I've shared on my other blog my fears re sending my "baby" (aka book) out into the world. I was afraid that it wasn't ready, or good enough, that people might take offense or not understand, and I certainly doubted my ability to write anything that anyone would find worth reading.
Perhaps the scariest thing was wondering what people I knew and loved and respected would think.
I needn't have worried. Perhaps people are just being nice but the response I have had has been overwhelmingly positive (apart from the few editing mistakes which somehow managed to slip through - but even Tolkien had a problem with that and it wasn't his fault - it's also the reason I haven't yet opened a copy of my book to read apart from the dedication and acknowledgements).
It would appear that this simple little story without complex plot or dark overtones has touched people's hearts.
I'd like to share some of the comments with you. If anyone reading this sent me one of these comments I hope you will excuse the liberty I'm taking in posting them here and realise that your words have touched me deeply and possibly beyond the way in which my novel touched you.
[My DH] and I finished the book this evening. You are a wonderful writer. Both of us could not put the book down, had to find out what happened! It has brought [us] closer. ... We enjoyed our time together reading and discussing the characters. I really felt for the people in the book. ... Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful book with me/us. I can certainly see how your next book can continue the story.
I REALLY loved your book. I couldn't put it down ... In fact I was disappointed when I'd finished that I had finished it so soon. ... it was a really gripping story. It left me wanting more ...
I have finished your book and enjoyed it very much. I have ordered a few copies to give as Christmas gifts ...
Wow I have just finished your book. It was very exciting. It is a wonderful message that you wove into the story. I hope that this is only a start and that there are more to come.
Congratulations!!! I seriously could not put your book down... and can't wait for the next one!! My only complaint is the book was too short... but then I'd have got nothing done for even longer! ... Any idea when the next book will be available?
Congratulations on the publishing of your book. It looks great! I read some of it last night ... and was hooked! ... [My DH] asked me what I wanted for Christmas and you can guess what I said. So ... I would like to buy 2 books please. The other copy will be a Christmas present for my stepmother.
I'm totally loving your book! Only 2 chapters to go and kinda sad it's almost over. I might just read slowly for the next few days to prolong the enjoyment! I hope there are more books in the works. You truly have a gift. On a personal note, I've been touched by several elements of the story, not the least of which include Samuel's struggle with God's leading, Rhiannon's reluctance to love after losing Lily, and Katie (and others') struggles with being away from loved ones ...
And from a class of seven-year-olds (twenty-two separate letters in twenty-four separate envelopes - yes some envelopes were empty!):
Thank you for making the book.
You have done a great job on the book.
May the Lord be with you and the book.
Please let the new one come before it is Mothers Day.
I wrote my book primarily with 11-14 year old readers (and particularly girls) in mind and yet these comments have come mainly from adults. It seems the teens are enjoying the book but also their parents and grandparents.
It leaves me shaking my head in amazement and makes me feel incredibly humbled that God has taken this little story and used it in this way. I am so undeserving.
I don't understand why He has chosen to use me. I'm just an ordinary person with a desire to write and to please Him with my writing. But already He is answering my prayer that my book will touch people's lives. For that I am grateful.
May I never forget what He has done for me and never ever think for a moment that it was "my abilities" that brought me to this point. It has all been His doing. All I can do is thank Him for His goodness and greatness.