Here is the neat thing that can happen with blogs, coming from a skeptic who wasn't quite sure how to leave a comment just over a month ago. During my VBT I stumbled across this reader's blog, called "The Life and Times of a New New Yorker," and found a review of my book. I left a comment, something I wouldn't have done a year ago.
(What -- admit that an author pays attention to online comments? Now that I blog, too, I say why not? I talk to every person who approaches me at physical readings, and am darn grateful for those. Why shouldn't I appreciate the effort that a regular reader, nearly always unpaid, put into writing a response to my novel?)
Amanda at L&ToMNNY mentioned my book again (and visited my blog, where she told me she has a sister in Anchorage -- small world). I also noticed that elsewhere in her blog she mentions THE LAST QUEEN by C. W. Gortner, a historical novel about Juana "La Loca" of Castile. He also writes a Historical Boys blog (in defense of his notion that men write historical fiction, too).
Gortner is half-Spanish and an eager researcher and traveler, the kind of historical novelist I enjoy reading. In his childhood he lived near a castle that had belonged to Juana's parents, Fernando and Isabel. I'll put THE LAST QUEEN into my suitcase, below.
I also noted that Gortner's name seemed oddly familiar. Turns out he wrote a nice review of my book for Historical Novels Review. I hadn't realized he was born in Malaga and shared my passion for Spanish history. A quick visit to his blog, a comment, his email in response, and now we're in touch.
The same day I also happen to make an online connection, via an amazon discussion, with Stephanie Cowell, author of MARRYING MOZART, an intriguing novel about the lives of the maestro's relationship with the four Weber sisters.