Life At The End Of The Road

Dear You,

I’m back from my three week whirlwind tour of the United States. I have spent too long running through airports, desperately trying to make connecting flights over the last few days but I won’t say that I didn’t enjoy it. There’s something incredible about meeting the actual-real-life-in-the-flesh people who read my work, who ask for photos and hugs and a conversation, that still blows me away, and I hope it always does. Several people, perhaps wiser than me, have mentioned they don’t see the point in touring anymore as a) people don’t come out because apparently people just don’t go outside anymore, and b) it doesn’t really sell a lot of books – the people who come to your reading were going to buy the book anyway, so why bother? I think it’s still worth it because I sometimes forget who I’m writing for, and meeting you in the flesh, and hearing you say what you say, reminds me that what I do is worth doing. 

In saying that, I am always amazed at the kind of people who come to my readings. There are a lot of people who are therapists, or social workers, or teachers, or nurses – just people who help, people who can feel what other people feel and I always say the same thing to these people – YOU are doing the important work. I just wrote a book. 

Other times, people will come up to the table and tell me about a particular tough time one of my books helped them through and I say almost the same thing – YOU did the hard work. I just wrote a book. I’m glad my book was there, but you are the one who had to pick yourself up off the floor, and do the work of being you. 

And I will never stop respecting you for that. 

You are incredible. 

My absolute best, 

Iain 

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