About seven years after I set out on this journey with Frederick and Jette Meisenheimer, their story is published today. Tonight I will stand up in front of a group of people at Barnes & Noble in Columbia, MO, and read from my finished book for the first time.
It will be a sweet moment, I am sure, but one tinged with sadness, too, for neither my parents, nor my sisters, nor my children will be there.
But there will be friends. And that is what I want to talk about today.
Writing books is a lonely old business – I just sit here at my computer and peck away at the keyboard, wondering if anyone will like the story in my head. To have transitioned from such a hermit’s existence to enter the warm and welcoming online world of readers and writers has been a wonderfully rewarding experience. I have been astonishingly lucky to have made some fantastic friends on this journey. Of course, in this internet age, I haven’t met all of them – or even most of them – but that doesn’t diminish the warmth with which we interact online and the comfort and connection they provide me. I hope the feeling is mutual.
I began thinking about this post with the idea that I would list everyone I wanted to thank, but quickly realized that would be (a) very boring and (b) perilous, because I would almost certainly forget one or two people, and that would be very bad. So instead I just want to say a huge THANK YOU to every blogger, bookseller, librarian, writer, and reader that I have met over the past several months. You all know who you are. I could not have done this without your friendship and support. People have been so generous with their words of encouragement – whether comments on my blog posts, tweets, emails, reviews, or the wonderful blurbs which now grace the book’s jacket. I hope to meet as many of you as I can, one day. It’s been an honor to get to know you all.
As some of you know, this has been a very difficult year for me on a personal level. I have not written about it out of respect of the privacy of others, and I do not intend to start now. But it has been a difficult time. The process of shepherding my novel towards today has been largely responsible for keeping me in one piece, and the friendships that I have formed along the way are an integral part of that. So thank you, each and every one of you. Words aren’t really enough, but they’re all I’ve got.
Finally, on the subject of keeping me in one piece, there are two other people I need to mention here, who have done more than anyone to help in that regard – and who inspired the title to this post. Thanks, guys. You’re my whole world.