Perhaps it’s because I have a book coming out in March that my attention is centering more and more on touring. This year, unfortunately for me, I will be unable to tour — mostly because I am away from home. Because touring gives me a chance to get out away from home and to meet people who read and who enjoy reading books (and hopefully my books), I thought I’d devote this time to talking about fans and friendships.
It seems that we writers have a unique opportunity to meet people from all over the United States, and sometimes from around the world, as well. Because people do read our books, it seems that it is easy to become close with each other in a very short order, indeed. The pictures above include friends Lois Greiman, Jodi Thomas and writers and readers from the Amarillo, TX area. The second picture is at Sunshine Bookstore in the Los Angeles area and with friend, Glynnis Campbell (aka Sarah McKerrigan). Many readers and fans have become friends, even though we may not have ever met face-to-face. This is because we correspond on a monthly, weekly or even a daily basis in many cases. It is, indeed, a most fortunate circumstance — fortunate because in my opinion, one is only as alive as he/she has friends.
Above are pictured from left to right, myself with Lois Greiman at Borders in New York (this group is now working with Barnes & Noble), Bookseller, Tina Wood at Waldenbooks/Broders in Orlando, FL. — in Alabama with Books-A-Million rep, and at the Temecula Barnes & Noble in California. In this business, friends are for keeps, and your fans and your readers and booksellers are definitely friends. I guess that’s why many of us who write keep an open door approach to readers and fans. We want to hear from you, we want to write to you, to get to know you and hear about your hopes and dreams — even those things that might frustrate you from time to time. Writing is a very personal experience, and I think that often, after one reads a book, it is as though you have come to know that author pretty well, and hopefully to think of that author like a trusted friend. Therefore, it is perhaps an opening to a warm friendship.
For myself, I think of my friends and my readers in a rather intense way. I think readers are a very special people, who seem to have bypassed the need to watch television every night, who instead prefer to get their news and/or entertainment from books rather than having events spoon fed to them by news agencies, many of whom only seem to mouth the most recent propaganda. We who read seem to subscribe to the idea that we are still entitled to think for ourselves and we’d rather read about it ourselves and make up our own mind about things, events, people. If you read, and I’m certain that most of you do, you will probably agree with this, I think.
From left to right, myself with the two Pats. Then a wonderful reader from Alabama and another terrific fan from Georgia. So in closing let me say how much I appreciate each and every one of my readers, every one of my fans and everyone of you who come to this blog and dare to write to us. You are one of the main reasons I and many other writers continue to write.