Recently, I had a reader write back to me about my newest release, Fight for Absolution. They were nice enough to take the time to write me on my Facebook author page, and let me know some personal things and why they liked the book so much. I thought I'd share this person's thoughts in hopes that it would help spread the word and allow others to hear a first hand account at an actual reader's experience with reading my most recent work. The message contains small spoilers, but nothing too bad to ruin the first book for you. Here is your warning if you don't want to be spoiled at all....
You gave me a lot of insightful material to mull over as I got acquainted with Ryan. You asked somewhere if a sequel would be appreciated..... a resounding YES. Sometimes characters just need to go on with their lives un-noticed, but I'd like to see what happens as Ryan struggles to find peace AND victory in his life, not only with Molly and Mom but with Junior and Mariah. Her story is all too familiar in my line of work. I am in recovery myself and watching some of the young people who walk through the doors of the *************** (censored to respect anonymity) whether by choice or mandate, I often wonder if enough seeds will be planted to ensure a hearty root of recovery. Bearing the fruit of the 12 steps is more than not just drinking and drugging. This job is my attempt to give back something to the fellowship that saved my life and saved me from myself and my self destructive ways. I so see Ryan in the folks who are at *********, even now. Their battle is just beginning and I wonder if they are up for the fight for life or if we fail them they will continue to have lives of futile dysfunction. I believed that others but not myself were born with some "coping gene" that helped them get through the rough places. I really believed this and I also knew I had not received such a "gene" in my DNA makeup. I know better now, and Fight for Absolution really hit home. Thank you. Keep on writing, and keep on offering hope where there often is none.
Here is the second message sent:
Let me encourage you to keep writing. There is an audience out there and as word gets around about your work people will find their way to opening the pages and immersing themselves in the stories that hold so much truth and wisdom. The young man at the rehab right now to whom I gave the titles of your books is eager to "get it". He is looking and searching for answers and hope. He's 20 years old. We won't run out of addicts or alcoholics any time soon. It's a sad commentary. They don't want to pay "human service workers" premium pay, but it's not for money that folks serve this population. Sad to say, job security will be there no matter how much information is out there. Drugs is big business. The shiney adds for alcohol glorify drinking. Be encouraged you too are opening eyes to truth.
I am thankful for any feedback and response I get for my work, especially when it's pertaining to something like this. Knowing that I could help even just -one- person is a victory for me and makes the art of writing worth every ounce of energy and second I put into it. A simple message is an amazing confidence boost during a time when I question why I even continue to do what I do, so I again want to say a HUGE thanks to the person who took the time to write me these messages (they asked to remain anonymous), as well as to others who write reviews, email, and say things on my Facebook author page. If what I wrote is good enough to recommend to people going through real life struggles, I feel great in knowing that Ryan Shay's story might be that extra jolt needed to help someone else accomplish a better life and find sobriety.
Not only do I appreciate positive feedback, but constructive criticism is also helpful. I strive to be a better author each and every day, so contacting me about concerns/editing problems/typos/etc is also something I like to hear. If no one is letting me know this stuff, it's hard to improve.
For those interested, here is all of my contact information:
Facebook: J.R. Tate
Or you can leave me a comment right here on my blog. The method to contact me is based on your preference, and I'll be quick to write you back! As always, a review on Amazon is amazing as well!
Happy reading to all, and may you all have a wonderful weekend and holiday ahead!