It always amazes me when I find out people are reading my books. I mean, that’s what they’re supposed to do, right? But it still doesn’t feel real to me. I see the book covers, I sign contracts, I’ve even had a little fan mail, but part of me goes “That’s not a fan. That’s totally your mom buying all those books to make you feel better.”
And then someone comes along to surprise me. Like at the FF&P Conference in NOLA. I was chatting with the awesome Stacy McKitrick when she suddenly whips out a hard copy of Succubus-in-Waiting for me to sign. I might have gotten a little flustered. I know I laughed, but I swear it was from surprise. By the way, I have the worst handwriting in the world. If you ever ask for me to sign something for you, I apologize in advance.
And that’s another thing. I’ve signed books. Several and it still freaks me out. That’s what big authors do. I know because I’ve battled my way to the front of the line for several of my favorite authors. They sign books. I’ve…signed books.
Most recently though, a lovely lady named Lisa, sent me a message on Twitter. She mentioned she was hoping I wrote a book about Malachi (a character who appeared in my first two Veil books) and said she was happy to see he had his own book. I must’ve stared at that Tweet for a good fifteen minutes because it was further proof that people are reading my work. And since my mom doesn’t know how to Tweet, I’m almost positive she isn’t sending me supportive messages now and then telling me about my own books. *laugh*
I like this writing thing. Not because I like to have my ego stroked or anything, but because if I’ve done my job correctly, I’ve given someone a few minutes of entertainment. If I’m lucky, they’ve had several hours of entertainment.
It’s exactly as Moliere says, “Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money.” When we start out, we write because we enjoy it. But it’s no fun if you’re the only one reading it, is it? No, you have to share this wonderful story you’ve created and that’s when you show it to your friends, or critique partners who’ve become friends. Then you sell it and it’s out there for everyone to read. You hope.
But I wouldn’t trade this crazy industry for anything. It can be frustrating and depressing at times, but when you get a random email from someone who’s read your book, or you get a really good review and realize that someone has actually read your book and understands what you were trying to say…well, that’s the best part of all.