One of the heady pleasures of having a book published and marketing that book has been meeting the minds of others. I say minds because on the internet, in the blogosphere, you don’t get that old fashioned introduction, that face-to-face trust. You catch just a semaphore, a Morse code flash, and then a discussion begins.
That’s very different from the norm for interactions in Mississippi. So many of my associations in bookselling in the state rely on introductions and understandings that happened face-to-face, and that are reinforced personally each season. See my squidoo lens on Mississippi bookstores.
But the focused nature of the best blogs allows a very pleasurable and otherwise happenstance meeting to unfold between minds. A blog, a good one, is like Tristram Shandy’s hobby horse, something that you can leap on and ride, ride, joyfully ride, knowing that it all ends in dust anyway. And sometimes, following blogs as I do over in the right hand column here, you come across one that is consistently rocking on a horse rather akin your dusty but happy nag.
What a pleasure when, in corresponding with that blogger, you find opinions in common and new trails to explore! You gain that shock of realizing someone else may have shared what you felt was just your isolated opinion. I have found that with the blogger of the Trans-Mississippian. I admired her insatiable curiosity about the Civil War west of the mighty river, and was especially glad when I saw mention of my home district, the Ozarks, in her pages.
Now some historians I worked with and for at the University of Arkansas Press down right despised fiction and seethed when I mentioned associations with fiction writers such as Donald Harington. Knowing that, and learning that the Trans-Mississippian was a professional historian teaching at university, I hesitated, but then took the plunge. To me, if my novel meets the approval of a thinker and writer such as the Trans-Mississippian, well, that’s a high-water mark.
I encourage you to see the results, and I count the meeting of minds between two thinkers on the Civil War in the west and on history in Missouri, to be a grand thing. Thank you, Trans-Mississippian! Thank you, blogosphere! Get on your hobby horse and rock over to the Trans-Mississippian.