Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Queen and I

Queen Rania of Jordan told me the other day that she got back from a conference in Davos, Switzerland, just in time her son’s fifth birthday. She even sent me a photo of the whole family at the party. Yeah, we’re that close.

If by “close” you mean that I follow her on Twitter and she has no idea who I am.

But really, how cool is that? I get regular updates on the fascinating life of the coolest Queen in the world. Maybe it’s because I’m new to Twitter and still have stars in my eyes, but I love the fast-paced, intimate feel of Twitter. Besides connecting with readers and other authors, I love hearing about Kirstie Alley’s facials and Stephen Fry’s new Avatar pyjamas.

Let me backtrack and say that before I published my first book, I was living in the Internet dark ages. I had no website, had never blogged before, never joined a forum or chatted online. I had to scramble to become a fully functioning member of the online world. In the process, my world has expanded in amazing ways. It’s hard to believe that only six months ago, I barely knew what Facebook was. Now I have “friends,” “followers,” and even some “fans.” In this vast, confusing universe, it’s nice to find something in common with total strangers, including a Queen.

So I have e-publishing to thank for all these wonderful new relationships. Now I know that Queen Rania’s husband and son have the same birthday. I know that Red Lobster offers a new mechanical Shrimp Ride (okay, that was from “The Onion’s” twitter feed.) I signed a Twitter petition to get a book pirating site’s tweets removed. (It worked.) I know when Dear Author reviews a book. I know when my Twitter friends are working on their blurbs and when their books come out and what they’re having for lunch.

And I get to share my own news, from new book covers to the weird dream I had last night. Maybe someday Queen Rania will follow me back and I can tell her all about the cute thing my five-year-old said (when I told her it was time to brush her hair, she informed me she was “unavailable.”)

Are you on Twitter? If so, do you like it or loath the way it eats up all your time? Here’s me, @AuthorJuniper. Don’t be a stranger!

Juniper Bell