The launch event for After the World is done, and I'm still processing! For me it went by in a blur. I've no idea how many people came, but I know the room was packed, and we sold out of copies. Author Ruth Long introduced the book speaking beautifully about empathy and engaging with the other, and how fiction demands that of us.
When you write a book, you're mostly in a little cocoon with it. A few people might read it but they're with you on the journey so you. It's a strange thing to see it through someone else's eyes, especially when they've only seen the end product. And certainly choosing to write in the first person pushes empathy on the reader - which of course they are free to reject! In an odd way it pushes empathy on the writer too. Trying to work out what's behind someone's eyes, even if they're someone you invented, can't help but have an affect on you. No wonder authors tend to like our characters even when we don't mean to!