Serpent Blog

Nebraska, After the Rain 
People will often ask me, why did you write this book? Why did you put yourself through that? And those are difficult questions, and all the more difficult when I ask them of myself, for I often feel lost and lose track of my true intentions, my reasons for writing. Why do I write? Why do I tell stories? Why do I spend all my free time trying to simply make people aware of Serpent Box?

Itís remarkable how often I re-discover the answers in you, the readers. For it is the readers in this world who are the great hope of it. Readers, who are, more specifically, seekers, are people who care about other people.

If you are a reader, if you love books and stories, then what you really love, in essence, is the mystery of being alive, and of being human. It is the readerís inherent curiosity about the human condition that drives her to stories about people, characters, fictional human beings who are mosaics of real human beings, struggling with the same questions about love and loss and faith and hope that we are.

So, here in Lincoln, Nebraska, in a non-descript strip-mall, in a small independent bookstore with no outward charm, nothing particularly alluring about its veneer, I found Kathy Magruder, a reader, a book-lover, a fellow passenger on the ride to gnosis. Kathyís warmth and hospitality, as well as the genuine warmth of those who came to see me read yesterday, helped me greatly to reconnect with myself, and to discover again why is I write and why I have chosen to endure the pain of writing and publishing a novel.

People who patronize small bookstores, and who keep places like Lee Booksellers alive, are my people. People like those readers who sat and listened to me, a stranger, with no provenance, no history, read for thirty minutes, those are the people I love and admire. In the midst of that reading, I realized again why I endure.

Kathy, I write for you, and for all your loyal customers, and for all you readers out there. It is a great, great privilege to write for you. I truly believe that God has given me a gift when I stand in front of you, and read to you, and share with you my little take on the meaning of life, which is to give and connect with others.

Thank you Lee Booksellers, and thank you Nebraska, a great state filled with warm and friendly people. I sure do hope to return some day.

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