It’s never been about the money (because, as I have said before, you’re more likely to win the Irish Sweepstakes than make much money at all in this publishing game), and it’s not about the fame (similar reason as for the money part).
It’s because I believe I have a story worth telling and that I’m the only one who can tell that story the way I’ve chosen to tell it.
But it’s mostly because I love to think that someone out there who has read what I’ve written will be touched by it in some way – hopefully in a positive way! – and that my story makes them think, feel, and experience something they would not have otherwise known, had I not written.
Someone like Heartny, for instance, who I met online through my blog when she commented on one of the posts I wrote about Chickungunya, as she too was suffering with the virus. We struck up an email conversation over the months and before I left Canada in early December to return to Bequia I sent her a print copy of my novel, Island in the Clouds. Imagine my extreme delight when I received this email comment (and I post here with her permission):
I had received your book last year around Christmas and I wanted to thank you so much for the beautiful gift …
Right before the book arrived, I had a major heart break and I was feeling really sad … So the book brought me some light and joy when I needed them the most … Thank you Susan.
I just couldn’t do many daily things like writing emails, eating, sleeping, and so on … So please forgive me that it took such a long time to write you a thank you email.
Now my heart feels better, I finally was able to go back to my normal routine and started reading the book, and I really like it … It is so cold in New York today. Now I can dream of the island in the clouds.
Thank you so much once again Susan.
Receiving an email like this, and from another reader who came to me through my Chikungunya posts (A from the UK, as I refer to him) – both previously unknown to me, plus the many personal comments and messages I’ve received from other readers, is far better than any number of reviews on Amazon or any other sites – because they’ve taken the time to tell me directly that reading my books has touched these people personally.
As an author, I think you just can’t ask for anything better than that!
I thank these readers especially though because it’s the comments like theirs that encourage me to keep writing …