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Well-Read: 5 Great Authors & Their Favorite Reads

Wednesday, September 07, 2011


Tweeting with authors continues with five more of my favorites. Following the tweets of the authors, allows you a glimpse into the things they are thinking about when they are not writing; and sometimes when they are. Using Twitter both to communicate and procrastinate, these authors share articles on just about anything, plug/praise each other’s books and pose intriguing questions to their followers.

Jodi Picoult @jodipicoult

I have been a fan of Jodi’s for the past ten years. New to the tweeting scene, Jodi has recently tweeted her outrage at Fox News’ reaction to Chaz Bono on Dancing With the Stars to talking about her new rescue puppy, Alvin. Picoult tweets about finding Alvin’s brother a home and entices her followers with the possibility of being dog related to her. Tempting.

Out with a new book each spring, readers can look forward to Jodi’s next NY Times bestseller, Lone Wolf due in March of 2012. Not an “over-tweeter” Picoult says that she tweets every couple of days. “If you only tweet

Bestselling author Jodi Picoult

professionally,” she says, “no one will bother to care. The idea is to show another side of yourself.” Picoult most enjoys an author’s humor when reading their tweets. She says that she enjoys making tweeting part of her day and has blocked followers who “swear or say something inappropriate.”  

Sarah McCoy @SarahMMcCoy

If not for Twitter I might not have run into Sarah McCoy’s writing as soon as I did. A major player in the authors who tweet circle, McCoy’s tweets range anywhere from her love of food to Real Housewives of NY and especially her support of fellow writers. Sarah is the author of The Time It Snowed In Puerto Rico and the soon-to-be-released The Baker’s Daughter, which will be out in January 2012. McCoy’s Texas charm is evident in the way she relates to those she follows as well as those who follow her. If it’s possible to have a southern twitter-drawl, than Sarah has it! Asked about a favorite summer read, she says, “It’s been a summer of marvelously good releases, but I have to say J. Courtney Sullivan’s Maine takes the cake.” “…Somewhere between page 1 and page 385, the characters become your friends.” McCoy tweets pretty much every day unless she’s on the road traveling. She says she is “trying to balance my tweeting and my writing…it’s impossible to be creative when I’m pinging in and out of ten different conversations…” There is so much to enjoy about the ins and outs of authors’ daily lives, “that they just bought their dog a Frisbee; that their son took his first steps…” Sarah calls the daily tweets “the crunchy nuts and sprinkles and whipped cream. The books are the ice cream scoops –the base on which all the sundae toppings can sit, and Twitter is the reader’s spoon.” See what I mean about the food?

Marie Myung-Ok Lee @MarieMyungOkLee

I first met Marie when she came to Rhode Island as a Writer-in-Residence at Brown University. Marie and I chatted about her first novel, Somebody’s Daughter, on the radio show over five years ago and it remains one of my favorite books. A bit more on the serious side of tweeting, I enjoy reading Marie’s for the things that I learn.  Today’s tweets included a Labor Day fun fact: “When Michelle Bachmann worked @ IRS for 4 yrs- 2 of those years were spent on maternity leave!” Who knew? I am happy to report that Marie is “…coming down the home stretch (8 years) of my

An author's author: Dawn Tripp

novel…” She also has a piece on “horses as executive life coaches” coming out in The Atlantic this fall. Lee says her favorite books this summer include fellow tweeter and author Dawn Tripp’s Game of Secrets and Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story. Marie says she keeps her tweeting “90% my weird opinions on politics and things, retweeting other people’s interesting stuff, and writing opportunities and tips…” She says she especially enjoys reading other author’s book recommendations and mostly unfollows when people “haven’t tweeted in months or sometimes the interaction just doesn’t seem productive.” Marie will be going to a 2 week residency on the ocean this month and plans to drive all social media from her life. She says she’ll tell us all about it on Twitter when she returns! 

Dawn Tripp @dawntrippwriter

She may have been new to tweeting this summer, but Dawn has jumped right in! I enjoy reading about her love of boating with her boys and her supportive comments to other writers we both follow. Her latest tweet to me offered  a copy of her first novel, Mood Tide, which is timely in that it leads up to the Hurricane of ’38. Game of Secrets, released this summer, has been a favorite with many of the writers I interviewed for this piece. Dawn’s favorite book of the summer was The Diviner’s Tale by Bradford Morrow. Tripp tells me that she tweets twice a day, “at times more if a conversation engages me.” Tweeting mostly for professional reasons, but the most meaningful consequence of Twitter for her is that she has made new personal relationships. She says that “Twitter feels necessary. I am not sure I would do it, if I did not think of it in those terms…I am a novelist, 140 characters can be a challenge…” Dawn is working on her next novel.

Caroline Leavitt @Leavittnovelist

Described by so many writers who are lucky to know her as one of the most generous of all writers, Caroline Leavitt is one of my favorite authors to follow. Whether she is tweeting about her 94-year-old mother (and her mother’s boyfriend) or the humidity in her NYC apartment, Leavitt is always entertaining. Her latest novel, Pictures of You, is one that I have shared with the listeners of my show and shoppers looking for a book selection. Caroline says she loved Dawn Tripp’s Game of Secrets, “…as many can tell from my tweets!” She says she is addicted, tweeting about three times a day. Her life is such an open book that the personal and professional blur all the time. She says “whatever is obsessing or haunting me tends to blend into my writing, I’m likely to talk about everything and anything.” Caroline says she likes the personal tweeting and is “thrilled when an author has good news, but I like it to be presented in a personal way so it doesn’t just feel like an advertisement.” That balance can be tricky and she says she is “very sensitive to how authors have to self-promote (and I do it, too) so I tend to retweet these things a lot.” Caroline loves Twitter : “The contact, the help I’ve gotten on everything from research to where to buy the best windows, and I love the camaraderie.” She has met tweeters at readings and for coffee. “Being a writer can be lonely and I love the feeling that my water cooler crew is right at my fingertips.”


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