Postcards and Authors by Anita Martin

Collage of different postcards
Photo courtesy of author

You are quirky in a very classy way. Postcards and trinkets and such. You make it all so interesting.

Unathi to Anita

Dear Debbie,

Is your spirit smiling as I work on my third act? It’s been over ten years since the ovarian cancer took you away, and much longer since we brainstormed Mail Just for Me. Do you remember? It was before websites and social media and we were going to create a correspondence for kids. The plan was to learn about the girls and boys, individualize the notes that we sent. I loved stationery, handwritten letters, pens, pencils, and stamps. I still do. You loved children. And together, we felt we could pull off the project.

For typical life reasons, Debbie, it didn’t happen; but Postcards & Authors has your name all over it. It’s a blog that gives me the pleasure of promoting authors and all things literary by collecting and sharing cards that they send me.

I direct message or email published writers asking for a postcard, that in some way represents them or their work or something that they are attached to. It’s a total cold call.

“A promotional postcard?” they might initially wonder, but no, just a regular postcard, snail-mailed, unless they want to send one with their book image on it.

I tell them that I read their work, or that they are a friend of a friend, or that I saw them at a book talk…whatever or however I can connect. I explain that my website is frequented by visitors who are interested in books and the people who create them. I pull content from the authors’ websites, social media, and blurbs and link my post about them to their site.

Debbie, the postcards are fascinating! They are captivating and revealing, specifically chosen, written and completed with a postmark. The hodgepodge of places and thoughts range from humor to inspiration to hometown pride. I have one with a silhouette of deer riding motorcycles on it and the author’s message of how it relates to her life. Another person writes two books a year and uses two fingers to type. Cards that come from the authors’ hometowns feature the best tourist spots, while others feature beautiful scenic pictures of where their writing is inspired. One author who likes writing in cafes, visited The Elephant House in Edinburgh, Scotland, known for being the cafe where J. K. Rowling wrote.

The postcards also reveal personality traits. I enjoy reading the long messages that hardly fit on the card, as well as the short, seemingly impromptu messages. A six word sentence came from a Southern Gothic novelist, “You are a mystery to me!” which reminds me of the “day jobs” these writers have. The list includes an architect, a lawyer, a yoga and wellness instructor, a website builder, a film producer, and a co-owner of a boutique that specializes in bra fittings. And then there is the mom of six children, five of whom were adopted from China with various special needs.

Besides the growth of my postcard collection and the promotion of authors and books, I’m also forming new relationships. I met Unathi, who lives in South Africa, on Instagram. We follow each other’s book photography accounts and the video stories we post. Through her I’ve learned that my own posts are as revelatory as what I seek from my authors.

So, Debbie, this quirky project of ours has gone through some changes but I know you’d be proud. And I know that if you were here you’d be encouraging and supporting others to create and experience things that make them happy, too.

Love always,

Anita


Anita Martin
Anita Martin is a reader and writer from Richmond, Virginia. Her love of books is expressed in her curated site, Postcards and Authors. Connect with her there. She is always looking for new authors to promote.

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