When I was little, I read to try to find a place of happiness, interest, joy. I read to find out who I was because someone had to have the answer. I sure as hell had no clue, and neither did my parents or the confused and upset teachers around me every year.
The good news was that in books, there were many children with issues--children who were bad or misunderstood or put upon (Max, James, Charlie, all the girls in Ruth M. Arthur books). But somehow, in the end, the world was righted for them all. Max woke up from his dream to food, James squashed his evil aunts, Charlie inherited the chocolate factory, and peace and love and hope were restored to the girls, now often women. There was understanding at the end, and that's what I wanted, too.
As a writer, I realize that I'm still trying to right the world, a world, and I'm hoping to fill some place of longing in myself. Not for food or a chocolate factory, but maybe for peace and satisfaction. Putting characters in the midst of life allows me to work through things that must be personal and archetypal. It's like a huge and detailed game of Life, and I get to orchestrate it all. Whether I'm writing genre fiction or "fiction" or poetry or short fiction, I feel that my intent is always the same: figure it out. Deepen it. Stay awhile.
And that's why I write. Yes, I love other aspects of it, and I love that sometimes, something I write clicks with someone else. That there is a moment of recognition, the world made clear, at least, for a short time.
I don't know if you all have google alerts on your titles, but I do. When people write about me on web sites or blogs, I get an alert. I don't always relish this experience, but sometimes, as with this blog, I did. To know that a sentence affected a reader positively is worth the times when I get a notice that the affect wasn't quite so wonderful.
In terms of reaching folk, google sometimes tells me who actually wants to be reached.
Causes Jessica Inclan Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org