The Letter

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A few weeks ago I received one of the best things an author could get (other than a royalty check)–a letter from a fan.

But I haven’t answered it yet. Yes, I am ashamed to say that I read the letter, I have placed it in a place of honor, but I haven’t written back yet.

I’m not really sure what is holding me back. I know that I want to thank the child who wrote to me. He did not have to write. Instead of playing outside with his friends or watching TV he actually took the time and effort to find paper, write his message, put it in an envelope, find where to send it, add a stamp, and place it in the mailbox.

I truly appreciate the effort. I really do. I applaud his thoughtfullness.

Maybe I am hesitating because as soon as I respond, as soon as I write him a letter and send it off, the thrill of receiving my first real fan letter will be over. I will need to move the letter from that oh-so-prominent “to do” list to the “done” list, which no one ever sees. I will be forced to file away that glorious letter. Forget about it. Move on.

But I don’t want to move on. I’m not ready. I am thrilled to the core that he not only likes my books, but he hopes I’ll write more.

Could there be anything better? I mean honestly, think about it.

Even the royalty check comes in second place. Way in second place.

What do you think?