Small confession, right off the bat: I'm not a joiner. If there was a herd, I'd be the stray little pony wandering up the mountain, accidentally (on purpose) getting away from everyone else. Sure, there are wolves (as well as cliffs and Bigfoot), but there are slaughterhouses, too. Ain't no safety in numbers.
But I do make exceptions, most humbly, and with great appreciation; such as when I received the surprising invitation to join this lovely crew of writers. I don't know what kind of craziness inspired putting my name in the hat, but I'm glad to be here.
So, with that said, Bill Willingham has asked what we, as writers, owe our readers.
My readers and I have got a trust thing going on between us. No one's ever said that, of course, but when folks read your work, they're taking a leap of faith. Someone's out there, opening a book, saying, "Do right by me. Take me somewhere else."
And I try. I don't always succeed, but I try.
I owe readers to be true to myself, to write the stories I want to write, and to tell the best stories I possibly can. I owe my readers respect, because I appreciate it more than I can say when people take the time to read something I've written (whether they like the tale or not).
But, as much as I love my readers, I owe them nothing else.
I'm a hypocrite, of course. As a reader, who has lived in agony for the next book of my favorite author, who drools over excerpts that end too soon and joins newsletters and reads blogs for updates, and who daydreams about worlds that exist only on paper (or, now, those various e-reader devices), I demand satisfaction. I want adventure, and thrills, and just the right outcome. I want, at the end of a book, to feel bigger than my body (even out of body), ten feet tall and ready to take on the world. I want, simply, to have an experience. A good time. A great time.
That's what I search for. And I can only hope that's what I give. Not every time, but sometimes, for someone.
Anyway, that's it for now. This little pony is going to gallop her way up a mountain of deadlines and battle those wolves for words.
Thanks for having me here.