Tonight I read a post on Facebook by a woman who is having difficulty finding her empathy after seeing her child through heart surgery. Oh, I wrote a book about that – literally. But this is not about me, this is about my readers. I will not call you “fans” because I don’t deserve fans. I am just a mom like two million other heart moms and 36 million special needs moms out there. I’m not a celebrity, I’m just a writer sitting in my living room waiting for my kids to finish their showers so I can read them some “good work” by the amazing writer Neil Gaiman. To me, readers are what matters, and I thank you, one and all.
First, I want to thank you, dear readers, for showing up and reading my blog. It makes me feel connected to the world when I see that people have been reading, even when there are no comments. I do, however, ALWAYS welcome and treasure your comments. I absolutely love your comments, and if you respectfully disagree with me I may just give you your own guest blog to state your case. I’ve done it before and I’d do it again.
Second, I want to thank everyone who has read Heart Warriors. From the very first beta readers who helped me take it from a draft to a publishable work, to the people who have it marked on their Goodreads “to do” list and everyone in between. Thank you.
I also want to thank you because, going back to the woman I started with in this post, those who’ve been through something similar will retread their own pain when they share mine. My goal for those of you who’ve been through something similar is to help you get to something better . . . to a place of acceptance, peace, and appreciation for how amazing and strong you truly are. For those of you who haven’t been through anything like having a critically sick child but who read it anyway, either in support of a friend who has or in support of me, THANK YOU.
I know it’s hard to read, but I didn’t know that until recently. The first time I realized Heart Warriors might be hard to read was after I’d read it literally sixty times. It was the first time I read it aloud to myself to error check the final draft in the Advanced Reader Copy that I cried. Yep, I wrote it and read it five dozen times and never cried until I read it aloud. I was “detached.” Then I started reading in front of people. I would look up and see tears streaming down their faces. I started bringing tissues to my readings and making a joke of 80% chance of ocular precipitation.
If you’re feeling really brave, get the audio book (50% of my profits go straight to the Children’s Heart Foundation Colorado Chapter), and listen to me read it. There’s a point where, at the end of one of the chapters, you can hear my voice break. The chapter ends, but I sobbed uncontrollably in the studio for a few minutes. When you say it out loud, it feels more real, which is strange because it’s all real, it’s all true. It hurts, so I thank you for taking on the hurt and coming through the other side to the hope. I hope it was worth it.
So, I do feel a little bad that it hurts people to read my book, but I think it’s a healing hurt. I base that feeling on the reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble by real readers. Don’t take my word for it, check them out. The people who took the time to write them deserve some recognition. In that spirit, I want to thank those amazing people who actually took the time to review Heart Warriors. You didn’t have to do it, but you did, yes you did, and I thank you! OK, I stole ZZ top lyrics, but I my gratitude is sincere. Thank you kindly.
I’m very blessed and honored by every one of you who reads my work. Thank you for letting me be a “real” writer by being my “real” readers. Love to all!