I received a fan letter this weekend. Well, I guess it’s a fan letter. I’m not sure what to call a reader who likes your work. I guess they are fans. So, a fan emailed me and she wanted to know what it meant to me to partner with Together We Rise, which is a great charity that helps and supports parentless and homeless children. It didn’t take me a second to write her back because I had that answer rehearsed well in advance!
The story goes that when I finished my novel, Paper Boats, I was beyond emotional because I put my characters, most having been orphaned by the war, through hell. Even though I was finished with writing, there still was no relief after seven years. I wasn’t done. My characters still needed me and it dawned on me that I had to snap out of my fictitious world and into my real world and continue my work. I could not sit back and do nothing. I had to do something. I called my publicist, Nancy, and talked to her about it and together we had the idea of partnering with a charity. There was no discussion about should we do it. It was a, ‘we must do it.’ Nancy researched and came across Together We Rise, created by industrious young adults and former foster youth that wanted to make a difference. That’s all I needed to hear. I was in!
So what does it mean to me? It mean exactly what Otto said in my book Paper Boats, “No human being, my dear children, deserves to live alone without love."