Whenever I begin to wonder why I blog, something will come along to remind me. I received one such reminder in September when I read an email from Chris Price regarding a post I’d written in 2009 about National Authors’ Day.
It seems that Nellie Verne Burt McPherson, the woman credited with the idea of setting aside a day to celebrate American authors, was her great grandmother. Though she was only five when Mrs. McPherson passed away, Chris described some of her memories. She recalled her great grandmother reading to all the children who would listen. Once, when she read so much she lost her voice, she asked the kids to tell her about the books she’d read to them over recent weeks. According to Chris, “To hear my Mother and Aunt tell the story, it was quite the interesting interpretation of stories read.”
The note went on to read, “Anyway, I just wanted to say Thank You for what you do and be assured that this year, November 1, 2010, I will be reading one of YOUR books.”
I can't think of anything that tops that kind of note.
I found additional information about Nellie McPherson on answers.com.
“The idea of setting aside a day to celebrate American authors came from Nellie Verne Burt McPherson, president of the Bement (Illinois) Women's Club in 1928. McPherson was a teacher and an avid reader throughout her life. During World War I, when she was recuperating in a hospital, she wrote a fan letter to fiction writer Irving Bacheller, telling him how much she had enjoyed his story, "Eben Holden's Last Day A'Fishin." Bacheller sent her an autographed copy of another story, and McPherson realized that she could never adequately thank him for his gift. Instead, she showed her appreciation by submitting an idea for a National Author's Day to the General Federation of Women's Clubs, which passed a resolution setting aside November 1 as a day to honor American writers. In 1949 the day was recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Sue Cole, McPherson's granddaughter, was largely responsible for promoting the observation of National Author's Day after her grandmother's death in 1968. She has urged people to write a note to their favorite author on this day to "brighten up the sometimes lonely business of being a writer." Flying the American flag on November 1, according to Mrs. Cole, is another way of showing appreciation for the men and women who have created American literature.”
I’d like to say thank you, Nellie McPherson! My gratitude also goes to Sue Cole and Chris Price for following in Mrs. McPherson’s footsteps.
I checked local events and still found no mention of what I think should be a major holiday. Hallmark may have missed coming out with cards for this occasion, but that shouldn’t stop us from writing our favorite author or a newly emerging writer in hopes of brightening their day as much as the note from Chris brightened mine.
Are there any celebrations in your area? If you wrote to an author, who would it be?
Though I usually post only on Mondays, I’m making an exception this week. On Saturday (11/6), I’ll be hosting Stephen Tremp, author of Breakthough. I hope you’ll make plans to visit. In the meantime find out more about Stephen and his book by visiting his blog.
One more announcement before I go. Author Darcia Helle of A Word Please is organizing a huge giveaway event that will run through the month of December. It will be hosted on her website and blog. Participating authors will be cross promoting on their own blogs, as well as through various social networks. All indie authors (self-published and small press) are welcome to participate. You can offer as many (or as few) titles and copies as you'd like. Both print and e-books are welcome. She’ll be sending out press releases and doing tons of promotion. She already has about 300 books to give away! I’m looking forward to taking part in this big event. If you’d like to participate, be sure to send Darcia an email at email@example.com before Nov. 15.
Thanks for stopping by today.