Thankful Thursday! The Kindness of Strangers

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I know I usually do Throwback Thursdays today, but in celebration of the American Independence Day I wanted to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude to many people. And no, that isn’t my facial hair in the picture above, but it could be if I wanted to.

Since I published the first edition of my short, humorous murder mystery novel White Picket Prisons last October I have had the good fortune of meeting many people online, writers and reviewers. I’ve re-connected with old friends from years gone by and I’ve had acquaintances become friends.  What has amazed and touched me over the past 9 months has been the incredible kindness of everyone.

The first edition of my book was flawed in several ways and yet so many people, some I knew and others I didn’t, bought it, read it, and took the time to give it a good review on Amazon. I was touched by the unconditional support. Another type of kindness came from two friends who had the courage and sensitivity to tell me about the flaws and mistakes in my book so I could make it better.

I also appreciate the amazing kindness of book blog reviewers who read my book, didn’t mention the flaws and gave it a good review just based on the merits of the story. Then there was an editor who said, ‘Sure I’ll edit your novel,” without having any idea what she was getting into. She did a great job and patiently taught me a few things about writing and helped my second edition of White Picket Prisons look a whole lot more professional.

Another surprising event was when another author, Gregory G. Allen, found my book online and tweeted about it, which taught me about the incredible power of Twitter to connect with people in a variety of ways.

What got me to thinking about all of the incredible kindness of people that I’ve come across since I published my book was that last Thursday I had an interview subject lined up for my Tuesday author interview slot. Unfortunately the subject was busy with family obligations and didn’t think they could finish the interview in time for me to get it posted Tuesday. I fired off a couple e-mails to two very well established, successful authors, Hugh Howey and James Scott Bell. Never met them. They didn’t know me. My blog does ok, but certainly not enough  readers to make a difference to these two authors. Yet they both responded within an hour of each other that they would do my interview. One was on vacation with his family but did it anyway. Not even knowing my deadline they both returned it within 24 hours of me sending them the questions! Same thing with author Christopher Moore two weeks ago. Then, the original interview subject, Deborah French, who also was on vacation with her family, returned her interview as well.

My point is, no matter what you do, don’t be too cynical about the world. Just take that leap and you’ll find people who will catch you. There’s a lot of good people out there who are kind and supportive of others just because. In some instances I asked for support and in others I did not and was surprised by the kindness of strangers. I know I can’t possibly name every single person who gave me support and encouragement but hopefully they read this and know I appreciate their kindness.

As always, one way I’ve also seen the kindness of others is how often people share my blog link on Facebook or Twitter whether they got a laugh out of it or not. Thank you for that as well.

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