Yes, you've guessed it. I'm talking about what you say when someone sneezes.
Okay, can I get a collective eye roll, please? I can hear you all now: "Only Judi would blog about sneezes."
Actually, I'm not talking sneezes; I'm talking SNEEZERS. With an R. As in "one who."
Why in the world am I talking about Sneezers? And why am I capitalizing it?
At this month's chapter meeting, our speaker mentioned Sneezers - people who will "sneeze" about your stories. You want Sneezers. And you want them Sneezing big, honking Sneezes.
Think about what happens when someone sneezes (with the lowercase s). Polite society requires the use of a handkerchief or tissue so the sneeze is contained. And, yes, please use them.
But when it comes to book Sneezes, I say, "Fie on those handkerchiefs!" You don't want anyone containing their Sneeze.
Case in point: one of our chaptermates had a real estate agent put something about her, a local author, on his sales material because he thought it was cool to know an author. He sends out thousands of pieces of marketing. That was a big Sneeze for her.
So I started thinking about Sneezers in my life. Family is obviously what first comes to mind. One of my kids has no problem Sneezing about Mom, and that child's teachers are well aware that I write. Some have even signed up for my email lists.
My online friends, The Writing Wombats, are big Sneezers. I've mailed bookmarks to them around the country (at their request) and they've dropped them off at local bookstores to be handed out. They've also chatted up the stories and have contributed online reviews.
Neighbors have become Sneezers, friends from high school and college. Coworkers.
I found out about another Sneezer I have. I was very excited--and very humbled to hear this story.
The setup: When I was doing a book signing for the release of Wild Blue Under, a woman came up to my table and said, "Is this the one with the Mer king?" My response? No, it wasn't a resounding, "Yes!" but rather a squee-like, "Oh, you read my book!"
To say we were both grinning like idiots would be a fair statement. Anyhoo, Heather and I ended up chatting; turns out, she wants to be a writer. I told her about our chapter and, yes, she showed up in January. AND she told me that after talking to me (she bought both Wild Blue Under and In Over Her Head at the signing - had to have an autographed copy, she told her husband), that she's told six of her friends about me and they're having a contest: the first one to have Catch of a Lifetime in her hands wins and the others will have to buy her a copy of I Dream of Genies.
Once I finished gaping and wiped the tears from my eyes, I gave her my response for such a wonderfully huge Sneeze:
"God Bless You!"
So... any neat Sneezers in your world? Here's a cute one: