The old song lyric says, "Make just one someone happy/ And you will be happy too."
I'm not sure if it's universally true, but it worked for me yesterday. After a stressful few weeks I received a few advance copies of Macbeth's Niece last Thursday. Because she's been very good to me for many years, I gave a local librarian an early peek, asking her to keep the book off the shelves until after my launch party. After driving through a nasty snowstorm I arrived home last night reeling from family heartaches and opened an email to find her message: "Peg, it's long past midnight, but I couldn't put your book down until I finished it. You did great, girl!"
Wow. Will she ever know how much I needed those words? Praise like that is a bulletproof vest that will help me put up with those who pick the book apart, sniff that "It isn't my type of book" or make snide comments about the price, the cover, or whatever. I can remind myself that one librarian stayed up 'way past her bedtime because she was so caught up in my story. If that isn't happiness for a writer, what is?