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, butconcentrated 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.
Bio: Journalist Terry Greene Sterling has lived in Arizona most of her life, and has reported on the political brawls and human tragedies that have long made Arizona the focus of national news. She was raised on an Arizona cattle ranch, and learned to speak Spanish at the same time she learned English. The author of Illegal, Life and Death in Arizona's Immigration War Zone, Sterling has been honored with more than 50 national and regional journalism awards. She was named Virg Hill Journalist of the Year, Arizona’s highest journalism honor, three times. She was a staff writer for Phoenix New Times for 14 years before branching out on her own. She is a contributor for The Daily Beast, and Writer-in-Residence at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Her work has also appeared in The Washington Post, Newsweek.com, Salon.com, Rollingstone.com, The Nieman Narrative Digest, Phoenix Magazine, The Arizona Republic, Arizona Highways, High Country News, and Preservation Magazine. She tweets @tgsterling and blogs about immigration in Arizona at terrygreenesterling.com.
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