Well, I haven’t been doing this terribly long, and I’ve had some incredible moments along the way (completing my first novel, singing a contract with Norlights Press, shaking hands and meeting fans at book signings), but today may be the best damn day of my writing life thus far.
Any day you get ten or so new reviews across a slew of your books is a great day. On top of that, I had an e-publisher tell me they were impressed with my body of work and success and that they would be ecstatic to put out a future work. WOOL moved back into the top 5 after a two-week hiatus, and a lot of the books are doing well. This would have been a top-10 writing day had this final touch never occurred.
But this is what blew me away today: A review on Goodreads and Amazon for HALF WAY HOME. And then an email from the reader who wrote the reviews. This was a fan of the WOOL series who had decided to check out something else of mine, and what they found cut really close to home.
When I plotted HALF WAY HOME with my wife, the two of us were hiking with our dog in the hills of Virginia. We chatted about the potential characters. At first, the main character was going to be a farmer, but this quickly switched to psychologist. And then I toyed with the idea of writing a gay protagonist.
The goal was to make the sexual orientation important, but incidental to the plot. The ultimate respect would be to have his innate romantic preferences invisible. The fact that this reader blogged about the very facet of the book for which I’m most proud, blew me away. I never dreamed of my work being understood at this level. It was enough for me to hope that my stories might entertain on the surface. The moral lessons, I figured, might be picked up by a few and lauded, if I was lucky. But today, the real core of the work, the very thing my wife and I had chatted about on a philosophical level while hiking with our dog through those hills, someone not only understood, but was touched on a personal level.
Folks, let me tell you, it doesn’t get any better than that.
And to top it all off, I just had a wonderful phone chat with my erstwhile editor (and the woman to whom WOOL is dedicated, and who will love my use of both “whom” and “who” in this parenthetical). We’ve had our Zynga-inspired and hyphen-related differences over the years, but I count her as one of the few true friends that I’ve made via the Internet. Laughing with her on the phone while we clicked through Amazon stuff capped off what has to be, for many reasons, The Best Writing Day of My Life.