Monday, July 27, 2009

Author Highlight: Mia King

I've never done an author highlight before, but thought it would be a great new addition to my blog. I should start off by mentioning that I don't generally go after authors, as I'm much too star struck and amazed at their talents to bother them (since I genuinely do think that by contacting them, that I'm bothering them). However, after getting more involved in book blogging, going to a book signing, and having a couple of authors contact me for reviews or posts I've written, I now feel a bit more confident that they really are people who are excited to have people read their books and who let them know it. Interesting, right? Why would anyone enjoy hearing good things about their work, right? Such a bother! Just kidding--we love it. So, this has led me to post this initial "Author Highlight" to share.

Who--Author: Mia King
Where--Resides: Big Island, Hawaii
What--Books Written: Good Things (Feb. 6, 2007); Sweet Life (Sept. 2, 2008); & Table Manners (Aug. 4, 2009)
Blog/Author Site: National Bestseller Mia King
Social Media: Mia can also be found on GoodReads, LibraryThing, Twitter,...see Contact Page for more details.
Where I Come In: About a year ago, I ran across a copy of Good Things perched on an easel set up on the "What's New" shelves at my local library. The cover looked interesting, and I wondered what were the "good things" the title hinted at. The fact that the book is about a professional woman whose life crumbles about her, sounded like something I could wrap my head around. The main character went from being a TV lifestyle guru, to a woman without a job or prospect. I know the premise sounds familiar, but I have to say that the protagonist's age (40), the fact that she cooks amazing delights (recipes included in the book), and that there is a good bit or real-life angst to keep you reading, really grabbed me.

From the first moment, there was something about Mia King's writing that grabbed me. I still haven't quite put my finger on it, but I can say that she has this writing voice that is so clean and crisp, that it really grabbed me. The teacher side of me wants to grab a pen and sit down with her writing to see if I can figure out how she's managed to write with such clarity! For me, it was refreshing (possibly because I can't write that way and would like to), and it kept my focus on the story. Needless to say, I loved it and passed it on to my best friend, who also really enjoyed it. The only bad non-cooking best friend asking, "So, would you make these scones???" (Yes, there's a scone recipe in the book, among many others!) I also just bought another copy to give to my trainer here in Hawaii, who told me she doesn't read (gasp). The tables turned for once, and I scolded her about not reading and told her I'd bring her a book. Now my trainer will have "homework" to complete!

I've since read her next novel, Simple Life, which was gut wrenching in a lot of ways. This second novel is very true to the heart of women, and gets at all we sometimes sacrifice in a marriage and as mothers. Although I'm not married, and I don't have any children, King's writing style grabbed me again and kept me reading. As a side note, this is the only book so far that is set in Hawaii. I actually thoroughly enjoyed watching the character in the novel adjust to the "real" living she had to do. Outside of resorts and the tourist experience, it is quite different, which I absolutely love, but it is different than what you first experience upon arriving!

Table Manners comes out in one week from tomorrow, on August 4th. I'm delighted to say that I entered a giveaway on Mia's blog, crossing my fingers that I would win (it was the one I MOST wanted), and actually did come up the winner! Mia had also asked in a blog post about what you most like to see in a giveaway from an author, and I'm not sure how many of you feel about it, but I'm just thrilled to get the book! I have had lovely little notes stashed in the package before though, and those mean the world to me. She was so nice, had read my post on that blog entry, and sent the most lovely card. So, as part of my author highlight, I wanted to thank Mia King for this lovely giveaway (picture of the prize below--signed copy of Good Things, signed ARC of Table Manners, and various pens, bookmarks, key chain, and candy). I am just in the process of reading Table Manners, and can't wait to review this follow up to Good Things. I definitely recommend reading Mia's books!

So, in the heart of Mia King's wonderful giveaway in anticipation for Table Manner's release, what do/would you like to see tucked away in a giveaway from an author? Also, do you visit author sites, blogs, etc., and if so, have you contacted an author before?


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  2. Hi Becky,

    Congratulations on the win! I enjoyed this Author Highlight - it's a nice addition to your blog. I too came across Mia King's books and really enjoyed Good Things.

    I am a bit like you - starstruck by authors whose books I really enjoy. But those are the ones that I have reached out to, after posting a review of their books. I've only done it a few times but the chance response has been worth it. I usually do it by checking out their blogs or websites, it makes a difference when the author leaves contact information or seems responsive to readers' emails.

  3. I have never contacted an author directly, but I have added as a friend on goodreads when I won a signed copy and that type of thing. I like getting personal notes in giveaways or an autograph when one was not promised. Any little surprise is always welcome.

    My favorite authors tend to be dead, so it is hard to contact them... I visit their ex-home made into museums instead!

    Thanks for the author highlight. I have not read any of Mia King's books, so I will have to give them a go.

  4. The only contact that I have had with an author was through Goodreads - a few private messages. I am very reluctant to contact them for some of the same reasons listed by other commentators - I hate to be a bother.

    The author highlight is a great addition to your site!

  5. Just wanted to say that Mia was the first author I presented with her debut of GOOD THNGS. I met Mia and her five other fellow debs at The Debutante Ball three years ago and we became friends.

    "Choose an author as you would a friend." is the purpose of The Divining Wand. Please drop by on Monday when Mia and TABLE MANNERS will be featured. There will be a book giveaway too.

  6. gaby -- Thanks Gaby. I was so excited to win this from King! I just really couldn't wait to read the second book. I'm glad to hear that you've also read her books. I also agree that it's so nice when you hear back from these authors. It does make me want to support them even more...and I feel like I am a pretty supportive reader to begin with!

    Jemima -- Yes! You'll have to give her books a try! Agreed, it's just fun to get any little thing you weren't expecting.

    Cathy -- I'm hearing a lot of people contact authors through GoodReads. I think you all are convincing me that I need to get with it a bit more and use GoodReads more often! Thanks for the vote in the affirmative on the author highlight. I think I might just do it once a month, as every week is a bit much, but I would like to learn more about the amazing people behind the books we read! :)

    larramiefg -- Thanks, I'll check it out! :)