I like selling novels. It’s fun to get this little extra check once a month (direct deposit, actually), but I really like the idea that someone’s reading my books. It’s an even bigger thrill, though, to actually hear from one of you readers. Take, for instance, this letter I got from a woman in Maryland:
“Thank you so very much, Mr. White, for writing your Garison Fitch series! After trying the first one on my Kindle, I was hooked, and immediately ordered and read the next two. I just ordered All the Time in the World: Parts 1-4 –The Complete Saga (Edward & Marianne) and The Nice Guy (The Story of Bat Garrett), and I can’t wait to dive in. Thank you for showing that sci-fi and Christian beliefs don’t need to be mutually exclusive! I enjoy your characters, the story line, and the way you are not afraid to talk to your readers about God!”
So, here’s what I wrote back:
“Thank you for a] such an encouraging letter and b] ordering and reading my books! I can’t tell you which I appreciate more for–as much as I like book sales–I enjoy hearing from the readers at least as much (and maybe more). After spending the time to write a book, by the time I get to the end the characters are very real to me. So having someone compliment them is a lot like having someone praise one of my children.
“I appreciate that you (and other readers) have been touched by the Christian thoughts in the books. In the books you mention, I didn’t really set out to write a “Christian” book. i.e. a book with a specific theological point or whatever. I try to come up with a good story, and then the characters live through it with their beliefs informing their choices. My other two books (“Psalm 88″ and “So Many Books”) are specifically Christian, but even then I am trying to approach life delimmas from a Christian standpoint. I like a book where the main character gets converted now and then, but I think there’s a need for books that show a person who’s already a Christian approaching a struggle.
“Tell everyone you can about my books and thanks for reading. If you have any questions/comments about my stories or the characters, please don’t hesitate to write! I’ll be especially curious to know what you think of “The Nice Guy” as Bat Garrett is one of my favorite characters. And don’t forget: “Some of the Time”, the sequel to “All the Time in Our World” comes out this Friday!”