For a couple of weeks, I’ve laid low.
I vowed not to pitch stories despite all the stories breaking around me because I wanted to think without distractions. I finished up some magazine work, but concentrated on hiking, jogging, cooking and sharing time with friends and family.
Then I got this email, out of the blue, from a reader:
“I have been hoping to better understand the human reality of immigration, and your book – often hard to read – did just that. My heart breaks.”
I realized my heart is full of thanks too. To the readers, like this one, who took the time to write. To the undocumented immigrants who inspired my narrative nonfiction book and who told their stories, warts and all. To all the people who purchased the book Illegal, Life and Death in Arizona’s Immigration War Zone and were moved by the raw truth of the stories.
Little things mean a lot — for instance, readers had the decency and grace to buy the book new at indie book stores and on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online sites. They shelled out four or five bucks more, but by not buying from cheesy private dealers to save a few dollars, they signaled a support of the kind of investigative journalism and writing that takes years and years of practice to nail down.