On How I Found A Novel & Befriended The Author

, by Zoë Gulliksen

Two weeks ago I was in a book store in Manhattan called Book Off. (Its on 45th between 5th and 6th for the record, and run by the nicest asian people you will meet) I discovered and continue to gravitate to this store because they have an entire section of high quality books for only $1. Being a broke college student and an avid reader, it was a miraculous discovery to find books for such a low price! I've been buying around 4 books from there every weekend and have found some fantastic novels.

My favorite one as of yet is Anecdotal by J. Brooks Dann. You can find his blog here and buy the book here. I say this now because it was shown to me that the last time I tried to talk about him I spelled his name wrong, thus defeating all my purposes of promoting this fantastic novel. How do I know this? Well Dann told me himself.

After reading this novel, I reached out to Dann and contacted him at the email address on the last page of the book:


I just finished reading your novel. I found it in the $1 section of a used book store in Manhattan on 45th between 5th and 6th yesterday and I hadn't put I down until now.

I hope this email address is still active because I loved your novel. I love love love it, mostly because the characters  felt like real people. I'm not quite sure if they are in fact real and if everything in this book actually did happened. I hope it did because then maybe I can find out what happened to everybody next.

Thank you for writing book, and I hope everything is well. Including your knee.


Then the next day I received this email:

"Zoe, you don't know what a highlight you proved to be for me today.  I'm happy to talk with you about the book if you want.

Here's something you inspired me to write this evening:

So here I was, writing to an author who then in turn wrote about his experience of me contacting him. In true social media form, I am now writing on my blog about my experiences talking with him. The experience has been extremely surreal for me. I began exchanging emails with Dann, who not only didn't mind talking about his writing but wanted to talk with me about it. On the phone. He said he wrote emails all day long, and that to pick a day and time and we can talk.

I found this terribly fascinating. I live in a world where I can by accident come across a book, have it mean something to me, I can contact the writer behind it, and then have him want to talk with me. About his writing. As though it were not a big deal at al.

And actually, it wasn't. Dann dropped me a line earlier this evening and we talked for well over an hour about everything. Those of you that know me know that I hate talking on the phone, especially meeting in person. I'm extremely anxious about communication that doesn't involve a computer screen. (Thank you social media generation!) However, I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be about this phone call. I was much too excited to learn about the book I enjoyed so much.

Dann is a fantastic conversationalist. He was at ease, answering as best he could to every single question I asked over and over. I wanted to know how much of the book was based off of real life. At what moment did this story pop into his head and the idea to write this novel came about? I wanted to know where these people were that he based the characters off of. 

I wanted to know what happened next in this fictionalized world. And he was able to tell me every single thing I wanted to know. Most authors wouldn't do this. They would rather leave the readers guessing, and to use our imaginations to ponder the plausible outcomes. A few times he actually asked me what I thought happened and then went on to compare my thoughts to his. 

The conversation moved on to other things such as what my life was like (odd), what kinds of things did I write (angsty 1940s or modern day human interactions that take place in New York) and of course, Comic Con experiences. He also called me out on spelling his name wrong on Twitter, which is why none of my friends bought the book (like they said they would) because I spelled Dann's name wrong.

Here is where I tell you to buy the book. Because its good. I can't even go on to tell you what its like because I'm much too biased and excited about it. Read the synopsis on amazon. Then go buy it HERE. I want people to buy this book not just because its good, but so that you too can be part of this completely random and surreal situation. I found a book, contacted the author. Now you, random reader, are reading this blog and terribly curious about this book I keep ranting about. I hope you will go on to buy this book, experience it, and go on to tell Dann what you thought of it yourself.  Please also tell me too, I'd very much appreciate it.

Unless you think it sucks, in which I'd appreciate it if you kept your mouth shut. ;)

That's all for tonight. Seriously guys, if you by chance are in need of a book to read and chose to read this one, let me know. And thank you Dann for this new found friendship. As already warned, I wil most likely bug you often about writing advice and for other random things.



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