Fan Mail, Authors, and Why You Should Send a Letter.

Fan Mail, Authors, and Why You Should Send a Letter.

Fan mail. I’m pretty sure that some authors have bags and bags of it (or the email equivalent) and probably wish they didn’t have as much. But I think they are in the minority. Fan mail is (at least to me) on the top ten lists of things authors wish for when they publish a book. Not for the ego rush, though there probably is a little bit of one, but because it means that you have written proof your words reached through the pages of a story and touched someone else.

I have only received a handful of “fan mail” in my time as an author. But the ones I have received, no matter how small, have meant a lot to me. I printed them all out and kept them. When I have bad days and wonder why I bother to put words on a page, sometimes I look at them and remind myself of how happy it makes me to share my stories with others.

It’s one of my new goals – if I like a story I read, I try to remember to jot a note down to email or snail mail the author and let them know how much I loved their work. One of the highlights was writing Susan Cooper (by snail mail) and she sent back a letter in my SASE. I’ve saved the letter. That interaction meant a lot, from an author whose books I adore.

So, if you love a book, let the author know. In the days of amazon and online stores, people always think in terms of reviews and stars. I’m telling you not to forget the book was written by a human, and that human likely loves books as much as you do. Tell them how much the book touched you, or how much you can relate to that character. I promise the authors I know will love that letter more than you will ever realize. You may even get a response. I know I answer fan mail – if you took the time to reach out to me, I’ll return the favor. It’s different for everyone, but don’t let that stop you.

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