When I first started writing, the best part of it was getting something down on paper. It became real then, not just one of the ephemeral thoughts floating around in the open-air bazaar of my brain. Committing it to a page gave it legitimacy.

When I was about to be published, the biggest thrill was knowing that other people would read my offerings and enjoy them. It was really that simple, as far as desires go. It was thrilling to know people might read it and get something out of it, even if that something was just a few moments of escape.

Then I was published, but I still wasn’t connected to any readers. So I didn’t know if anyone was getting anything out of it. You see, selfishly, authors want validation. But our validation isn’t about superlatives. (Maybe for some it is.) Most of the authors I know are happy for a thumbs-up. They don’t need to be the only person you’ve read. They just want their work to touch something, to resonate in some way.

Like all writers, I’m a reader first. I fell in love with books on this side of the page. My first enjoyment of books was shared with my parents, who read to me when I was very small. Reading is an interactive experience on a number of levels.

Having people read your stuff is good. Having people read your stuff and tell you they enjoyed it is really good. And having people read your stuff and love it so much they pimp your page or your books is better than any high on earth.

Knowing that, I try to be good to the authors I love best. And the great thing about that is, they’re amazing people with a lot of gratitude and they love positive feedback. They feed on that and put out more great work, and it’s a beautiful circle. It’s the sweetest of the sweet.