by Cara McKenna
So last week I had a new story come out from Ellora's Cave. I promise I won't go all pimptasticalz on you, though if anyone's interested, the details are here. This was the third and final book in a series I never intended to write…you know how it is when characters refuse to vacate your head. Anyhow, I've been published for nearly a year now, which still qualifies me as a freshman, I suspect. I'm certainly still learning tons, particularly about who I am, who my audience is, and what to expect (or sometimes what not to expect) from readers.
Something that's completely blown my mind in regards to this series, is that fact that I have readers. Actually, it's readers who inspired me to write the third book. I couldn't believe it when they first wrote to me. People were emotionally invested enough in characters I created that they wanted to spend more time with them, and see how their lives turned out. Weird!!! Weird and wonderful. And after the final book came out, I received e-mails and reader reviews from people who'd been awaiting the conclusion. Waiting for the stuff that falls out of my brain? Really? And you're definitely not related to me, right?
So anyhow, in light of how thoroughly these revelations blew my mind, I wanted to throw a little impromptu Reader Appreciation Day here on NAC. A sort of early Valentine's. Authors, I hereby invite you to gush however you see fit in the comments, and let our readers know how much we value what they do for our careers and our egos, our reputations and our momentum to keep plugging away in this tough business. Please leave aside any feelings you have about the not-so-nice readers, the mean or sloppy reviewers, the pirates, and join me in celebrating the kind and encouraging individuals who make this gig so wholly worth pursuing.
To every reader who's invested the time and money to put our work in their carts, to hit Download, to take our words with them into the bed or the easy chair or the bathtub, to share their enjoyment of our writing with friends or strangers, to sacrifice a few precious minutes of their days to log in and rate us, or write up reviews, or send us an e-mail, or to tweet about our books…there's a special, cushy, corner of heaven laid out with wine and cheese and muscular masseurs, patiently awaiting your arrival.