I’ve been feeling empowered since I spoke to a man on the phone yesterday. Isaac. I don’t even know his last name.
I talked to him because he has read my space opera.
He told me about how he’d recommended it to his parents and friends. Told me that he wanted to do art about the spacecraft in my series, and that he scooped up each book in the series as soon as he found it available.
The interesting thing is he is the guy who worked on my air conditioning unit over a year ago. While he worked we chatted, and he told me he loved sci-fi. So I gave him a copy of The Anvil in print.
He fixed the AC, left, and I didn’t hear from him for a year. But then, as he had my number from the service call, he called me out of the blue. He told me that he wished I used less profanity in my first book as I barely used any in the following sequels. I agreed with him. He told me a myriad of things that made my head bigger than it already is.
I invited him to the event this weekend, in hopes of shaking his hand. We also discussed having lunch at some point.
The reason I’m sharing this isn’t to brag. It’s to share a lesson I just learned.
As authors each time we can personally touch the lives of our readers we make an impact. On them and ourselves.
They want to live in the universes we create. They want the excitement, or the dream, or the meaning that our characters live. They want the hope for the future, the beauty of the past, or the intensity of the moment.
And by respecting their desire to share in those moments, we can make lifelong fans, or maybe even friends.
I’m very introverted. Unhealthily so. It’s weird, I can talk to a crowd of 100,000 without so much as a flinch. But face to face, person to person with a person I don’t know is hard for me. I can moderate a group or lead a rally without issue, but getting personal with a stranger is very hard.
I, and if you have the same problem my fellow authors, you need to get around that problem. Because it turns out that our readers don’t just care about our stories. They want us to be part of their lives as well. And I think it’s paramount to our success that we try. Not in Stephen King’s Misery sense, always be safe. But the readers are not only the best way for us to get the word out about our books, they are the reason we create our works in the first place.
I care about the experience I bring to my readers. And they, so far, have seemed to sense that.
And it’s amazing what positive interaction from a fan can bring to your mind. I smiled like a Cheshire cat all day.
Let that amazement translate into more words. I wrote last night. I want to write every night I can. It has become my main calling, weaving this universe that Sarah Dayson inhabits, or the messed up world that Mica and Laura Everitt defend. And it’s reader feedback that validates it all.
Now if I could just get people to leave reviews on Amazon. 🙂