There are at least a dozen reasons I could think of right off the top of my head for why I so love writing. And, more specifically, why I love writing this particular story: my saga of happily-ever-after revolving around the Darcys and their friends. I love the adventure of crafting words into paragraphs into chapters. I love the research into history. I love the thrill of inspiration and epiphany as scenes appear by magic into my head. I love the rush of pride when I read those scenes perfectly conveyed on paper. I love the challenge of overcoming the hurdles. I love dwelling with these characters I have created and given life. I love what they teach me about love and life and history. I love the professional accolades and confirmation for a job well done. And that is just scratching the surface.Yet, for me there is no doubt that the best part is when my written words touch someone. When I hear from a reader and they relate to me with great thankfulness how my story brought them joy or laughter or merely a smile, I swell with uncontainable happiness. I never set out to change the world, win Pulitzers, write the next mega-blockbuster, or be on Oprah. I only desire to entertain, to bring warmth and light into a ofttimes dreary world. Nothing fancy. So even when the response is just: “I liked your book. Thanks.” I am overjoyed. Then there are the ones who LOVE it, who use CAPITOL letters and lots of exclamation points!!! And once in a while there is the truly profound email from someone who was blown away or given hope through a difficult situation. I would like to share some recent letters with you. These are all real, (although I will not use the person’s name), and for me make any difficulty or stress worth it.
“Your books are what got me through the last few months, it sounds weird, but reading about such a couple and learning about that type of relationship in another way helped me realize that there was hope that there was something better out there…. your books helped me get through some of the last months of my marriage. I re-read your books often, praying that my relationship with what I thought was my Mr. Darcy, could be fixed or evolve into something different. Your books give me hope for the future. I always felt that Austen’s books were the ultimate love stories, full of misunderstanding and winding pathways, but that love ultimately conquered…..you create a world, where one can forget their problems and have a glimpse into a world and a life that we all wished we possessed in some way or another.”
“As both a Jane Austin and Pride and Prejudice fan, I was curious to read your novel. I couldn’t put it down! I absolutely fell in love with Mr. Darcy. I am re-reading it again a second time and cannot wait till your next novel comes out.”
“Loved the book! I am so mad; I want the next one now! I can’t wait until it comes out. Of all the continuations that I have read, this BY FAR has been my favorite. I have all my girlfriends (teachers) around the lunch table running out to get a copy! It was a fun and wonderfully romantic book, and we Darcy lovers can’t get enough!” from a history and English teacher
“I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease 4 years again and since have just been trying to get through life not enjoy it. I used to love to read, but no longer had any interest and hardly felt good enough anyway. Your book pulled it back into my life. I could not put it down once I picked it up. I have already read it twice. I loved how you stayed honest to the characters but at the same time took it to your style of writing. I just want to say that I loved the book and was actually disappointed when I found out the book had only been published this year because that means I have to wait that much longer for the next one. Based off the excerpt in the book, I will love it just as much as I loved this one. Thanks for the book and bringing some joy back to me!!!” from a 17 year old fan
“Awesome! Finally someone has taken on this wonderful task of ‘what happens to the Darcy’s after the marriage’. Thank you. The book jumped out at me while I was shopping at Target–and yes everything else I needed to shop for no longer mattered. I rushed home to read it–and stayed up until 4AM reading. I did not want to put it down.”
“I have just finished this wonderful book! I have to tell you and I absolutely….love…love….LOVED it!!!! I love the way you wrote it and brought out the Lizzy and Mr. Darcy I have in my head. I cried, I laughed and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.”
“Four years ago I lost my beloved husband of 36 wonderful happy years. I was 19 when we married and I was never happier than when we were in the same room, space, bed, car, tub…you get the idea. Each page of your novels made me stop and remember my ___. It made me both happy and sad. But I also smiled as I said to myself, “This is how it was for me and I got to feel all those emotions again.” THANK YOU! You see some people just don’t understand true deep love. YOU DO… IN YOUR OWN LIFE AND IN YOUR WRITING and you are sharing and giving.”
“I found it to be outstanding! It was written beautifully, and it had me hooked right from the first chapter. You are a wonderful author who has truly inspired many around the world with your inspirational story about the marital life of the Darcys. I have absolutely no negative views toward your novel! It was absolutely enjoyable from start to finish. I found it very hard to come home from school to do my math work, because I so greatly wanted to read your book. I literally had to put it away where I could not see it just so I could focus properly on my homework! It truly has bewitched me!”
Can it get any better than that? I am blessed to have literally hundreds of positive messages between my forum, mail inbox, and review places to encourage me when the negativity rears. These are the people I write for. I am writing for the average lover of Austen, romance, or period dramas who appreciates a well-written story of hope, minimal angst, humor, and happiness. I thank each one of them for stepping forward to cheer me on. I thank the silent readers who hearten me by buying the book. And I thank Dominique, Deb, Danielle, and everyone else at Sourcebooks who is sticking firm in the resolve to get my novels out there so that more people can be touched.