I am a packrat in all aspects of my life. I hang on to things that have meaning and sometimes much to my wife’s despair, things that aren’t worth anything. This was a huge point of contention when we were downsizing from our large home on three acres to our small condo on the lake. Now, before you get all judgy and feel sorry for my wife, she’s every bit as much a collector as I am, only in different ways.
This tendency to save everything, just in case I need it in the future, extends to electronic communication. In my defense, that has saved my ass on more than one occasion at work. People’s memories are notoriously distorted as the months go by.
So, what does this have to do with writing? Well…I’m going to tell you. In addition to every e-mail my wife sent me when we first started corresponding, which I pulled out and used when writing, Artist Free Zone, I’ve saved every single piece of correspondence from readers that I’ve received over the years.
I have a folder that I drag and drop all those e-mail messages. I’ve never taken those lightly. They have always meant a great deal to me. When I need reminding about why I continue to write, I admit, I’ll pull those little gems out and read them. I hope I won’t violate anyone’s privacy by sharing a few of my favorites (I promise not to add a name to them). I’ll probably edit them a little bit because some are long.
- My very first e-mail from a reader: I just finished your book and I had to tell you how much I enjoyed reading it. It sounds as if there’s a sequel in the works and I can’t wait! Your creative writing kept me glued to the screen. I really liked the fact that there was action, suspense and most importantly, romance and love. A lot of authors seem to think you can’t have them together. I loved the fact that the female characters were strong, intelligent and beautiful inside and out with a healthy dose of humor. I’m looking forward to seeing what becomes of Dani and Candy. They’re adorable and I think they have possibilities.
- I just wanted to message you and tell you how much I enjoyed reading one of your books. I thoroughly enjoyed all the characters and the plot was excellent. I am definitely keeping this book around for many more reads. I admit to a decent obsession with books haha, and it’s always a treat to find one I know I will enjoy more than once. So, thank you for a great story. I think stories are a lot more important than many people realize, especially nowadays.
- I just stayed up till 4:30AM reading your book. I literally could not put it down. It was amazing. I loved it.
- I wanted to let you know that I just finished your book and I am stunned. I don’t know where to start, except to just gush.
- You were born to write, I loved your book it was different it had me guessing, could not turn the pages quick enough it was a beautiful story. Can’t wait to read your next one.
- I bought your book ages ago and have read it many times. I just wanted to tell you the story captivated me, I went through all the emotions with Belinda and Carly. The unconditional love they shared was beautiful. I love they slow build romance as well, usually Lesbian books have the characters sleep with each other on page three. You really had the reader hoping and anticipating their eventual union. I love Locked Inside. Bravo.
- I finished reading Unconventional Lovers twice last night. What a beautiful story.
- I just wanted to take a moment to reach out to you about your novel, Locked Inside. This was the first of your books that I have read and I absolutely loved it! I read 3 – 4 books a week and cannot believe I haven’t read one of yours before. Shame on me 🙂
- I recently finished reading Unconventional Lovers. I read A LOT, so much so that my mother has always told me I read too much. Personally, I have always felt one is never alone as long as she has a good book and I have to say Unconventional Lovers is one of the best. In the beginning, I was a bit apprehensive in how you were going to develop and present the growing love between Bri and Siera, but you, my friend, nailed it. Every aspect of who they embody was respectfully and tastefully done. The entire book and every character in the book resonated with me in one way or another. I applaud you and I thank you for sharing your wonderful creative ability.
I know I take chances sometimes with my subject matter. But, when I receive e-mails like the ones above, I know it’s all worth it. Thanks to everyone who takes the time to let me know how a book touched you. Readers who appreciate my work and let me know are the reason I muddle along and continue to write! By the way to the reader who sent the very first e-mail. Guess what? On December 3, giving Tuesday, you’ll get your wish with the book, Compound Interest. Dani and Candy are prominently featured in the finale.
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