I don’t receive many fan letters, so when they do arrive, it pretty much makes my day. Like all writers, I love getting conformation that readers do enjoy my efforts.
Writers tend to spend their time in a room, by themselves, working on stories that they hope are good, but really don’t know for sure. We are always too close to our work to be a reliable judge of quality. So to receive this kind of validation is very special for me, for all writers. Without feedback, it is all too easy to slide into the trap of melancholy and become disheartened. Correspondence like this is an inoculation against discouragement.
I wish there were a way for me to tell all readers, that if they read a book they find interesting or uplifting or simply a pleasure to read, then by all means, contact the author and tell him/her. A few kind words do wonders to help motivate us writers.
This week I received the following email:
Dear Alan: I just wanted to Thank You for having written the Lonely War. I just finished reading this evening, and you have rekindled my personal belief that gay men can create literature as well, if not better, than straight men. Your depth of meaning and life that you placed into your characters is truly wonderful. I have put all four of your other novels on my "to purchase" list, along with the novellas.
I have begun donating my gay men's literature to the Gerber Hart Library in Chicago, Ill. Your book will be included in the next round of books that are sent to a library dedicated to collecting, conserving and providing an opportunity to preserve lgbt literature for the future generations to come.
Again, thank you for the bottom of my heart for writing such a wonderful love story.
As you can imagine, this note gave me a warm rush.