I am currently on tour to mark the release of A CURIOUS BEGINNING. Regular blogging will resume in October, but please drop by the blog every Tuesday and Thursday in September for posts from the archive. In the meantime, hope to see you on tour!
This post originally ran in 2008.
More than one person has mentioned to me recently that they read my blog because I don’t complain. (I tried once. I wrote a scathing, shimmering, incandescently enraged blog entry last month when I was so angry I wanted to kick a few people with pointy shoes until the streets ran red with their hearts’ blood. But I got over it and it just seemed silly to leave the entry in the publishing queue when I was no longer wanting to torch their houses, bulldoze the remains, and salt the earth so nothing would ever grow there again. I jest!)
Anyway, in light of those observations about the character of my blog, I started thinking about the mood of this place and how closely it reflects what’s really going on in my head. I decided this blog is completely me, but me at about 80%. (I censor. A LOT.) But–without compromising the privacy of people who didn’t ask to have their personal lives hung out on the washing line of the internet–it is as authentic as I can make it. I really do muse about the things I write here, and I enjoy writing things that I think YOU will enjoy.
But more than that, I am acutely aware of the power of gratitude. (Warning: New Age feeling-type sentiments ahead.) I always believed I would be a published writer. Even as a child, I would practice my autograph or being interviewed by Barbara Walters because I knew those skills would come in handy one day. What I didn’t expect is that it would take me almost until the age of forty to get published. I was twenty-three when I wrote my first novel, and it was fourteen years until I got a book deal. Fourteen years of rejection letters and writing novels that nobody wanted. My confidence and my faith in myself as a writer were beaten so thin moths could have used them for wings. It was, simply put and without melodrama, a dark time.
It hurts to think about it now, so I try not to. But when I do, I am knocked to my knees by gratitude for what I have. My reality now is that every day I can walk into a bookstore and see my work, printed and bound and for sale, ready to go home with someone and hopefully give them a pleasurable escape from their workaday life. My reality now is that I get on airplanes and travel to wonderful places to meet people who believe in what I do and want to help make me successful. And my reality now is that every single morning, I turn on my computer and there is e-mail waiting for me from readers who say things like, I hope your well is ever plentiful and you always find joy in your words.
So that’s why I don’t complain here. This is the place where readers come to meet the real me, and what you find here IS the real me. But it’s the best me. I put on a pretty party dress and my dancing shoes because I know you’re coming and I’m happy to see you here. So thanks for coming, and thanks for appreciating what I do. Because without you, I am a girl with eight lonely little novels in a box under her bed, and I never forget that.