Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Author Guest Post/Giveaway - The Best Birthday Gift Ever - Tammy Kaehler

Birthday Blog Post

The Best Birthday Gift Ever

Because today is my birthday, I thought I’d invite you all to join me in reminiscing about birthday gifts past, dreaming of birthday gifts future, and gorging on virtual cakes (calorie-free!!). Even better, I’m giving a gift: one commenter will win an audio book version of Dead Man’s Switch!

I’ve had some good birthdays in my life. Setting off on my honeymoon one year was especially good. The antique watch I received from a family friend is still a treasured possession. And a surprise party when I thought my friends had forgotten was a lovely moment. But this year is taking the cake (pun intended). I’ve already received two spectacular birthday gifts—both of them arrived early, but the celebration and the glow are still with me.

First, my debut mystery about a female racecar driver was published by Poisoned Pen Press a month ago. Yippee! People often ask if having a book published was a lifelong dream, and I almost don’t know how to respond. I didn’t think—scratch that, I KNEW I couldn’t write fiction, so I never even considered dreaming of it. But I have loved words and stories my whole life. I need them, every day, like air and water, but I knew I couldn’t write one. Until I did. So it’s actually beyond my wildest dreams now to be a published author (and I still get chills making the statement).

The second gift I received isn’t anything as tangible as the book—mere words, and words in cyberspace, at that. It’s a simple message a Twitter friend sent me last week. He wrote, “I finished your book this weekend and I'm looking forward to the next one. I was inspired to get a new library card today. :)”

Did you fall over, too? Can you imagine?! It’s hands down the best compliment I’ve ever received. I realized, reading that message, that book sales and critical reviews are well and good (and all things being equal, I’ll take them, thank you), but knowing I moved someone to go to the library for more books? That’s touched me the most deeply of anything in this whole crazy process of “being an author.” If I hadn’t yet felt I’d accomplished anything in this life, I for sure feel it nr>
I’ve told my husband not to bother with flowers or chocolates. I’m good for this year and probably the next as well. So tell me, what’s the best birthday gift or experience you’ve ever had? Was it kind words out of the blue, like mine? Was it something fabulous in your hands? The gift of a gesture or generous act? One commenter will win an audio book!

Dead Man's Switch by Tammy Kaehler (NEW Ends 9/23)

Please leave a comment on this post n appreciation of the author


  1. I can tell you best Christmas gifts but not birthday gifts. Mostly what i enjoy about birthdays is the family tradition thing. In my family, we (myself and siblings) get to chose what we want to eat... it could be home cooked, it could be pizza delivered, it could be going out... and we either spend the time together as family or, as happened this year, one-on-one time with my mother. But it's always special.

  2. Jo, as I get older (well, farther away from my teens, I guess!) I value the experiences and time with loved ones more than ever. That's neat you have a strong tradition of special moments!

  3. My father and I had early January birthdays (mine the 5th, his the seventh) separated by Epiphany on the 6th (also, apparently Sherlock Holmes' birthday) and we always would get Xmas-birthday presents, not any fun at all. One Epiphany, we took the ferry from Staten Island with a bunch of people from the church to Epiphany services at Trinity Church, Wall Street. This was after Dad retired from the Stock Exchange. And, on the way back home on the ferry, someone got out two cupcakes (like a scene from Working Girl, though before the film was made), lit them and sang "Happy Birthday" to the two of us. Along with (it seemed) everyone else on that late night ferry ride. I have a photo as proof. One of the last birthdays, that was, before Dad died.

  4. That is a gorgeous memory, Carol-Lynn! Thanks for sharing!

  5. My best birthday gift was this year--all expense paid trip to the Killer Nashville conference where my manuscript was a top 10 finalist. I didn't win and I think my family was more disappointed than I was. Just being at the conference made me FEEL like I'd won. :) What fun!

  6. oops I am late -- but my Mom gets a birthday Month -- little things all throughout the month. This year I am traveling with her to WPA in North Carolina. Birthdays are meant to be spread out!

  7. Jess, that's awesome! Congratulations to you on being a finalist, and I hope you took tons away from the conference.


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