Being a writer is a lonely business. It really is. I don't mind that so much because after a life of noise and chaos it is nice to have a little peace and quiet, a little solitude with just my thoughts and words to keep me company. It is actually a little addictive and I get a bit resentful when everyone arrives home from work/school in the afternoon. The intruders!
But sometimes it is a little bit too lonely, a little bit too quiet. It becomes eerie and my thoughts start questioning themselves. My words become a tad inbred.
The thing that pierces through that swollen bubble of disquiet is a random message from a stranger who has read my book and taken the time to track me down and tell me what they thought. On particularly desolate days, a kind word and a shared story can make my day.
Having my book in the libraries around the country and on shelves in department stores and quaint bookstores and even on iTunes is surreal and when someone contacts me to tell me how they stumbled across my book and how it touched them, it makes being a writer a rewarding occupation. I feel less self-absorbed and more connected to the readers. I feel blessed that someone shared my story. It's an intimacy I had not expected when I had my memoir published.
Here are some of the gems that I have been sent.
''One Way or Another' will be in my bookcase for many years to come. I am even thinking of putting it in a time capsule for future generations to enjoy!' Sue from Brisbane.
"Thank-you for sharing your past and capturing Australian culture. Well written and a brilliant read." Mark, Melbourne.
'It was nice to read about somebody else who lived the teenage years as we did, only in a braver sense and I admire your courage to write a book about it.' Maree, Sydney.
'I finished your book and didn't want to stop reading. It would make a great movie!' Meaghan, Sydney.
'I'm reading your book and enjoying the spirit with which you attack life,' John (72), Hobart.
'Just loved your book. Couldn't put it down. Congratulations on a great job,' Cathy, Sydney.
'I can't describe how much I loved 'One Way or Another'. You just made the life of a sixteen year old a whole lot more awesome!' Monaliza, Melbourne.
I have made friends with some of these readers and love hearing their eighties/rock stories. I am so happy that my book has touched other people. It makes me feel all loved up.