to those of you who’ve written and haven’t yet received a reply: My
apologies…and a promise that I’ll write soon!
I’ve always loved hearing from
my readers, whether the messages arrive via e-mail or by way of the
U.S. Postal Service (I use the term service loosely). The notes—some of
them pages long!—always brighten my day. But I’m never more delighted
than when they’re signed by a name I recognize.
Hearing from the same readers
after each book is released reminds me of a letter that arrived a few
years ago, written by a reader-turned-friend who asked me to pray for
her son. It seemed that just one short year after professing undying
love in front of God, family, and friends, he and his young bride
decided to separate, and the news broke his mother’s heart.
As I prayed, I couldn’t help
wondering what had come between this young couple. Money issues?
Meddlesome in-laws? His job, or hers? Politics? Those questions
inspired Suddenly Reunited, the Love Inspired novel
about a couple forced to make the most important decision of their
lives: Set aside petty, stubborn grievances, or lose all hope of ever
finding their way back to each other’s loving arms. The storyline
mirrored the situation of my friend’s son and daughter-in-law who,
after many miserable months apart, turned to Christ for help and
healing. “Love one another as you love yourselves” is some of the best
advice any married couple can hear . . . if it’s put into practice. And
I’m happy to report that both the fictional and the
real-life couples learned the lesson well.
All romance novels are, by their
very nature, relationship stories. In Christian
romance novels, it can be said that Christ Jesus is the editor of each
gripping, down-to-earth tale peopled by characters who—just like our
readers—face tragedy, trauma, and temptation . . . and find their way
to triumphant joy by the pure bright light of God’s grace. These
elements are equally true in every other genre! It’s no accident that
many of our readers write to tell us how our stories impacted them, and
most of us are quick to point that every page is the result of God at
work . . . in our work.
But what of the letters that
point out our slip-ups and inaccuracies? You know the kind: pesky typos
and misspellings that get past us, our editors, and copyeditors.
Mathematical errors, like the one in a historical of mine, where the
years between the Prologue and Chapter One didn’t add up. Then there
are technical things our readers “catch,” like the time one of mine
gave me a mini-history lesson: Brides didn’t carry bouquets in wedding
ceremonies prior to such-and-such a year, yet my character
it or not, I love it when I get a letter from a reader who points out
inconsistencies, boo-boos, and blatant blunders.
happen often, but when it does, I’m quick to respond with heartfelt
thanks and a promise to avoid that
boo-boo in the future.
And some of those readers have become my most loyal
fans-turned-friends, and they’ve been writing to me since my first
release in 1994!
you’ve known me longer than a
minute and a half, you’ve heard me admit I’m not cut out for missionary
work in the world’s jungles and deserts. Writing faith-based fiction
that “touches hearts and changes lives” (and thank you to the reviewers
who helped turn that into my “brand”!): This is my
mission work. And the letters I receive every day of my oh-so-blessed
life are black-and-white proof that ours is not a God who will be
ignored! If need be, He’ll find “the lost” in the pages of a novel and
lead them the rest of the way home through the pages of His
Now I’m off to get busy
answering this hefty stack of reader mail. Until your response arrives,
I pray He will shower you and those you love with joys too numerous to
Blessings and hugs to you,