So here's how the cookie crumbles.
I was born in the SouthEast to lower middle class parents that knew all of the old ways and were trying to figure out the new ways. I ended up in Alaska.
I roam around the midwest, particularly Texas, because I'm now a Texan, and they love me here, and this is my home. My heart is in San Antonio, but my ass is in Austin. Close enough for government work. Kinda. I hate politics. Avoid it like castor oil in the springtime.
I think about all of you when I write. Sure, the characters are their own, but I see your faces on my feed, and I don't want to politically influence you, force you to buy my books. That's nice, of course, but that's not what I feel at 2AM when everything is quiet.
I sip my Evans Honey and I think about you as the words flow. Every single damn one of you. And like my mentors tried to tell me, the love for each and every one of you comes out. In the words. In the room. In the novels.
I can't be the only one in the world, the only one in the room. And you make that clear. It is something to be very grateful for.
You are the reason to be social. You provide the life you're living, and we get to see it live, almost in real time. Things just aren't what they were ten years ago.
You cross my social media feeds, and I think about you. I hope that your hard moments turn out bright for you. When you are sad, when you are in pain, those mean something here. You aren't alone in your joy, or your tears.
You deserve special things, good things, the things that make your life the best experience it can possibly be.
You are the reason I feel more excited about writing. Because you're there, somewhere. You'll either love what I wrote, hate it, or just say "meh", but the fact that it was read means something.
So thank you for everything you bring to the table, and this writer-reader bi-directional relationship.