Fan Mail

The letter arrives each year, often between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and 2017 was no exception.  I have a fan, a super-fan, in Idaho.  Let’s call her Dee.

Dee and I have shared a wonderful correspondence over the past four years.  She tells me what she loves about my stories (as she once put it, “girls who aren’t afraid to take care of themselves and make their way in life without the help of a man, thank you very much!”)  Their northern California rural setting intrigues her.  She falls in love with each of the heroes, like I do.  She’s told me she gets teary-eyed at each of the happily-ever-afters, like I do.

I adore hearing from her!  From her handwriting and the phrases she uses, plus a little of what she’s shared about her life, I assume she is on the older end of my audience range.  Yes, her brief letters to me are handwritten, and on this last one, I had to enlist the help of Dear Hubby to interpret some of the words.  Things are getting shakier in Dee’s world, but my stories give her satisfaction and joy.

I would do anything to keep this fan happy!

Dee doesn’t have a computer, though she finally pestered her family into buying her a Kindle two years ago – but she still loves the feel of a book in her hands.  I have titles people can only download for free online.  I print those out and send them to Dee, because I know she’ll appreciate the story, not just the gesture.

I wish I could connect with each of my fans as easily.  It’s a simple thing to take ten minutes and write her a letter (yes, typed on the computer – my handwriting has never improved since the days of Sister Mary Alice in second grade).  My printer spits out the novella I’m sending her this year in a couple of minutes.  I’ll drop off the envelope at the post office on my weekly sojourn to check the PO box.

It doesn’t take much time, but it’s SO worth it!  Because each year, at some point on the calendar, I’ll receive a letter from a very nice person I’ve never met in person, telling me about the little difference I made in their life.  Dee always makes me smile, and I pull out her letters when the writing gets tough.  SHE is one of the reasons I write, as are each of you!

Dee, you’ve made a HUGE difference in my writing life!  Thank YOU!

How do you reach out to the people who make a difference in your life?  How do you say thank you when someone reaches out to you?  Please share in the comments below!

 

Paying It Forward

I’m starting a new feature each week, called Paying It Forward.  I’ll share a book I’ve read that I found worth the time, or a blog I follow that you might also find interesting.

This week, it’s my writer friend Joan Fernandez’s blog.  Her post about already feeling behind in 2018 made me laugh this week!  I’ve been known to reorganize a junk drawer when the writing isn’t going well!  Check it out here, and sign up to follow her biweekly news.

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