The Little Things

Writing is a solitary pursuit.  There is me.  There is the keyboard.  There are dogs, and desks, and chairs.

But mostly there is a lot of silence, some eye-rubbing, some frowning.  All that is interspersed with furious spates of typing, followed by more frowning, stabs at the DELETE key, and then it's back to silence and eye-rubbing.

Rinse and repeat until you hit 100,000 words.  Then start all over with the editing, which looks just like the writing except for the muttering and the scribbling of cryptic notes on a paper notepad beside the keyboard.

My point is that it's easy to forget why, exactly, you're hunched over a keyboard for hours on end.  I get so wrapped up in the process, sometimes, that I forget all about the most important part of the scene, which is of course the reader.  Sneaky of me, wasn't it, to never mention the reader?

Because all this eye-rubbing and typing is nothing -- less than nothing -- if no one ever reads the book.

But people do.  I just got an email, minutes ago, from a reader who just finished the most recent Markhat book, The Banshee's Walk.

This intrepid soul finished Banshee while they sat in a rental car on a hill in Hawaii, waiting for the tsunami to hit the coast.

I'm not a big fan of the water.  The nearest coast is more than 400 miles from me, and that's just the way I like my coasts. Because if I was anywhere near the beach and I heard a rumor of a rumor that a wave more than knee-high was on the way, I'd be hijacking planes and heading for the Himalayas before you can say 'run-on sentence.'

So for me to learn that someone out there chose to read 'The Banshee's Walk' while nature threw a deadly temper tantrum across half the planet, well, I am deeply and profoundly touched.

So thanks for the email, Mo.  I am thrilled that you like the Markhat books, and I'm honored that you or anyone for that matter devotes some of their time to read the things I write.

It makes all the scribbling and the muttering truly worthwhile.