I will tell you a secret. Publishing a book is very scary. It isn’t scary in the sense that you fear a definite bad thing happening, like your plane crashing or your house getting broken into, it is scary in a vague amorphous way because parts of you that are intensely private, fragments of your dream space, imaginary worlds you built and played in alone, are now out there for everyone to see and judge and, weirdly, buy?
But the one thing I am not afraid of is you. You are my ally. How many times have we cracked open a new book, hoping that it will be good, hoping that it will take us back to that dark, forgetful river that is reading, the kind we did as children when we first fell in love with books? How many times have we hovered over the pages, squinting our eyes, hoping an author does not continue to do that thing that annoys us and will keep us from going completely under, sucked into the current of the story? Oh, we have spent days ignoring the fact that we need to break up with our boyfriends or quit our horrible jobs, while eating sugar cookies and reading novels that are maybe even only so-so, for hours and hours so that parts of our bodies go numb. Reader, I know you well, my likeness, my friend!
But also, of course, I don’t know you at all. You are a stranger, and in that sense, I want to say to you, a little shyly and primly, that I really hope you like my book and that I tried very hard in it to write things that would amuse you or interest you. People frown at me whenever I say that, and so I have gotten the idea that it is not a smart thing to say, but it is the truth. When I am writing, what I consider most is how to delight the reader. I wrote these characters for you. All of it, every sentence, every image, every moment, is for you.