :)

If you want to read Natalie's new short story entitled "When the Ghosts Come Out to Dance," as you should, then visit The Stacks

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