“More than kisses, letters mingle souls.”
~~ John Donne
Sometimes I will be sitting, staring at my computer screen, and wonder…should I keep doing this? I am no Amy Lane. No Mary Calmes. No Andrew Grey.
If I do take that leap…if the net appears…will it be the kind of net that can support me into old age? Am I being foolish? Do people really want to read my words? Is my message needed when there are so many other writers out there?
Then I get emails….
I just finished reading your books—Trust Me and All Alone in a Sea of Romance. I read tons of gay romance and never contact the authors, but this time I absolutely had to contact you. Sea or Romance was so new and so different than any of the other cookie-cutter gay romances available out there. I know it sounds like a cliché, but…….I laughed. I cried. I fell in love! There were times that I had to keep a box of Kleenex handy as I read some sections of the book and literally had tears streaming down my face from laughing so hard…. ….No time to chat more though—I have to get back online and order more of your books!!
Mr Thomas, Thanks for letting me escape my life of loneliness and the sad fact I’m stuck in a cubicle 8 hrs a day!
Hello….I am kind of high having just finished reading your book….Wow….I totally loved it….I’m a romantic so it was very me…It was amazing….I feel privileged to have read it Looking over the selection of other books you have written …. as I will buy many more of you writings….Thanks for your time….
I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed All Alone In A Sea of Romance…. It was incredible, fun, sweet, romantic and hysterically funny! I was reading it in bed last night, my husband was asleep and I was laughing so hard, I woke him up… I will be enjoying your other work very soon.
Love a new avid fan
Just finished your books, The Boy Who Came In From the Cold and Anything Could Happen. Being half Basque myself I was so surprised to see the language and the cuisine references. It’s not a culture or idiom that shows up that often. Are you Basque also?
Thank you for your beautiful writing, looking forward to reading your other works. The characters in these novels have become real to me and in some ways frightfully familiar. Small world.
I have just finished reading your book The Boy Who Came In From The Cold, and I suddenly felt the urge to tell you how thankful I am that you decided one day to pen this beautiful story! As a 22-year-old gay man, this is by far the most inspirational M/M story I have ever read. It is so comforting to finally read a gay story that, even though fictional, is so close to real life. It is also heartwarming to read such an authentic and positive description of gay relationships. Your book will always have a special place in my heart 😉
So, from my group of friends here in Belgium and myself, a huge thank you ! Please never stop writing.
People write me such notes and suddenly I know I’m not wasting my time.
But it emails like these that make it truly all worthwhile….
I am in the process of reading Spring Affair, and want to thank you for this lovely book. Like Scott, and having been raised Catholic, I am reluctant to accept the concept of “God…” ….But what I really want to thank you for is your understanding of Scott’s body dysmorphic disorder, that feeling that one is inadequate physically, that one is not pretty enough or thin enough or okay enough for someone to love. I so identify with Scott’s shame about his “self,” which I too share…. ….I don’t want to think like that any longer. So, thank you, Ben, for getting me to this place in my psychic development. I am so grateful for your work.
Dear Mr. Thomas,
I just finished All Alone in a Sea of Romance. The timing of this particular read is heaven sent. I have been writing for years, but have yet to finish a single work, thinking of it as a waste of time and pure folly.
At 57, I have been out for over two decades to everyone except my sweet, wonderful, but devoutly religious, deep-dipped, fundamentalist Charismatic Christian mother, who has cast out the demon of homosexuality for hundreds of parishioners since I was 15.
I have stayed silent for more than a decade at the behest of my baby sister, with whom I’ve shared a home these past 23 years. Until…. ….the night of said sister’s 50th birthday. Great timing on my part, huh?
Nonetheless, I am free at last. The elephant in the room has cast a pall in my life that I could no longer live with. Until I could use my real name, I could not seriously consider penning anything that expressed what I want to say.
Then along came AAIASOR. What a roadmap for such a novice as me?! Thank you for the inspiration! I started over Sunday morning. Just one sentence, but Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and All The Saints! I can be authentic for the first time in almost six decades.
I just needed to say thank you. You have no idea what you have done for me. I’m a designer in Arkansas, and pretty damned good, if I do say so myself. But I am a wordsmith at heart. You have given me hope, and I will be forever in your debt.
These emails and so many others tell me that I need to keep writing. I may or may not make it to the New York Times Best Seller List one day. But it I can keep touching even a handful of lives, then my life is so incredibly blessed. And perhaps I am blessing some lives myself.
What could be better than that?
Today I am so grateful for the letters and emails from readers. They keep me going. They keep me strong. And they tell me to keep keep keep going.
art by prawny from morgueFile