Every author wants to write a bestseller. Few do. Many deserve that status, but I think that there are approximately three million books for sale on Amazon alone. Mine is one of them. Sales are brisk, thank you. However, I am not expecting a call from the New York Times just yet.
One thing that I did not expect is fan letters. When a person takes the time to sit down and write one, it means a lot. I have gotten a few so far, and I am very grateful. One person said that “you make me laugh, and even snort.” Doesn’t every novelist aspire to snorting readers?
Another person told me that she “wishes she were me.” Now that one gave me pause. Because I have never imagined that anyone would want to have my life, complete with dustballs, dirty laundry, low carbohydrates, and an Accordionist practicing in the dining room. But I was thrilled.
So far, I have received a handful of such letters. Wow. It makes me want to sit down and write some to my favorite writers. Many of them are no longer living, so that would be hard. But here are some of the things I would say:
To L. M. Montgomery, author of the Anne of Green Gables books: Thank you for writing such wonderful stories about little girls with big imaginations and vocabularies to match. You inspired me, and I named one of my children Anne.
To Louisa May Alcott: Thank you for writing about a happy, cozy, and brilliant poor family of girls. I think you were the originator of “shabby chic.” You made the Civil War seem somehow romantic.
To James Agee: A Death in the Family is a book I will never forget. It portrayed family and loss in a way that was moving and beautiful. I reread it every few years.
To Ayn Rand: I loved your books, as did every high school girl in the 60’s. The politics went way over my head, but Howard Roark was my first love.
To Erma Bombeck: Thank you for being such a brilliant role model. You are the pride of Dayton, and I am so glad to have won an award in your name.
There you have it. If you have a favorite living writer, get on Facebook or Twitter, and tell that person you are a fan. He or she will be thrilled beyond belief.
CONGRATULATIONS to Julie Gillespie, the winner of the Keep the Ends Loose book giveaway. And thank all of you who entered!