Know Your Audience

Jane on dock

I love this picture of my friend Jane reading Leap on a lakeside dock in Ontario. For one thing, Jane looks just like the girl in my trailer! (So blonde and pretty! But smart. Very very smart. And nice. Really super nice.) For another thing, my character Natalie really wants to go to Ontario with her sister to visit her Dad, but doesn’t get to. She envies that her sister gets to hang out at a lakeside cabin–like Jane is doing here. Plus, one of Natalie’s own scary but fun experiences takes place on a wooden dock that juts out into a lake–just like this one does.

And actually, this is the first picture I’ve seen of anyone reading any of my books, ever. And, I tell you, it’s really motivating. I mean, you often hear that you have to Know Your Audience. But it can be hard to imagine readers when you’re typing away at the keyboard, alone in your office (except for the cat who keeps daintily picking her way across the keys). So now, when I want to Visualize my Ideal Reader, I can just look at this picture of my dear friend Jane. Recommended for writers everywhere.

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