I often wonder whether readers believe if the money they spend on our books is the greatest thing authors get out of the relationship. I know because I’m an avid reader who has wondered this very thing a time or two. I’m also an author, so I have the luxury of being able to offer an answer to the question I’ve posed. The answer is an unequivocal ‘no’. Don’t get me wrong, we authors appreciate the monetary display of affection, but what we (what I) get out of the relationship goes so much farther than that.
Over the last several days, I’ve responded to many emails opening the dialogue with an ‘I’m sorry for the late response’. My inbox is so cluttered with all sorts of…stuff, from political messages to pleas for a return visit to stores I should never have given my email address to. Out of all that…stuff, the messages I look forward to receiving are the ones from readers who just want to say “thanks” or “amazing job” or… “why the heck did you take this couple through all that, AlTonya?!”
I love it all. You guys have no idea how much it makes my day to see those messages. When I’m feeling down on myself, or like I should be working harder or any number of self-criticisms…those emails see me through. Many times, I feel like it’s also a message from God telling me not to give up.
With things being what they are right now, I’ve said many times that I’m gonna need to rely heavily on books, movies and my favorite TV shows to remind me of the beautiful things in this world that make it worth not giving up on. I’m gonna rely on my favorite authors, actors and screenwriters to keep me immersed in the beautiful things. As an author, I’m also a part of the community that others will rely on to keep them immersed. So that means making whatever small gestures I can to be part of an improved narrative-one that expresses beauty, relaxation and even escape.
It’s not much from a little black girl with a wild imagination but thankfully I’m not alone-the community of artists is an expansive one. As long as you continue to rely on us to bring you beauty, relaxation and escape, we’ll do our best to keep providing it.