I was fairly quiet in school. I had a small, close-knit group of friends. I wasn't popular. I wasn't pretty. When I went to my ten-year reunion, it seemed like no one even remembered me.
I've always wanted to be a writer. It started when I was in the third grade and even though it took YEARS for that dream to become a reality, it was something that I always worked on. By the time I first published "Jordan's Return", I had binders that were full of partial stories. And along the way, I had quite the collection of paperback books that were slowly filling my home.
Thank God for a very patient and understanding husband.
Now I'm an author. I've had some best-selling books. I have readers and fans. You leave reviews - some of them unkind - and you write to me to tell me how my books made you feel. You share your own stories of relationships and loves and losses. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with emotion at the things you've experienced in your lives and I walk away to hug my children, my husband - I call my parents and tell them that I love them. It's humbling to me that you want to even talk to me to share even a small portion of your life with me - all because of books.
I'm 46 years old now. Third grade was a long time ago and yet my love of writing is still the same. And after all this time I'm still fairly quiet - except when I'm around people who I love and am comfortable with. If you've met me at an event, that means you! I honestly feel more love and camaraderie with fans than I do with friends and family. It's not an act. It's not for the sake of the signing or to sell a book. I'm honestly thrilled to meet you. When I was in NYC a couple of weeks ago for RWA, I had the opportunity to meet a ton of authors. Two of them who I was very excited to meet, were extremely rude. My heart was a little bit broken after those encounters. How hard is it to just be nice?
On Tuesday, I posted this video on Facebook. It was a thank you to the fans who came to the release party for "Made for Us".
This was a response that I got from a reader:
I have to admit something I have NEVER in my life talked to a author I have liked. U actually talk to your fans and make us feel like friends and not wallets. I honestly get excited when u respond back. U have a true friend in me. When u ever make it to Chicago I will be there to meet u face to face and fair warning I'm a hugger. But thank u again. DON'T EVER STOP being the person u are. Also I am hooked on your writing lol.
My small group of friends has grown - it's worldwide. I feel a little bit giddy when I get to virtually meet you. The internet can be a great place for things like that. I have readers all over the world who tell me about their home country and it's fascinating to me! How cool is that? Here I am in my little North Carolina home and I have people in Brazil or Australia or Scotland writing to me! It's the greatest way to have pen pals!
Sometimes I think I'm popular, but compared to the masses that are out there, I'm really not. I still have issues with my looks. And that's okay. People don't recognize me when I go out or at most events. And I'm okay with that too. The ones who do recognize me make up for the ones who don't. The smiles that come my way are so great that they make my day and it's awesome.
So where am I going with all of this? I'm saying thank you. Thank you for giving me a platform to share my stories. Thank you for all of the wonderful messages, posts, reviews and support. Thank you for adding so many blessings to my life.
Just...thank you. :)