When I was a teenager and I used to hear actors say they appreciated their fan mail and they read every single letter, I never used to believe them. I used to think, when do they have time to read and answer letters? That always put me off from writing fan letters when I was a kid, but now, as an adult, I can see that they probably really meant it.
When you're working at any kind of business that is so directly related to the public -- ie: if the public doesn't like it, your career is over -- the hours are so long and the creative process so intense that sometimes you forget to look up. When your head is down and you're busy creating and being productive, it is so easy to get lost in the fictional world you create that sometimes, when you do look up for a moment, you are quite surprised to realize that what you're doing is actually making a difference, touching someone's heart, bringing joy to someone. That is what I write for -- for the joy of writing for myself, and the joy of reading for my readers.
The bond between writers and readers is so magical. We can be millions of miles apart, and something that I write today can be enjoyed by people years into the future who will have that tiny part of me, long after I am gone.
(In other news: I'll be posting my book release dates on my home page here, and will soon be getting my Facebook public page online and my personal twitter account! Stay tuned!)