Yesterday I was looking through Facebook for an entry about my novel Spellbound, when I came across a chilling letter from a reader. I’d completely forgotten about it. After all, ten years had passed. And a lot has happened in my life in the past few years.
But when I re-read the letter, I knew I had to do something permanent to celebrate it. So, I decided to post the note on my website to remind myself and other authors of the power of the written word.
Never forget. Writers can have far-reaching effects on others.
But we do forget…
There are times in a writer’s life when we doubt our work. Is anyone out there? Is anyone reading my books? Is what I write worthwhile in this crazy world of TikTok and Tinder? Sometimes a single fan letter can make the hard business of writing worth the anguish.
So here goes…
The woman who wrote to me used to read favorite books with her aging mother. One of the stories they would read together over and over was my novel Whisper of Midnight. This is the chilling (and wonderful) thing that happened to them…
At my mother’s passing, her mouth was slightly open and pulled down on the right side in a half frown, just as it had been for the past week. I sat beside her bed and talked to her for almost an hour, having a normal conversation about everything and nothing—even about the good parts of the latest book I was reading. I was telling her that reading about Hazard MacAllister would never be the same. When I looked up at her, the open-mouthed frown was gone, and in its place was something I can only describe as a Mona Lisa smile. I’m so glad hospice was still there to see it because they couldn’t believe it. It is not something that occurs after death and is medically impossible.”A reader, Whisper of Midnight
To learn that my book had been read over and over again was nice to hear. But to learn that my Scottish hero, Hazard MacAllister, might have lightened a woman’s dying moment was…absolutely incredible.
This letter will inspire me forever.
If you’d like to meet Hazard MacAllister, here’s the link to his story.