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The Greatest Compliment a Writer Can Get

Yesterday was a rough day. Not just for me, but for most (if not all) of America. And none more so than the affected families of what took place in Connecticut. But I’m not writing this to try and generate some interest in my blog or my books. I’m not trying to draw attention or divert focus from anyone dealing with that tragedy, nor the years and years of painful suffering the perpetrators deserve to receive.

No, I’m writing because amidst all the news about that and my own House Hunter-esque experience yesterday, I received an email that took my mind away from the stress of the day and ended the day on about the highest note it could. It wasn’t a job offer or a winning lottery ticket. It wasn’t news that I’d landed a book or a movie deal in the six figures. It was an email from a woman that had read my Lost Girls series and felt compelled to write me because my words had made a major impact on her.

I don’t know the details and if I did, I wouldn’t share them. It’s a private matter for her, not for the general public. I feel incredibly honored to have been given the opportunity to reach out to her in the first place, let alone receive a note from her sharing that my stories gave her the strength she needed to come to terms with certain things in her life. Maybe a thank you note doesn’t pay the bills the bills or put food on the table, but it did a whole lot more than that as far as I’m concerned.

Katalina Wimple, the main character in The Lost Girls series, was and is very dear and special to me. She’s not based on anybody I’ve ever known, but instead she’s got more than a little bit of all of us inside of her. She’s a strong character that wants the world to respect her and be impressed by how tough she is, yet on the inside she’s as fragile and screwed up as can be. That’s no so different from the rest of us, I imagine. But Katy takes it to a new level, trying so hard to do the right thing and risking it all for the people she trying to help that her own well being takes second billing. The girl’s had a rough life, plain and simple, and she’s done nothing to make it easier on herself.

But she learns and grows over the span of the four to six books (four main books in the Lost Girls series, with two stand alone books that she appears in). From fiesty and irritating she grew on me and became a dear friend. More than that, in fact, she became very important to me. Yes, she’s fictional and I realize that may make me sound deranged, but it’s okay. I’m a writer – it’s allowed.

Katy’s story was never about just her, to me. It was about possibilities and overcoming challenges. It was about how we can all discover ourselves and get what we want in life, although for some of us (like Katy) it might require some pretty drastic events to realize what’s truly important. And no, I’m not going to offer up my thoughts on the meaning of life. Yours are going to be different than mine, no matter whether you think you’ve got it figured out or you’re sure you do. I know I don’t, but I’m doing okay right now and that’s the most I think anyone can ask of ourselves.

So why not go check out Katalina and see what could be so special about her that could practically change a person’s life? The first book, The Lost Girls, is free. I can’t make it not take any time for you to read, but if you’ve got an open mind and don’t mind an occasionally stubborn and grating female lead, I think you’ll enjoy it.

Oh, and the House Hunters thing? We looked at three places near Detroit yesterday. The first, and cheapest, was okay but quite a drive. The second, and highest price, was an unfinished dump. The third was in the middle price-wise and it took our breaths away. Just trying to work with the owners to come to an agreement on things. Well that and wait for my security clearance to be processed so I can start at the new job. Those are the only remaining roadblocks, although selling a lot more books would probably help a lot too.

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to read about him, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

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