Sunday, May 10, 2009

Why I Love Writing - Part VI

For the final chapter in my series on why I love writing, I will focus on the reader. After all, they are the reason we writers slave so diligently to get every word perfect, hone the rhythm of the prose and give our characters so much grief.

There are few things that give me more satisfaction than getting an email from a reader or reviewer who has read my work and taken the time to contact me to let me know how much they enjoyed it. Sharing with others is a blessing, and when they appreciate that gift, it fills me with a satisfaction that warms me to my marrow.

And the remarkable thing that happens when someone new reads my novel is that they filter what I have written through their own life experiences, and in so doing the story takes on different dimensions, unintended meanings, and changes to conform to their way of understanding the world. I love that the story is slightly different for each person that reads it, and that so many people have found meaning or beauty where I had never intended it.

This sharing that goes on between writer and reader, we offer them our creativity and they give back their appreciation, is one of the key things that helps me trudge on through those periods of doubt and those times when I wonder why the hell I’m working so hard to please a handful of people I’ve never met. All it takes is one fan letter and my doubts crumble. Readers are a rejuvenating balm. If I could bottle that feeling, I would be a very rich man indeed.

So to complete this series I’d like to share a sampling of letters I’ve received from readers. I believe you’ll see why I’m so enthusiastic about getting them.

I finished Island Song and wanted you to know how much I enjoyed it. I felt that I had read something that didn't underestimate me as a reader. The use of language not only in descriptions but as a descriptive of the beauty of the language. (I know what I mean but of course I'm having trouble explaining!). The writing is beautiful.

I was afraid that as I generally read mysteries and sci fi, that I would be disappointed in the story. But in some ways Island Song is sci fi - you create an entire world, a mystical world. I'm glad I found your writing through the GWR list.Eric


Hi Alan,
Well, I found and purchased 'Island Song' on fictionwise and I've just finished reading it. WOW!!!!....what a brilliant, brilliant novel! I'm totally in awe of your writing and creativity. I haven't even fully processed the novel (or the many emotions it drew out of me), but even though I've just finished it, I'm very eager to go back and read it again.
I truly hope you will be writing more and look forward to reading anything, and everything you come up with.

Congratulations on a true masterpiece,


All I can say is...WOW! I want more!!WOOHOO!! I'm proud of you and excited too because I truly LOVED your book!

I have to tell you, I am honest in my reviews, and if something is not 'good', I'll figure out a way to say it, believe me. Your book, Island Song is one of the most Inspirational stories I have ever read. I don't know for the life of me why you shelved it under Paranormal Erotic Romance. I found it not erotic at all, which is NOT a bad thing...I can encourage many more of my friends to read it now, and I am so impressed with your style and the way you're able to be highly descriptive without being boring (I don't often find that, let me tell you.)! I'm not even sure I would have labeled it Paranormal. I loved the way you approached sensitive issues and pertinent life lessons without preaching. To me, your book was THE INSPIRATIONAL ADVENTURE of a lifetime.

I wish you much success in your future endeavors, and for god's sake, get me another freaking book ASAP!!! Beautiful, beautiful story!

Sincerely, and from one that is Not easily impressed,Bryl


Jina Bacarr said...

You've come full circle, Alan, with your writing series--from the story moment when that spark of creativity hits us to touching the reader with our passion.

Great job,


Karen Walker said...

How lovely for you, Alan, to get such wonderful kudos from those reading your stories. May you receive many, many more.

Alexis Grant said...

This is such a great idea for a post! Very unique. My favorite line:

"I love that the story is slightly different for each person that reads it..."

That's what makes books come ALIVE.

Julie Lomoe said...

Hi Alan,
I just quoted your comment about what makes a professional writer in my own blog, and inserted a link to your site, so I thought it was high time I visited. Your work sounds fascinating - congratulations on the rave reviews.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Your writing, and the way you write about writing, touches my heart. I wish great success to you as you continue to create stories your readers love.


Enid Wilson said...

Great post Alan, it's always good to see how "the others" see us. And the comment about categorizing your book is very true.

In Quest of Theta Magic

Elle Parker said...

Those are wondeful fan letters! What a treat to be able to know how much some people enjoyed your work. Congrats! I hope you get many many more.

Elle Parker

C. Margery Kempe said...

Good acknowledgment that writing is only half the process. Without readers we're a tree falling in the forest!