During the release week of my newest book, Game of Spies, a most amazing thing happened. A Twitter thread about my writing went viral. The source of this tweet was my daughter, Katie.
— Katie Mingle (@katiemingle) June 24, 2019
Over dinner in the little town of Torrey, Utah, where we had met for a Spring getaway, Katie lent a sympathetic ear as I agonized about my writing career. The conversation went on to other things, and I didn’t think too much about what was said. But Katie did. She began to make a plan, something she could do to help her mom.
The Twitter thread was her doing, although she did give me a heads-up the week before. With a few minor changes, I told her to go ahead. She published the thread on June 24, release day for Game of Spies, and by Wednesday, the Twitterverse had gone crazy over it.
When I read the thread on Twitter, I realized Katie had made it about something bigger than me and my books. It also tackled the stereotypical views people hold about the romance genre–the way in which it’s considered frivolous, formulaic, and light. She mentioned her surprise at learning a romance could be a thoroughly researched piece of historical fiction. And, wow, all those sub-genres!
The thread was funny, tender, self-effacing, and sweet. And pulled off a staggering amount of book promotion for me! Katie has over 10,000 Twitter followers, and in her professional life in podcasting, her colleagues magnified that number ten times over. They retweeted her thread, and so it reached thousands of people.
The response was overwhelmingly positive. Twitter followers who said, “Downloading now,” or “Checking your mom’s books out of the library.” Someone said she’d recently lost her mom, and it cheered her to see such a warm mother-daughter relationship.
Then there was this:
“Girl your mom’s bio said she used to be a librarian also she used the word ‘harquebuses’ on like page 5 so I’m in.”
Huge fans of romance chimed in. Others who’d never read a romance said they wanted to read one now. A few who want to write one. Some said they had cried while reading the thread. Responses were funny, sweet, supportive, and enthusiastic.
By Thursday, we’d heard from NPR’s Weekend Edition, asking for an interview. A few days later, the Today Show had a great piece about the Twitter thread. The podcast “Hot and Bothered” sent a request to feature us.
Has all this made a difference in sales? Yes, which is fantastic. But not even close to the most valuable thing. That was my daughter telling me what I knew all along in my heart. “I love you and I care,” the Twitter thread screams. That means the world to me, as it would to any mom.