Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Love Letter To My Readers

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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Shel said...

Awwww!! Thanks, Sue Ann...There's just one problem. See that last paragraph? I'm NOT an author and I do all those things. Are the men in nice white coats coming to get me?

Dru said...

Thanks Sue Ann,

If it wasn't for authors and their books, I'd probably be in the room next door.

Lisa said...

Thank YOU, Sue Ann! It was so great to meet you. I am so glad you have so many reasons to write! I love Odelia and I am looking forward to getting to know Granny and Vamps :)


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I love this post, Sue Ann! And you're so right...the readers are amazing!

G.M. Malliet said...

I do love conferences for many reasons - meeting readers and other authors is just invigorating. I return to my lonely computer with a new will.

Shirley said...

Sue Ann, if you're insane, I want to be insane, too! Doug & I are honored to be counted among your friends. Who knew that reading a book about Odelia could lead to such a fun friendship. See you at Bouchercon!

Mark Baker said...

Thanks, Sue Ann. I get such a kick out of talking to authors after having read their books. Glad to know the feeling is mutual.

Darrell James said...

In the push to finish the next book, sign the next deal, it would be very easy to forget that we're providing something of importance to the world. My love of books and reading is why I became a writer. Thanks for keeping it all in perspective, Sue Ann.

Alan Orloff said...

Readers rock!

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Thank you all for stopping by and leaving comments. Many were also left on my Facebook wall.

Okay, fun's over, now on to the next deadline. MUSH!

Alice Loweecey said...

Excellent post--like always. :)

Kathleen Ernst said...

Said perfectly, Sue Ann. Readers are what it's all about!

Beth Groundwater said...

You're such a sweetie, Sue Ann! How could anyone NOT want to be your friend?

Deborah Sharp said...

Great post, Sue Ann. It's amazing how readers become friends ... and just as amazing when they come to consider the characters we write as friends, too. The BEST part about being an author! (makes up for those eensy paychecks)

Julia Buckley said...

YOu've got a great attitude, Sue-Ann! But there probably is some insanity there. :)

Jessica Lourey said...

You're building a great base, Sue Ann, and your hard work shows. You're great at making connections with people.

On a side note, I wonder--are there any writers who aren't readers? Should that be a punishable crime unless they have a valid excuse, like Sue Ann's multiple-book deadlines? (bet she still makes time to read)