Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fan Mail

Every author at some point in his/her career has either thought about or dreamed of receiving fan mail; that little note of encouragement or appreciation. As a children's author, I find myself looking forward to letters from children who have enjoyed Fern Valley. Although Fern Valley is my first book and was only released in March of this year, I have received two such letters already. The joy that I felt upon receiving those two letters was almost akin to the joy I felt upon giving birth to my beautiful daughter.

To read what the children thought of my characters and the stories was so exciting. To read that one little girl couldn't wait for my next book and that she thought it would be just "wonderful" almost brought me to tears. It is these small rewards that make writing so gratifying. The fact that I have the ability to touch someone's life through words on paper is a gift of overwhelming value.

Sometimes fan mail can turn out to be a cherished keepsake as well. Take for instance the mailing tube recently left for me at my local Barnes and Noble store that contained a very large sketch of my daughter sitting on my lap while reading my book. The attached letter from a retired grocery worker and amateur artist stated that he often used photos found in local newspapers for sketching material and that he had absolutely loved the photo of my daughter and I that had accompanied the article about my book. He went on to state that his father had at one time written several books but had never had the privilege of being published and that he hoped I would go on to sell a million copies of my book.

Not only did this man share with me words of encouragement and best wishes, he shared with me a part of himself. We made a connection in a world where people pass each other on a daily basis without so much as a simple hello. He took the time to let me know that that he shared in my joy and accomplishment. I plan on framing the sketch so lovingly drawn for me and my family and finding a place of honor for it.

So to all my fellow authors, I encourage you to enjoy your fan mail to the fullest truly recognizing what it stands for; and to all my fellow readers, I say thank you for for the privilege of being a part of your lives. Signing off for now with wishes for a bright and beautiful day!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Silas Marner Book Vs Movie

In my high school literature class many years ago (and I'm not telling how many years ago) I read a book called Silas Marner written by George Elliot. Now it just so happens that George Elliot was a pen name for a woman named Mary Ann Evans. Why do you ask did Ms. Mary write under a male pen name? The answer is simple. Silas Marner was published in 1861 during a time that women were considered basically unable to think for themselves.

Silas Marner was a tale of a man betrayed, and who because of that betrayal became a hermit. Through a chain of events in which he had no control over, Silas Marner was robbed of his gold and instead of wealth, found himself with a toddler on his hands. Although crotchety and anti-social towards adults, Silas Marner had a lonely place in his heart that was touched by the child whom he kept and raised as his own. Many years later, events connected with that long ago theft threatened to rob him of the daughter he had grown to love. It was a masterful tale of love and hate, greed and gain, loss and replenishment, bitterness and joy, superbly told; and the highlight of my high school reading assignments. It was a piece I truly never forgot.

So you will imagine my surprise when I discovered a movie entitled A Simple Twist of Fate, written and produced by Steve Martin of all people was a modern day remake of Silas Marner. Although brought into the twentieth century and sprinkled with bits of comedy, as a Steve Martin movie should be, A Simple Twist of Fate managed to stay true to the main themes in Silas Marner. So if you want my advice, you should read the book and watch the movie. Not only as a comparison of tales, but as an example of how a classic story can be modernized and made into a movie worth watching. Signing off for now with wishes for a bright and beautiful day!