Last week, I was given one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.
You see, long before I wrote my first book, I wrote short stories. Most were mysteries, but several were “straight” fiction written for the women’s magazines. While the mysteries were often reprinted in various anthologies, I felt as if the others were being dropped down a rabbit hole, never to be read again.
Until last week, when someone who has never read any of my novels wrote me a letter. She described how, as a young wife, she had clipped one of my stories, stuck it in a Christmas notebook that she was compiling and took it so to heart that she began to make the personalized gingerbread men I described in the story. She wrote that she still reads the story every year and she still makes gingerbread men, a tradition she has passed down to her daughter. For a writer, It is immensely gratifying to be told that a story has not been forgotten.
If I knew how to do a “click here,” you could go immediately to the story. But I don’t. Instead I’ve posted it on the page that normally lists my tour schedule. If you’ll click on the TOUR button at the top of this page, it should take you there.
In the meantime, are you still looking for a special Christmas gift? Unless you are a member of the Author’s Guild, you may not have seen the following letter which was sent to the membership by our president, Roy Blount, Jr. Please read it and then go visit your local book store. You’re sure to find the perfect title for those hard-to-please people. And you won’t have to worry if it’s the right size or color!
Warmest wishes from my house to yours for a perfect holiday season!
Author’s Guild Letter
I've been talking to booksellers lately who report that times are hard. And local booksellers aren't known for vast reserves of capital, so a serious dip in sales can be devastating. Booksellers don't lose enough money, however, to receive congressional attention. A government bailout isn't in the cards.
We don't want bookstores to die. Authors need them, and so do neighborhoods. So let's mount a book-buying splurge. Get your friends together, go to your local bookstore and have a book-buying party. Buy the rest of your Christmas presents, but that's just for starters. Clear out the mysteries, wrap up the histories, beam up the science fiction! Round up the westerns, go crazy for self-help, say yes to the university press books! Get a load of those coffee-table books, fatten up on slim volumes of verse, and take a chance on romance!
There will be birthdays in the next twelve months; books keep well; they're easy to wrap: buy those books now. Buy replacements for any books looking raggedy on your shelves. Stockpile children's books as gifts for friends who look like they may eventually give birth. Hold off on the flat-screen TV and the GPS (they'll be cheaper after Christmas) and buy many, many books. Then tell the grateful booksellers, who by this time will be hanging onto your legs begging you to stay and live with their cat in the stockroom: "Got to move on, folks. Got some books to write now. You see...we're the Authors Guild."
Enjoy the holidays.
Roy Blount Jr.