Book Family

One of the things I didn’t realize I’d get when I wrote a book was a book family.

I thought writing a book was about sitting alone for hours and hours, documenting your thoughts and ideas, and sending them out to other people. Like a one-way letter to the world.

What I didn’t realize was that others would write back.

The Illuminator’s Gift is connecting me with all sorts of people: friends and strangers, children and adults, people who are like me and people who are different. As they read, the story becomes theirs. The ideas no longer belong to just me.

It’s the best thing ever.

DSC07038I’ve gotten to meet dozens of kids in schools. Some of them have written me letters with questions about the book that I’d never thought of before.



One girl even wrote a book report. I think her summary of the story was better than mine.



One precious boy had The Illuminator’s Gift read aloud to him because he can’t see the black-and-white letters on the page. He catalogued his reading time in Braille, a language of dots that I don’t yet know how to read.



And I’m not the only storyteller out there. Two anonymous writers sent me prequel and sequel chapters to The Illuminator’s Gift. Maybe I should take a leaf from their book. So to speak.



Maybe the most fun, though, is the e-mail correspondence I get to do with people I’ve never even met. As a kid, I was too shy to write to my favorite authors (even the ones who were still alive). I didn’t want to bother them or take up their time. Now I see that not only was I missing out on the fun of a correspondence–I might have made their day. I wish I’d been as brave as the kids who write to me now.

I thought writing a book was something I would start, then finish. That once it was published, the journey would be complete.

I couldn’t have been further from the truth. The journey is just beginning. What was once a one-way letter is now a two-way conversation.

I am blessed by a book family, bound together by words and pages.

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