Monday, October 18, 2010

The Kindness of Strangers

After the book reading and signing in Columbus a few weeks ago, my friend Murph and I were doing an in-depth quality control check of his Irish whiskey (good, by the way... very good) when he asked me what the best thing about (finally) getting published has been. It was a tough question to answer because so many wonderful things have happened--from positive reviews to print, television, and radio interviews to seeing people I haven't seen in years show up at readings.

Near the top of the list, however, has to be the emails--and in some cases, actual snail-mail letters--from readers I don't know. These are strangers who have taken the time to write and tell me that they enjoyed my book, that it made them laugh or cry or touched their heart in some way. One of my favorite lines so far: "I don't remember you being in the house I grew up in, but it's apparent you were there." In another, a woman wrote, "I don't usually read novels, but I read yours. And now, I'll read your next one, too."

Those kinds of comments motivate me to keep writing. What about you? If you're a writer, what keeps you going? If you do something else, what drives you to do what you do?