People often ask me not just the HOW but the WHY when it comes to my writing three series. The how is easy. I simply get up in the morning, put one foot in front of the other and try to stay focused. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I fail. But I keep my eye on the balls I'm juggling at all times. If I don’t, surely one of them will come crashing down and break my nose.
The why is different and has multiple answers:
a) I love it.
b) It's my dream.
c) I’m insane.
d) I’m building a career, not simply publishing a book.
e) Breach of contract can be ugly.
f) All of the above.
Of course, the answer is f – all of the above.
But now I have to add another option: Because I love my readers.
At the recent Malice Domestic conference, I often hung out talking to the people I consider the true VIPs at these conferences – readers.
Okay. I did spend some time in the bar huddled with my fellow Midnight Inkers, and there are some incriminating photos of me with a sinful Irish coffee, but most of my days were spent interacting with the folks who plunk down their hard earned money for books.
The thing is, readers often know a lot about me. They know I have two spoiled cats, live in Los Angeles, work for a law firm, etc. Many not only read my books, but take the time to get to know who I am via Facebook and Twitter. During this trip, I sought out readers and asked them about them. For instance, I discovered Linda works for the CIA; Dru Ann reads at least 4-5 books a week; Elaine collects rubber duckies; Nikki is a trainer and started a book club.
Over the years, many readers, like Bill and Sharon and Shirley and Doug, have become good friends. During the couple of days I was in Massachusetts last week, I got together with Stacia for breakfast and Cyn (and her energetic young son Mal) for shopping and chat. Becoming friends with readers is one of the best perks of being an author.
Like most writers, I spend a stupendous amount of time alone in front of a computer. It’s easy to lose my sense of balance and reality when living inside my head as much as I live outside of it. Connecting in person with readers is a way to come back to earth. I’m not just writing books that my publisher sends off into a black hole with the hope that they will sell. I’m writing books that find their way into real homes and lives.
So this blog posting is for you, dear readers and friends. Thank you for reading my books. Thank you for taking time out from your busy lives to attend my talks and my signings. Thank you, Lisa and Robin, for driving in the pouring rain last Saturday to meet me at Barnes and Noble.
No matter how ambitious I am regarding my writing career, I am nothing without all of you.
Well, nothing except a crazy, post-menopausal woman who obsesses on her cats, talks to ghosts and vampires, and makes up stuff on a daily basis.
If I weren’t an author, they’d be putting me in a home and out of reach of sharp objects.
Sue Ann Jaffarian
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