I know the circles of reviewers I interact with generally have this 'authors do not contact reviewers' rule, this 'authors do not read reviews' rule, this 'keep authors and reviewers separate' rule.
Yet recently I have been engaging with debut authors who are grateful or excited I'm taking an interest in their books. One has offered to attempt to get an ARC to me. Same thing happened last year - an author giving support to a reviewer who was interested in a debut book. Last year an author emailed me because I fangirled all over her book and subsequently offered books 2 and 3 for review.
I don't know if I really should have this blanket rule that I don't interact with authors. I love authors. I love their books. It's not hurting anyone (yet).
I certainly would not want to interact with an author whose book I didn't like, only because of the risk involved in having that author blow up.
I think it's time I reviewed my 'no talking to authors' rule. They're trying to be friendly and engaging and they're genuinely excited someone else is interested in their product.