I imagine that most writers of books did not do so by accident. Maybe they got up one morning and said, “Gee, it’s time to write that great American novel,” or maybe they were a celebrity or politician or inventor of something great who was encouraged to tell their story. Perhaps they were trained in creative writing in college.
Anyone who has been following my blog knows I did not set out to write a book. It just evolved so there was little preplanning involved regarding how to build the excitement before the publication and what to do once it was released. I feel as if I am out in the ocean frantically treading water and looking for a life raft, but that’s okay, because I believe in the uniqueness of the story and I have a lot of patience.
Along the way, I have picked up a lot of unknowing riders. Some, such as my children and husband, did not have the right of refusal. They were stuck listening to my excitement, such as when I accidentally met a Russian translator at a party or sold my first book to someone who was not a friend or relative, and my frustration when I did not know how to move forward. But they encouraged me to keep on trucking, so I am grateful to them and hope they will someday read the final version—even though they think they know what is between the covers.
Then there are the strangers—some who have no idea that the questions I posed to them became part of a book. These include the librarians in London and the U.S., the archivists at the San Francisco and National Archives, the man at the courthouse in New Jersey, and the people at two N.J. historical societies.
Many friends (old and new) and relatives have been readers, cheerleaders, and editors along the way, and I am especially thankful to them because they have helped voluntarily. These people I knew about prior to publication so I could thank them in my acknowledgments. I just worry that I omitted someone!
Now as I attempt to learn the ropes of Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook as a means of finding readers, I am thankful for the help of fellow writers who have been offering suggestions now, like Ellie Holmes across the pond.
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. William Arthur Ward