Thursday, December 10, 2009

You Have the Right to Six Words - The Acknowledgements

So, yesterday we wrapped up "You Have the Right to Six Words: Six-Word Memoirs from Crime Fiction's Greatest Writers" the inaugural season! What I thought would start out as a small little 8 or 9 week project turned into 29 weeks of amazing memoirs from crime fiction's greats. I truly appreciate everyone who has commended me on the project, but this is more than my project. It could have never happened without the help of many, many people. And I really want to give those folks their due.

First and foremost all the authors who participated. There were 112 different memoirs contributed to this season's project. The response to me was overwhelming. I didn't calculate everything up (and I'm not sure I even have the information to do so), but if I had to take a best guess, I would say that for every 10 requests I sent out, 9 came back saying they would participate. A very special thank you to James Lee Burke who was the very first person to respond with a memoir. When your first response is a legend in this genre, you somehow gain a lot of motivation to keep asking. And what's even more amazing to me, all these contributors actually took time to craft something meaningful. It wasn't just a silly project to any of them. One author took the project to her Sisters in Crime chapter and returned with a half dozen memoirs. Another author informed me that it spurred a short story idea for her. Many posted about the project on their websites, blogs or Facebook pages. And so many sent beautiful thank you notes. I cherish them. They truly warm my heart. What an incredible gift. Thank you.

I had one person I was counting on back out of the project. In a bit of a panic, I sent out an S.O.S. to try to find a replacement. I contacted friends to ask if anyone could help me find someone else. That S.O.S. for one replacement resulted in 4 friends helping me secure 8 new authors that I wasn't able to contact before. Those 4 friends vouched for me, and I know personally how much trust it takes to put one's name on the line for another. Their generosity and trust humbles me. Those 4 people know who they are; I do hope they read this and know they have bestowed upon me a gift unlike any other. I am honored. Thank you.

To my fellow readers and bloggers that I tapped for ideas on who to contact for memoirs. You helped fuel my courage to just go out and ask. In some cases you introduced me to new authors and new books to pursue in my never-ending reading exploration. You too are an integral part of this project and I thank you for helping make it work - for helping make ME work!

And to everyone who came back week after week to read the memoirs, this would never have lasted 29 weeks without your enthusiasm. Aside from the wonderful comments you left each week, I received emails, notes on Facebook, tweets on Twitter. Many of you passed the word along on Twitter when posts went up. The word got out because you helped get it there.

I'm so proud of this project because the whole crime fiction community made it work, not just me. You all were a part of it. Thank you for sharing it with me!

Now we have our work cut out for us in 2010. How in the world are we going to top 2009? I'm off to start planning now. If you have grand ideas, you know where to find me!

May you all have a wonderful, wonderful new year! Thank you for helping make 2009 so incredible for me! Happy Reading!


Kaye Barley December 10, 2009 at 6:42 AM  

It's the "Magic of Jen" that made this project work and become so wildly popular with the authors as well as your readers, I think. You're a very special person, who is a very special and integral part of the crime fiction community. Never doubt that, Jen - or yourself!!

Kay December 10, 2009 at 7:44 AM  

Jen, I enjoyed this project so much. It was great fun to come and see who you had each week. I know it was a lot of hard work and you did a wonderful job. Looking forward to 2010!

Lesa December 10, 2009 at 7:48 AM  

Kaye's totally right, Jen. There's a fun little site called Klout. Here's how you are listed. (smile) jenforbus is a connector
You are a constant source of information to your friends and co-workers. There is a good chance that you probably introduced several of your friends to Twitter. Your taste and opinion is respected and your judgment is trusted.

See that last line? That's how we all feel about you. Good luck next year, Jen! I'm sure you'll have even more fun next year, introducing us to new authors and books.

Lesa -

CJ Lyons December 10, 2009 at 7:57 AM  

Thanks for inviting me to participate in the project, I had a blast! Can't wait to see what you come up with for next year--whatever it is, count me in!

Happy Holidays,

Corey Wilde December 10, 2009 at 8:26 AM  

Kudos to you, not only for zealously pursuing the memoirs from the authors, but for all the research and writing you put into those weekly posts. A bare presentation of the memoirs without any context would quickly have reduced this series to something ho-hum. Six words? Here's mine: The authors all got off easy. :-)

Jamie Freveletti December 10, 2009 at 8:32 AM  

Loved doing it and really enjoyed reading all the others. Looking forward to next year!

Diane A.S. Stuckart December 10, 2009 at 8:36 AM  

Jen...awesome job you did on this project! It was a pleasure and a privilege to participate, and great fun reading. I'm looking forward to 2010's entries. :)

Alan Orloff December 10, 2009 at 8:53 AM  


What a fun and interesting project! It was great getting a little (sometimes a lot) insight into so many mystery writers' souls.

Alafair Burke December 10, 2009 at 8:53 AM  

Congratulations on such a big year, Jen, and thanks for including me in this terrific project!

Libby Hellmann December 10, 2009 at 8:57 AM  

Me too. Loved it! You're awesome.

Jane K Cleland December 10, 2009 at 9:14 AM  

You're so creative and inventive and warm -- it's a real pleasure to work with you!

Michelle Gagnon December 10, 2009 at 12:14 PM  

Jen, this was a wonderful project. Thanks for taking it on.

Pop Culture Nerd December 10, 2009 at 1:48 PM  

Hooray! Virtual champagne all around, on me! Like everyone said, this has been a really fun project. Your hard work and enthusiasm showed in every post. Looking forward to next year's project(s)!

Rebecca Cantrell December 10, 2009 at 1:53 PM  

Tried to post this before, but it didn't seem to go through. Apologies if it comes through twice.

Thank YOU, Jen for creating such a wonderful project. I was thrilled to participate (until I had to sit down and come up with my six words). The warmth and generosity of your blog is an inspiration to me. You remind me why I write books.

Brett Battles December 10, 2009 at 2:53 PM  

What a great project, Jen. You did a wonderful job with it!! Great meeting you at Bouchercon, too.

Jen Forbus December 10, 2009 at 4:28 PM  

Wow! I'm speechless...and incredibly blessed to know you all. Thank you so much!

Kelli Stanley December 10, 2009 at 7:35 PM  

Jen, you are the spirit and soul of the project and help motivate all of us to do what we do as writers every day. :)

Thank you, for inviting me to participate in this incredible and meaningful experience, and for building and sharing this wonderful, warm and enriching space with us all!


Craig McDonald December 10, 2009 at 8:30 PM  

Thanks so much for the chance to participate (hard to believe week 2 was really only this past summer; your scrapbooks at B-Con seemed immense...). It's clearly a labor of love, Jen, and never less than fascinating.

trish December 11, 2009 at 4:35 PM  

I'm happy it was such a success! I think you're a great example to the rest of the blogging community on what you can do if you take an idea and run with it. :)

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