One of the things I never tire of is receiving email from readers who’ve enjoyed my work. Here’s one I received today, reprinted with permission:
Paul, I remember when my dad took me to see Star Wars on the first day in 77, I was 6 years old. I remember being locked out of my apartment, going to Barnes and Noble and buying The Crystal Shard in 88. More recently I remember starting my current job and reading Twilight Falling, although I read Shadow’s Witness before this, it wasn’t until then that I wrote you. I believe the e-mail address you used was either your business address or private address before Facebook, and before Twitter.
That was almost 10 years ago.
You have been so great to your fans it’s hard to express how much we appreciate what you do. How much we love your work. This past decade has been one where I have waited until the next year for your stories. The next year, the next year, then 10 years later. Amazing. I’m still waiting. Thank you so much for EVERYTHING.
I don’t want to overstate this, but stories touch people, get knit into the fabric of their lives. Reader emails like this are profound things for me, and I respond to all of them. I’ve heard from veterans in combat zones, readers with terrible illnesses, teenagers who never enjoyed reading but for whatever reason dug something I wrote, and on it goes. I’m enormously grateful and humbled by that.
Stories touch people. That’s a huge deal. Sales, money, whatever trivial celebrity comes with the gig, and all the rest are nice, but the real reward for doing this is found in emails like the one above.
I suppose I’ll keep at it a while yet.