The Reply by Cheyenne

How do I write this? Where do I start? Should I put all of my comments on the book first and have my comments in between? Maybe I should add a separate paragraph in this e-mail. Oh no…. What if…What if this author doesn’t reply? They’re coming back, the butterflies, sucking away at my eagerness like it’s nectar in a blooming spring flower.
I sent the e-mail.
I knew that I had to do it. This author needed to know who I was, that I existed in the world and that her book was now one of my possessions, resting in its deserved spot on my bookshelf, a spine cracked open, a permanent sign of wear and delight when I read every page. If I didn’t do it, I wouldn’t have sparked a new desire inside of my heart that has since grown into a small fire as warm as the summer air—and it’s still growing.
It was my first time e-mailing an author, let alone talking to an actual published one. I felt as if I were talking to a celebrity, someone with incredible knowledge and experience that I crave. I knew what I wanted to say; it was just a matter of saying it all correctly and in a way that showed professional maturity. I remained calm as I typed up my many paragraphs telling this author about their own book, diving as deep into the story as I possibly could to summarize something that they would forever remember.
The first line of many that I read in this e-mail response was not a line I was expecting. The author was thanking me for teaching them about their story. How incredible is that? When I saw the reply in my inbox, I thought to myself, This can’t be happening. No. Way. This is happening! It was surreal, yet I knew it shouldn’t be. This person was just another like myself, living comfortably in their home. But knowing that I impacted this author in a way I never thought I could made me strive for more of that amazing feeling.
My questions were beautifully answered, and seeing them answered made more questions rise. Not questions geared for this specific writer, but questions I had for other writers about their stories or how they go about writing things, important opinions and thought processes that I wanted—that I needed—to know.
So far, I have talked to four lovely writers who are all incredible people. They help me see things in a fresh light, something every talented writer does for the reader. I hope to continue talking with more published authors to learn about their work and perhaps show them how much a reader can truly fall in love with their books.

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Posted on December 24, 2014, in Editorial Board Essay. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Oh how I wish this were me! I’ve tried to email one of my greatest writing inspirations, Veronica Roth, numerous times, yet she’s never answered…

  2. That is so awesome, Cheyenne!! 🙂

  3. When we talked you told me one of the best ways to get an author to reply is by summarizing their book. Do you have any tips or suggestions on how to do so?

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