This right here. These are snippets of e-mails and messages sent to me from readers since I started self-publishing nine years ago. This is what keeps me dreaming up stories and laboring over which words to use and cobbling scenes together and rearranging and pruning and embellishing upon them until they make some sort of sense. Because of the readers who reach out to me, those who go on to read the next book and the next, those who tell a friend about my books, and those who leave a thoughtful review.
Thank you, kind readers, for indulging a sensitive soul prone to daydreaming, someone who likes the way words sound and their ability to stir the soul.
While there are many more on my computer, over the years I printed some and Scotch-taped them to the wall. I’m prepping for a fresh coat of paint and will paste them altogether to mount in a frame or two. That way I can repaint at any time or take them with me when I move.
Being a sentimental person, I am truly grateful that any one…ANY one, took the time to let me know how my stories affected them. I only ever meant to write one book. Maybe two or three. I never dreamed I’d have written fourteen novels (over 1.4 million published words) with decades ahead still.
Let me end with two pieces of advice:
1) No matter what your age, if you have a dream, pursue it. I was told once by someone close to me that I’d never be a writer and couldn’t make money at it. It took time after that to summon the courage to pursue it, but in the end it was a blessing. Everything in its time. It hasn’t always been easy; few things worth doing ever are. But the rewards have certainly been worth it.
2) Words matter. They have power, so use them wisely and for good — yet sparingly where they can do harm. Those things hold true now more than ever. If I have to explain that to you, well, never mind.

So thank you all, a million times over, for opening your mind to the words that leaped onto my computer screen and somehow found their way to your screen or that book you held in your hands.



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