On the eve of the release, I sat in my office and looked at the three books on my dream shelf. “The Unraveling of Reverend G,” acquired by Pamela Sonnenmoser for CrossRiver Media, not long before she graduated to heaven. The book that surprised even me, because I didn’t think I could write fiction.
“Intermission for Reverend G” followed with its characterization of Alzheimer’s and a culmination of a romance between Reverend G and her soulmate, Chris. Another surprise for me because I don’t read romance. I still have no idea how that plot line happened and what made it so successful with my readers. Maybe because the characters were older and the idea of a romance with an Alzheimer’s patient was just flukey enough to be wonderful.
“Final Grace for Reverend G” ended the trilogy and hopefully – it will become a best-seller with my readers, reminding us all that hope is eternal and God has a good plan for our lives – even when we face a serious disease.
As I looked at the books and realized the release date had arrived, I wondered – why am I not more excited? I didn’t even feel like celebrating with a bowl of Chunky Monkey ice cream or a slice of cheesecake with blueberries on top.
Was it because I missed Reverend G and the end of the series meant I had to finally let her go?
The publishing of a book is still a big deal to me. Even though I’ve been published before, these were my first novels. This story was real, because it mirrored what my family is going through with Mom. But it’s not the final release that is exciting, or the marketing and promotional activities.
It’s something else.
The achievement of writing and finding a publisher for three books is also a big deal. It marks another goal in my writing career, the answer to many prayers and the culmination of a dream. Seeing my books on library shelves and signing my name on the title page of each book during speaking events or booksignings – I still get chills up and down my arms.
But that doesn’t bring the most excitement.
What really does it for me is when I hear from readers, “Your books gave me ideas for how to deal with my dad. He has dementia, and we just didn’t know what to do.”
Or the CNA who shared the books with her colleagues, hoping they could all learn some new techniques for dealing with patients in assisted living.
The reader in Kansas who buys my books for her friend in Indiana, so she’ll have something encouraging to read as she watches her husband fade away in the last stages of Alzheimer’s.
Or the readers who emailed me, “I didn’t know we could pray so honestly to God. Reverend G taught us that it’s okay to cry out, ‘I can’t stand this.’”
When my readers learn something from the story, when they feel encouraged in their difficult journeys, when they find some hope, when they hear from God through the words he breathed through me – that’s exciting.
The end result of all the hours of writing, editing, revising, and doing it all over again to make it the best it can be is when all that perseverance pays off.
The excitement generates when people read my books and then buy them for someone else – to help another family dealing with the disease.
That’s when I know it was all worth it. And that’s when I’m encouraged to write another book, another blog post or another article so that this writer can somehow make a difference.
©2015 RJ Thesman – Author of the Reverend G books http://www.crossrivermedia.com/portfolio/1624/gallery/fiction/