Suzanne Brockmann is bumming around Barnes&Noble on facebook all day today to swap comments w/you about her new book and any old thing. But if you know Suz, then you know Suz. Which is to say the WYSIWYGirl is as engaging and accessible as her novels -- and she digs using her ability to connect with folks to make good things happen. So even before she was a NY Times bestseller, Brockmann hooked up what we now call a social media network online, one that grew successful not just in size, but in building intimacy and connection between her reader fans.
In a recent post at Romance: B(u)y the Book blog, Brockmann wrote about the message board she created, saying it "...soon became more than a place to socialize – it became a place in which members actively practiced the art of kindness."
I met Brockmann online a few years ago when she was raising awareness of a Navy SEAL's need for a bone-marrow donor to save his life. She writes about SEALs, and her online reader friends support and are very connected to the military. My online community and I jumped onboard with her; it was a special opportunity for me because in 1988, my career Navy older bro -- my real-life hero -- gave me one of his kidneys to save my life.
Whether her online community is "sending ornaments to the mother of a SEAL who lost a lifetime of decorations in a hurricane," or celebrating the fact that one of her message board members' husbands "turned out to be a one-in-25,000 [bone marrow] match for a desperately ill 12-year-old boy," Brockmann's philosophy of why they stick together to do it is simple and somewhat Blanche Dubois-like. She writes:
I have always depended on the kindness of strangers. And, yeah, okay, unlike Blanche Dubois, my dependency isn't physical – it's emotional. See...I believe that most people are good, and that when push comes to shove, they'll treat others kindly and respectfully. Even when hiding behind the anonymity of the internet.
I'll be visiting with Brockmann today at Barnes&Noble on facebook, not just because I like hearing what she's got to say about her SEALs and Troubleshooter, but also because I love meeting the kinds of people she draws to her. I hope you'll join us, too.
*Suz Brockmann hangs at Barnes&Noble on facebook 7.29 from noon -- 9 EDT. The thread will remain open indefinitely, and, who knows? Suz may stop by in the future. That's kinda the way she is. Click here to swap comments and join the fun.