Thursday, June 09, 2011

Donna Alward: Do you read Dear Reader letters?

I love adding Dear Reader letters to my books, and I love reading them as well. Most of the time they provide a little window into the inspiration for the book, or a special acknowledgement, or something special about the author.

In particular, I am proud of the one for my June UK/ July NA release - A Family For The Rugged Rancher. Both the hero and heroine are dealing with some stressful situations in their lives and I wanted to touch on that in the Dear Reader. It goes like this:

Dear Reader,

Before I was bleesed to turn writing stories into a career, I was a stay-at-home mom. It has been the toughest - and best - job I've ever had. I have never regretted having those precious years at home. And I am very fortunate to have a husband who supported me one hundred percent.

But every now and then I wondered - what would happen if suddenly I was left to provide for our children on my own? I was employed before they were born, but how difficult would it be to gt back into the workforce, make ends meet, and still be there for htem in the way I wanted? That's exactly what happens to Emily in A FAMILY FOR THE RUGGED RANCHER.  I like Emily. Yes, she's been hurt, but she's pulled up her socks to do what's best for her son.  She's a good mother. She does what I hope I would have done if I'd found myself in those circumstances. Cope - with a smile.

Of course Luke is dealing with his own issues, and one many of us face as time ticks on: aging parents. He needs someone to bring him out of his shell. To show him all the rich possibilities of the future. And that someone is Emily.

I often hear people say that romance novels are unrealistic fairy tales, but I don't agree. My characters aren't just characters - they're people trying to deal with issues we all face in our lives. And when life gets bad sometimes it's nice to know - just for a while - that the sun is going to peek from beneath that cloud. I'm here to say that fairy tales happen. There ARE such things as happy endings.

I hope you find your happy ending too!

Warm wishes,


What about you? Do you read Dear Reader letters? Do you like them?

A Family for the Rugged Rancher is out now in the UK and India and available in the US and Canada via Eharlequin.


Jo's Daughter said...

Sometimes I read them, after I finished a great book. But not always I must admit. They can be great, but when the story is powerful and still so much with me I tend to skip it.

Bev Pettersen said...

I sometimes read them, especially if the book has intrigued me. But if I've stayed up really late to finish a good book,I'm often too tired.

Susanna Carr said...

I always read the Dear Reader letter. I read them and the dedication before I start reading the book.

Lolarific said...

I always read the "Dear Reader" letters and also all of the dedications in books. Sometimes you learn little tidbits about what happened behind the scenes of the creating of the story.

Pat Cochran said...

I am a "Dear Reader" letter reader.
In fact, I am a literal cover to cover
reader. Even glance at the ads at the
back of the book!

Pat Cochran

Melanie Milburne said...

Hi Donna,
I al;ways read the Dear Reader letter as it gives a lot of insight into the author
s inspiration. The story behind the story, if you like. I also love dedications and I even read the acknowledgements page/s in mainstream books. It's not just one person who writes a book. It sometimes takes a whole village!
Lovely post.

Donna Alward said...

Thanks for stopping by, everyone!

I know I like to take the chance to share a bit of what inspired the books - there was one that my lovely husband inspired by a romantic dance in the moonlight. That book will always be a bit extra special to me because of that. :-)

marybelle said...

If their is a Dear Reader letter or other type of intro I always read them. They usually set up the story well for me.

Christina Hollis said...

Hi Donna - I always read the Dear Reader letters. It's a little insight into that writer's world, which I aways enjoy.