I am thankful for you. I really am. Anyone who buys one of my books, you are what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving. Like, of course a writer would be thankful for her readers, but I am probably far more pathetically grateful than almost any other writer out there. Let me explain. When I was a little tween girl, the sole breadwinner of my family, my father, died in an incredibly horrible and traumatic way. I won’t go into it, but it was basically one of the worst ways you can go, and it happened right in front of me. My wonderful, smart, amazing mother, a pioneer for women everywhere in her fields of chemistry and engineering, had retired from her well-paying job ten years before because back then (and still now, though less so) companies gave no shits about childcare. They wanted her to travel to places like Russia at the same time my father would have been in places like, say, Africa, and I was under two years old. No family nearby. It was unworkable. So my parents tightened their belts and my mother became a stay-at-home mom. Ten years out, on top of a terrible and traumatic death, we had no money. Nothing coming in at all. I think my college fund was 11k, and I learned back then that when the shit hit the fan, there was no one to rely on. My maternal grandparents helped where they could, but they were on a fixed income, and my paternal grandparents took the opportunity to snub my mother. Other wealthy family members didn’t and wouldn’t do anything. If it hadn’t been for social security, we would have been out on the street. My mother’s skills were useless and due to several medical conditions she couldn’t find good work. And yet, in other ways we were very lucky. We were able to keep the house, the car was paid off, and my mother still had healthcare through her old job (haha, that would never happen now). It was tough, but we made it, and I got to go to college on a full ride thanks to great SAT prep. My mother has since remarried and is very happy, and I am extremely happily married to my wonderful husband who is well-compensated for the work he does. After years of therapy, I worked through what happened to my father and decided I was ready to start a family of my own. Now I have a son, and those old memories are back. Scrimping and saving and struggling. What would I do if my husband were to be taken from us? How would I support this little child as a single mother? That’s why I’m thankful for you. I love to write. I’m half-way decent at it. I can set my own hours and be there for my son. Granted, this sometimes means I’m up late banging out the last thousand words of the day or uploading to a million distributors, but I’m awake and ready to go in the morning when he’s up, and I can be with him and help him grow while still making a modest income (VERY modest, but it will grow, I know). I am extremely lucky. So very lucky. With every book sold, I feel more and more secure, more and more confident in my ability to survive should the worst happen. I’m probably a little crazy about it, but I don’t care. So many people have it worse than me, and my heart goes out to them. But I will write a million words of crazy sex, and happily pay a third of it back into the system that sustained me when times were tough, and help where I can, always, because I remember the fear of the void yawning under me. I remember how hard it was for my mother, and I know how hard it is for other people. I will write a fantasy to take it away for the price of a cup of coffee, and I will be grateful for every single moment of it. Thank you, readers. You mean everything to me.