Squawk Radio

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Debbie chimes in about letters from readers--the good, the bad, and . . .

Fellow Squawkers,

There certainly have been times in my career when I’ve danced a little jig over some goal attained. While those career highs are absolutely thrilling, and I don’t mean to dismiss them in any way, it’s the feedback I get from my readers that excites me.

I remember Theresa sharing a letter she’d received from a paraplegic (forgive me if I have this wrong) who wrote to tell her that reading her books was what helped him deal with his disability; what got him through the nights. Now that’s a reason to feel proud. That’s a reason to feel like you’ve accomplished something good in this life.

I don’t write books that are going to change the world—I leave that up to those with a larger vocabulary than mine. But I was moved to tears by a letter from a woman who was left a widow after 9/11. She wrote to tell me my books helped her deal with the death of her husband. It’s our books that are making a difference in someone’s reality. I frown when some so-called critic calls our books candy. They’re wrong. In some cases they’re the very best medicine available.

Okay, fellow Squawkers, I’ll admit not all my letters leave me grateful that I’m a writer. There’s the occasional one from the guy in prison who’s convinced he can’t live without me. Perhaps my favorite is the man who wrote to tell me. “You can be my woman and I don’t even care that you’re fat.” Oh darn . . . why couldn’t I have met him before Wayne!
Debbie M, 2:16 PM