Every week, I carve out a little time to respond to something I’m almost embarrassed to talk about, something which still takes me by surprise. Some may call it fan mail, but I consider it ministry. It’s an opportunity for me to continue the conversation with people – perhaps on the other side of the country or even the world – who have been affected by my writing to the point of taking time to let me know that. I try to get to know them and their needs, to turn the conversation away from me and encourage them.
“Are you an author?” a lady asked me last week in a gallery on the Art Crawl line-up downtown.
"Who? Me?" I stammered. "I guess so. Yes, I am."
“We read your book in my book club and you look just like your picture.”
That had never happened to me before.
A few days before that, I got a phone call from a man who’d read my article in the Amy Writing Awards booklet. After initially feeling more than a little creepy that he tracked down my phone number, I decided he was just a dear older gentleman who hasn’t forgotten how to use an antiquated phone book. But to be on the safe side, I did talk about “my husband” frequently – a trick I also employed in my single days.
Last week, a lady in Kansas emailed me that she’s reviewing my book at her church’s women’s conference. Another first for me.
Every time one of my articles runs in the local paper, “fans” tell me they eagerly wait for each new article I write. And then there are comments that come via my blog and the ones where I’m a guest blogger.
Always unexpected, it’s become one of my favorite aspects of the writing life.