Reader Appreciation Day

Since I was a child, I’ve loved books. One story that captured my imagination, even before I could read, was “The Velveteen Rabbit,” by Margery Williams. The love of a little boy for his toy, in the end, makes the velveteen rabbit “real.”

Once I could read for myself, my circle of friends included Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, Tom Swift, Rick Brant, and Chip Hilton. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March played well with Lassie and her boy, Joe Carraclough. Soon I was reading C.S. Lewis, Georgette Heyer, Louis L’Amour, E.E. “Doc” Smith, Dorothy Sayers, Dick Francis, Katherine Kurtz, Lois McMaster Bujold…. And the list goes on, and on, through the decades and a raft of genres.

As a reader, I appreciated the authors who fed my voracious appetite. But I never realized how important I—the reader—was to the author.

Then I began to write. Forge emerged out of the pressures of a traumatic time in my life. At first, I thought I was only writing for myself, and my own sanity. Then my sisters began to snatch the raw draft of the story out of my hands. Bolstered by their enthusiasm, I gathered up my courage and posted an early version on a critique site. The comments I received were grist for my mill, and when people I’d never met started demanding the next chapter, I was elated, and honored.

This was a revelation, giving me an entirely new insight into writing. Appreciation, I discovered, is a two-way street. The authors of all those books I read needed me, just as much as I needed them. And not only because I was willing to plunk down hard cash for their stories—although I’m certain that was part of it! As an author, I love readers…people who sprinkle the magic pixie dust of their time and attention, their love, on the product of my imagination and make it “real.”

Authors and readers today have more choices. We are no longer held hostage to the publishing decisions of a few big houses. Authors can reach more readers, because readers can choose books from among a growing list of publishers, and even the self-published. They can choose to read their book in dead-tree format, or on the now-ubiquitous e-reader. They can also reach out to the authors they like—via Amazon rating, email, website comment, tweet, or Facebook post. Authors respond to reader feedback the way Tinkerbelle responds to applause! And the author-reader relationship is stronger than ever.

So I hope, if you buy a copy of “Forge,” you’ll reach out to me and let me know what you think of it! And, you might take just a minute, and give your favorite author a positive vibe, too. Because we need you more than you might appreciate.

In token of my appreciation, and in celebration of my first blog tour for Forge, you’ll find a Rafflecopter widget on the Events tab, at the end of the blog tour schedule. You still have time to enter for a $20 gift certificate from!

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