I’m not sure whether it’s because I’m a writer or just generally a nosy person, but I read the acknowledgements that typically appear at the ends of books. I’m always curious about the folks who helped other authors on their journeys to publication.
I spent yesterday reading a riveting debut thriller, A Flicker in the Dark, by Stacy Willingham. In her acknowledgements, she thanked all the usual suspects—her agent, editor, folks at her publishing house, beta readers, and supportive friends and family members.
Interestingly, her final thanks went to her readers for their interest in her work and making her “wildest dreams” come true. Her comments reminded me just how much appreciative readers have meant to me as well. Other than the joy of doing the work, when I think of high points in my writing life, they come down to folks who’ve let me know my work has meant something to them. I think about the woman in my first critique group who told me she was so moved by the end of my first novel, While I Danced, that tears came to her eyes. And I loved hearing about the reader who missed her subway stop because she was so wrapped up in reading Leisha’s Song. Best of all was my grandson making a video this past week in which he told me how much he loved the draft of my middle grade novel but hated that it was over, and could I please write a sequel as soon as possible? I treasure these responses. And like Willingham, I’m incredibly grateful to my readers. They really do make it all worthwhile!