Friday, June 26, 2009


Friday, 26 June, 2009

I have a love-hate relationship with fan mail, which arrives in lumps like this (above), usually a day or two after I've finished answering the last batch. Once I calculated how long it took me to open each letter, read it, answer it, address an envelope, close it and stamp it, and then I figured in the cost of the paper, envelope and stamp. I forget the result, but it wasn't encouraging. I bless everyone who sends an S.A.S.E. Sometimes I kiss the S.A.S.E.

But it would be bad form to whinge too much. I am fortunate to have readers, to do what I love to do, and to make a living from it. I am grateful for all the incredible teachers out there who fire kids up over books. (I am not always so grateful for the ones who ask students to tell me what they did not like about the book.) And as every writer knows, sometimes you get those letters that take you to your knees. My most recent favorite is from a girl who, as she read one of my books, nibbled at the corners. She read the book many times, each time nibbling more. She literally ATE the book because she loved it so.

Today the sun is shining; the dock beckons. Lie on the dock or answer mail? Maybe this compromise: dock first, mail later.


  1. Oh, you know I love this one. School is out now for most students. Perhaps the summer will bring smaller stacks of fan mail and longer days on the water. But if not, that's what you get, my dear, for writing such wonderful books.

  2. I was just about to have some breakfast, but I think I will eat one of your books instead. Yum. xxxxxx

  3. Perhaps that girl took Sir Fancis Bacon's famous quote, "Some books are to be tasted . . ." literally . . . I wonder which book she "chewed and digested" . . .