Saturday, May 29, 2010
Do Everything You Can For Everyone You Can
As most of you know, I just returned from a long roadtrip. I’m still trying to catch up on my sleep, in fact.
The best part about a road trip is meeting new people and reconnecting with “old fans.” If you’ve ever met me, you know that I’ll do just about anything for my fans.
I changed the spelling of a character’s name to coincide with the name of a young woman, a fan, who was clearly having problems in her life, perhaps even developmental delays.
I pose for photos, which is fun. However, on days when I’ve been traveling non-stop and I don’t look great, I must admit I cringe a bit when folks snap the shutter. But that’s my vanity, which isn’t important here.
I sign anything and everything. If someone is at all interested in my signature, I’m willing to share it.
I send supplies to charity auctions at my fans’ requests. (I might have to start limiting this because the postage is expensive, but for the time being, I do what I can. Occasionally, I’ll take a miss because I’m too busy to check out the charity, but whenever possible, I’ll participate.)
I answer questions, although I won’t give away what happens next in my series. (Okay, I lie. I have assured a couple of fans that Gracie will be the longest living Great Dane on record.)
I consider their ideas, and boy, do they have a lot of good ones! My friends at the Barnes & Noble Booksellers Book Club in Fenton, MO, suggested I add a new character. They want to see someone who is “scrubby Dutch” in my books. “Dutch” in this case is a mispronunciation of “Deutsch,” a mistake that’s been perpetuated in the St. Louis area. “Scrubby Dutch” references German immigrants who were incredibly house proud and tidy. I had hesitated to use the term, because I feared it was a pejorative. However, my readers assured me they’re proud of this, and they urged me to include it. I will!
I give out bookmarks. If you have a book club, and you send me an address, I’ll get you as many bookmarks as you have members.
And I’ll try to visit you or your group. (That's a photo of me with Melissa. She's been a pal for quite a while. I was thrilled to come to an event her mother put together with help from Megan at the Mooresville Public Library in Mooresville, Indiana.) I’ll even scrapbook with you.
Recently, I read a comment by Bill Hodges that sums up my philosophy:
Years ago I hit on the idea that there was something I could do for everyone I met, and it was my responsibility to find out what that was and do it. To that end I taught my children a simple rule: “Do everything you can, for everyone you can, and do it before you need them.” Over the years I have tried hard to help my friends and colleagues in any way possible and I have found their generosity flowing back to me has been humbling.
Isn’t that a lovely sentiment?
You can add Bill to your “friends” at Facebook by looking him up under the name: William N. Hodges.