Booking Through Thursday: Letters!


Have you ever written an author a fan letter?
Did you get an answer?
Did it spark a conversation? A meeting?

(And, sure, I suppose that e-mails DO count . . . but I’d say no to something like a message board on which the author happens to participate.)

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

This intrigues me because with the book contests I do (scroll up to see it and then join in!) and the number of my friends who are writers, not to mention the friends who get excited when authors comment on their blogs, it seems that it’s easier than ever to reach a writer. Plus, as the leader of my book club, I contact authors all the time and ask if they’d be open to answering any questions we come up with during our discussion.

As for pure fan mail… yep, I’ve done that, too. Especially in this e-mail age; it’s so easy to drop someone a note and tell them I loved their book and why. It’s something I’d like to hear and Do Unto Others and Spread the Love and all that, ya know?



  1. julia

    August 3, 2007 10:24 am

    I’ve written a few fan letters in my day. Not too many, but sometimes I just had to share the love. Wasn’t expecting a reply and didn’t get one, just sending the love.BR/BR/However, when actor Bruce Campbell used to be interactive on his site, I emailed him about attending a showing of “Bubba Ho-tep” and he replied to me. That was fun!

  2. Christine d'Abo

    August 3, 2007 11:48 am

    I have to say as a writer, I got my first fan email the other day and I was totally thrilled! There is nothing better in the world than to know someone really enjoyed your story. 🙂

  3. Christine d'Abo

    August 3, 2007 11:48 am

    I have to say as a writer, I got my first fan email the other day and I was totally thrilled! There is nothing better in the world than to know someone really enjoyed your story. 🙂

  4. Christine d'Abo

    August 3, 2007 11:48 am

    I have to say as a writer, I got my first fan email the other day and I was totally thrilled! There is nothing better in the world than to know someone really enjoyed your story. 🙂

  5. Susan Helene Gottfried

    August 3, 2007 12:04 pm

    THAT is cool, Christine. Well-deserved, too, I’d say. (now, can we get you into print instead of only e-book???)

  6. Lisa Andel

    August 3, 2007 12:41 pm

    Susan help!!! Rhian is after me. I never said a word about Trevor to her. Now she’ll never let up.

  7. Dak-Ind

    August 3, 2007 12:44 pm

    my friends and i are big big Dean Koontz fance. she wrote him a letter and received a nice form letter with his signature and a picture in return. the closest i have ever come to fan mail was an authors website (ok it was Judy Blume) where there was an area to leave a comment (which i did… never hearing from the author or anyone pretending to be the aurhor)… i had just read summer sisters and was so overwhelmed by it thati had to thank her.BR/BR/hello from Michele!

  8. Camille Alexa

    August 3, 2007 3:20 pm

    Nope. But I once blogged about a A HREF=”” REL=”nofollow”‘deleted’ comment/A from an author’s A HREF=”” REL=”nofollow”website/A. He visited A HREF=”” REL=”nofollow”my blog/A and we had a bit of a comment-conversation.BR/BR/Later, I received a GMR Excellence Award for my A HREF=”” REL=”nofollow”review of his book/A in The Green Man Review, so I suppose it all worked out. Not the same, huh. O well.

  9. Susan Helene Gottfried

    August 3, 2007 3:23 pm

    I remember that! It was right around the time I started reading you, in fact.

  10. Carmi

    August 3, 2007 5:05 pm

    I love the way technology can connect writers and readers. When I wrote my column for our city’s rag, nothing tickled me more than receiving an e-mail from a reader. Even if said reader was vehemently opposed to my perspective and used words that I couldn’t repeat at the dinner table, it still jazzed me that someone took the time to write.BR/BR/I got an e-mail from someone who saw my interview on television yesterday. He sent it very soon after I fiinshed. I picked it up on my Motorola Q while getting into my car. It was a very cool, gratifying moment.BR/BR/Popped by from Michele’s. Great to e-see you again, Susan!

  11. RC

    August 3, 2007 6:27 pm

    I’ve never written an author before, but maybe I’ll do that since I’m unemployed as soon as I’m released from the berzerk krankenhaus tomorrow.BR/BR/I’m never gona wear my grandma’s clothes again!

  12. Tawcan

    August 3, 2007 7:15 pm

    Hello, Michele sent me. BR/BR/Can’t say I’ve written an author a fan letter though.

  13. OldOldLady Of The Hills

    August 3, 2007 7:23 pm

    Michele sent me today my dear Susan….And yes! I once wrote J.D. Salinger because I wanted to adapt one of his short stories into a play….He did not answer me but his agwnt did….No Dice! After the awful film that was made “back in the day”…”My Foolish Heart”…he refused permission to one and all to adapt anything he wrote to any other medium….This was a l-o-n-g time ago, and maybe that changed eventually, but I don’t think so. That’s my one story.

  14. OldOldLady Of The Hills

    August 3, 2007 7:25 pm

    Ooops…did I say Michele sent me? I hope so…OY! LOL!

  15. Lauren

    August 3, 2007 11:16 pm

    Oh man. I didnt even realize you were still posting. I was wondering how long you were going to go without posting – keeping the competition post at the top. Then I realized the date was in the future and I was like… what the??BR/BR/It’s been a long week lol

  16. BreadBox

    August 4, 2007 3:29 pm

    I’ve written a few letters — I’d write more if the frontispiece contained an address to write to.BR/BR/More recently I’ve found that many authors have some sort of net-presence which makes it easier to write to them.BR/BR/The two that come to my mind were: I wrote to Greg Bear some years ago, and got back a lovely, long, well thought out response.BR/The second was Margot Livesey: she was writer in residence at Carnegie Mellon around 89 or 90, and I met her at the old Stonewall bookstore in Shadyside (on a sidestreet off Walnut st, if I remember correctly). We had a lovely discussion about her novel, Homework, after which I bought both it, and if I remember right, Haroun Rashid and the Sea of Stories — I remember this because I read them both in quick succession and loved them both. And wrote to her and told her that, and some thoughts about the book. We had a lovely little correspondence, one or two more letters back and forth. She was the first really delightful writer I ever met!BR/BR/Michele sent me,BR/N.

  17. ORION

    August 5, 2007 11:29 am

    My book just came out a few days ago and I am just charmed by the people who have blogged about LOTTERY or who have emailed me. Now that i realize how if affects an author to hear from readers I plan to be more proactive with favorite reads of mine.BR/I agree with christine- there is nothing more thrilling!

  18. Dewey

    August 6, 2007 6:07 pm

    Wow, you must be great to have in a book club, if you line up authors to answer questions. I would love to be in a book club like that!

  19. Susan Helene Gottfried

    August 6, 2007 7:14 pm

    All it takes is a polite e-mail, you know. I’ve made some very neat connections from doing this. (not that they’ve gotten me published, but I also make it a point to NOT ask about that. I’m there for book club, not myself.)

  20. Marcia (MeeAugraphie)

    August 6, 2007 11:32 pm

    I emailed a local children’s author after reading about her in a small newspaper. She did reply, but it was cold. I immediately “forgot” her name and the book I had planned to buy.BR/BR/I emailed a well-known artist later and got a much warmer reply.

  21. Susan Helene Gottfried

    August 7, 2007 7:46 am

    Yeah, I had a few of those interactions when I was involved in something at the kids’ school, too. Amazing how we (and I mean everyone, not just writers) are unaware of how prickly we can be — and what a turn off that is, too.

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