Encounters that Keep Us Going

Earlier last year, I was at an author’s fair in a small library. It was my second year at this particular fair. While I wasn’t expecting to actually sell anything, I was looking forward to seeing the librarians again. It’s also a beautiful library.

The librarian in charge of the fair explained to me that one worker in particular was looking forward to seeing me. This intrigued me. However, I was also worried about setting up my books in an aesthetically pleasing manner. I forgot about this person who wanted to see me. I’m easily distracted.

A few hours later, this librarian approaches my table and she gushes. Straight up gushes. One of her favorite novels is Willows of Fate. Something I wrote is someone else’s favorite. This is mindblowing.

She explained that she wasn’t sure she would like the novel at first because of Desdemona’s alcoholism. However, she deeply identified with the character and the character’s family. She said that it reminded her of her own family.

I had to hug her. I’m not a hugging person. I don’t like strangers touching me in a familiar manner. But I needed to hug her.

This young woman returned with her sister, who said, “So, this is the author who wrote the book you find a way to talk about every day.”

Translation: There is a person on this planet who finds a reason to discuss one of my books every day.

It isn’t just that this involves one of my novels. Willows of Fate was a book I struggled to write. It’s a series I struggle to continue. And someone loves it. They love it so much, they talk about it every day. They hoard the book even as they recommend to their sister that they should read it.

I never felt more encouraged in my entire life. It’s encounters like this that keep writers going.

Also published on Medium.

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