I love fan mail! Some of it has led to wonderful new friendships, like the one formed with Kaelen, mentioned here a few posts back. It’s also responsible for my big trip coming up (which I am going to talk more about soon). In February, I met for coffee with a fan from California who happened to be in the Seattle area and from other fans I have learned about bits of family history. Some letters, unlike the ones pictured below, lift my spirits so much that I pin them to my bulletin board for a sliver of sunshine on gray writing days.
A portion of my rejection letter collection; not fun mail
A recent letter, from a 6th grader in New Mexico, though 98% complimentary, included this line: “The first few chapters of Hattie Big Sky weren’t very interesting to me. . .” Ouch. Luckily, the setting details kept her reading and the story eventually won her over.
I do thank that young reader for her honesty and you can bet I’m taking a hard look at the WIP to make sure the first few chapters are very, very interesting.
I am a 6th grade ELA teacher at Stuart Hall School for Boys in New Orleans. One of my students wrote a letter for you in my class. Here it is!
Hi, I read your book Code Word Courage this year. I really enjoyed your book. I thought that this book was very interesting. One of my favorite scenes was when Tito fell into the ravine and Billy was brave enough to go into the ravine and help him. I thought that this part of the book really exhibited the idea of courage. Also, was one of these characters inspired by someone that you know in real life?
Another part of the book that I really liked was when Billie was teaching Bear to do tricks. I thought that that part of the book was really cool how a stray dog is so smart to be able to learn cool tricks. I also was thinking why you chose this topic. Was it to inform or interest or was it both?
I also like the scene where Denny was in the ground and felt Bear’s tail and him licking his face. I felt that that scene showed what happened a lot during war when traumatizing things happen. Is that what you were trying to show in that scene? Finally, did you enjoy writing this book?