With my fifth book in the hands of my publisher as we speak, I've learned many things along this writer's path and one of the most important is that being an author is never about the money.
A book is diligence and creativity and business all wrapped up in a neat 300-page package. But, most of all, writing a novel is about connection. My greatest hope is to touch others, evoke something in my readers, make them laugh and make them think, hope, reminisce, dream.
Today I received an email from a woman who read my most recent book, Letters and Lace. She enjoyed the story and told me that the book gave her "hope that there's still a chance that she'll find true love."
The thing is, once upon a time I had the same feeling of hope as this woman that wrote to me. My husband and I (second marriage for each of us) are our own testament to a happily ever after. But, before he and I met there were some genuine frogs that had hopped onto my path. There were online-dating disasters and guys who lied about who they were and, God help me, what they looked like. There was one guy who thought he was Fred Flintstone, I kid you not. When he asked me if he could contact me again I replied in his own vernacular--"Yabba Dabba DON'T."
Yet, all the while a spark of hope flickered in my heart. It is one of the pieces of myself that I try to pour into my stories and the characters in them. I dig deep and do my best to put it all on the page, the ups and the downs. It's tough sometimes when dredging up pain of loss or disappointment or fear. But, what abounding reward there is when those emotions touch someone, connect with them. And, for this there is no price tag.