Along with millions of others, I watched the Super Bowl yesterday, cheering my team (thankfully, the Seahawks!) on and enjoying time spent with friends/family. Then, when it was over, I checked my email, where I found a note from an eight-year-old girl who wants to be a writer one day. She said she’s using my train-of-thought writing method book (impressive for an eight-year-old!) and had a couple questions for me. She wanted to be sure on some things involving point-of-view and also writing in first- or third-person because, in her words, she “loves books and wants to write good ones” herself.
Need I say “impressive” again? Seriously, she’s eight years old! And instead of watching the Super Bowl with her family, she was in her room trying to develop strong characters for her story.
As excited as I was about the outcome of yesterday’s football game, it didn’t begin to compare with that email from this future success story. Because you know what I realized as I considered that email? Whether or not she pursues her dream to write, she will be successful at whatever she chose to do with her life.
This also reminded me of how important books can be in the lives of young people—for good…or for evil.
Of my more than forty published books, only two were actually written for children. And yet, I’ve discovered that young people (late teens and early twenties) are among my greatest fans. Understanding that my fiction usually tackles tough topics (persecuted Church, human trafficking, homelessness, etc.), this tells me something about today’s youth. Despite the negative things we hear about them in the media (which, sadly, are mostly true), many of them have a passion to rise above that image and do great things with their lives.
Never was that more clearly illustrated to me than the a few years ago when I was doing a book-signing at a local bookstore. It was for one of my Extreme Devotion books, and the anticipated “flood” of fans scarcely qualified as a trickle. One young man, however, made it all worthwhile.
He was about seventeen, and we’d never met before. When he walked into the store, he glanced around until he spotted me, then headed straight toward my lonely corner.
“Mrs. Macias?” he asked.
When I nodded and welcomed him, he said, “I’m a high school senior, home-schooled. I don’t read much, unless I really have to for school, but your book was on our required reading list, so I read it. Now I plan to read all your books because they make me want to lead a noble life.”
I will tell you that in all my thirty-plus years as a published writer, I have never received such a wonderful or meaningful review! That young man encouraged my heart more than he will ever know.
So did the eight-year-old girl who emailed me during the Super Bowl yesterday. Her one note certainly doesn’t qualify as “Super-Book Sunday” or threaten the popularity of the most popular football game of the year, but it reminded me of how important books can be, not only to shape the lives of future generations but the condition of the world as well.
I’m grateful to be a part of it, and I hope you all—whether writers and/or readers—are too!