I was in the central library today looking at the mysteries when I saw a guy who was probably late sixties, early seventies smiling over at me from the other side of the new books display. My memory being what it is, I wasn't sure if I knew him or not. He asked me when the next Sam McCain book was coming out and I told him soon. He then did a kind of highlights reel of his favorite McCain scenes in the first six books. He literally knew much more about the novels than I did. He said that even though we were of different generations, McCain's adventures were enough like his own that reading the books was like getting in a time machine and going back to the Fifties and early Sixties. He said that his wife loved them, too, and that now they're going to start reading Carol's books also.
My pleasure as a writer has always been the writing itself. That's the real reward. The business side is just that--business. Not a great ordeal. But not much fun, either, especially the self-promotional aspects that have now become so necessary. For writers like me--and there are a lot more than most folks realize--self-promotion is an embarrassment. For writers who enjoy it, great. But for those of us who'd rather stay home...not so great.
But it is fun to run into a reader occasionally and talk about what he or she likes/dislikes about your books and inquires about what lies ahead for the characters. I always wanted to tell Henry Gregor Felsen how much his hot rod books meant to me while I was growing up. We lived reasonably close to each other but somehow I never had the chance to meet him. Maybe I should've found out what library he frequented and stood by the new books display.