Just got home from the annual
ACFW conference—had a spectacular time—and enjoyed meeting a legend of Christian
Fiction, Frank Peretti. Frank was warm, funny, humble, and utterly approachable.
A friend asked if I was nervous
when I talked to him. I said I wasn’t.
Five years ago? Yes, significant anxiety would have pinged through my stomach. Not so much these days. Here’s what changed:
At twelve years old I had two dreams:
Play in the NFL and be an author.
To me, athletes and
authors were gods. Some floated higher than others, but none touched the ground
like we humans. So in the mid-nineties,
when a friend of mine said he had gotten to know a number of well-known
authors, I was astounded.
“How did you do it?”
“I wrote to them. They
wrote back. Some of them became friends and ended up staying at my house when
they came to town.”
I replied with a
witty comment along the lines of, “Oh wow, uh … wow, that’s so cool.”
I couldn’t imagine doing
what he’d done. Never considered writing to one of my favorite authors. Didn’t
think they’d ever respond and didn’t think they’d care what their writing had
done for me.
I thought all authors
were either having coffee with other authors, or tucked away in their attic
writing rooms contemplating great spiritual truths and composing pithy prose—on
a plane far too high to stoop down and consort with mortals.
Then my first novel was
published and I had a bit of success. I started getting e-mails. Nervous
readers began introducing themselves. I published a few more books. More readers
wanted to shake my hand, more e-mails filled my in-box.
(I thought it was a bit ludicrous.
Me? Really? My wife didn’t think it ludicrous. She used the word comical.)
Then I started meeting many of
my writing heroes and became close friends with a few of them. In a flash of
not so blinding insight, I realized my new friends were humans just like
me, with doubts, fears, dreams, sorrows, and joys.
Put another way, all the
authors I know love hearing from (and meeting) readers. One of the reasons we
write is to make an impact on our readers. Entertain them. Provoke them.
Make them smile, cry, think deep, see life in a different way, see them
restored, get a dash of hope, be set free …
When readers tell us
we’ve done one of those things? It’s life!
Talk to me. Have you ever
hesitated to e-mail a favorite author or introduce yourself in person? What held you back? If you didn’t hesitate, have you been surprised
at how human most authors are?
If you’re a published author, what has it been
like getting e-mails from readers and meeting readers in person?
L. Rubart is the best-selling and Christy award winning author of ROOMS, BOOK
OF DAYS, THE CHAIR, SOUL’S GATE, and MEMORY’S DOOR. During the day he runs
Barefoot Marketing which helps businesses and authors make more coin of the
realm. In his free time he dirt bikes, hikes, golfs, takes photos, and
occasionally does sleight of hand. No, he doesn’t sleep much. He lives with his
amazing wife and two sons in the Pacific Northwest and still thinks he’s young
enough to water ski like a madman. More at http://jameslrubart.com/