by Elizabeth Musser @EMusserAuthor
The UPS man just delivered five boxes to my door. Four I was expecting, but the fifth was bigger and heavier and not something I had ordered. When I looked at the return address, it came from The Netherlands.
Suddenly I had a very good idea of what was inside, and, I was right.Five hardback copies of my newest novel, The End of Myself. In Dutch.
I held them up, delighted with the cover, the fact that they were hardback. Thankful.
But once again, I was moving forward in a very convoluted, backwards way.
I write my novels in English. For the past twenty-something years, they have come out in English, and also in Dutch, German, French and Norwegian. In an ideal world, I would have them all available first in English. But my journey has never been quite ‘normal’. My third novel came out in German first, then Dutch, then Norwegian and then, twelve years later, in English. My last three have come out in Dutch first, then German, then Norwegian and eventually, hopefully, in English.
I have found that a writer’s life is rarely ‘normal.’ Most of us have some pretty good stories to tell about how we got into this business and how we’ve stayed afloat.I call the writing life a roller-coaster of emotions which often includes many of the following list: a stack of rejection letters, the first contract, a royalty report showing less than stellar sales, a great review, a rotten review, a lost publisher, a new publisher, an international publisher, a publisher going out of business, a bestseller, a change in editors, a self-published book. The twists and turns are as numerous as a ride on a roller coaster or the plot of a suspense novel.
This drama goes on behind the scenes, away from our readers, and it can be very draining. But then, thank heavens, we have you, our readers. What would we writers do without you? We’d be unemployed! In this age of social media and e-books, writers can more easily connect with readers, who may be spread all over the world. Dear readers, never doubt the blessing you bring an author by sending a Facebook or Twitter post or an email or handwritten letter telling how her novel has touched your life.
Sometimes we even get to meet you in person.
As I held that hardback copy of my latest novel in Dutch, I was preparing to speak at several book clubs, a women’s club, a church event and a library. Getting to meet a reader in flesh and bone even as she whispers her story of being encouraged and entertained through my novel delights me.
I often say that every time I sign a book, it’s like getting a hug from the Lord.
He has allowed me the great privilege and joy of using my gift to bless others. I think most writers would agree with me: hearing from and meeting readers encourages us, fuels our creativity, helps beef up our resilience to face the next uphill climb or downward plummet on the roller coaster. And so, on behalf of all my writer friends, I say to our readers, “Thanks for coming along for the ride!”
About Elizabeth Musser
ELIZABETH MUSSER usually writes ‘entertainment with a soul’ from her writing chalet—tool shed—outside Lyon, France. For over twenty-five years, Elizabeth and her husband, Paul, have been involved in missions’ work in Europe. To be closer to family, the Mussers have moved back to the Southeast for 2017-2018 school year and are living in the Chattanooga area near their son, daughter-in-law and three grandkids. Find more about Elizabeth’s novels at www.elizabethmusser.com and on Facebook, Twitter, and her blog.