Saturday, December 08, 2007

Hello, folks,

I hope this lovely Saturday finds you well and able to enjoy some quality time with family and if you're a writer, with your keyboard!

I want to share a letter I wrote to Dean Koontz. And yes, I actually mailed it, along with a "thank you for the inspiration" copy of Tremolo.

I can hear you now.

"What? You actually wrote to one of the most successful, amazing, astounding, prolific writers ever to grace the planet? Are you nuts? Why would he read a letter from you? He gets 20,000 pieces of snail mail a year. And that number is growing!"

I know, I know. It's rather crazy. But I just finished reading the third book in the Odd Thomas series, Brother Odd, and I felt compelled to share my reactions with the author. I know how much it means to me when my readers send me their "book reports," or feedback of any type. I revel in it. And so, why hold back just because this man is a monument to writers everywhere?
Besides, he might still get that same thrill once in a while, like we do, when someone picks up on a passage of which we're particularly proud.

I've copied the letter below, minus a few lines that referred to plot surprises. Don't want to be a plot spoiler now, do I?

While we're at it, why don't you share some of your favorite writers with us? Tell us how they inspired you in your own life or writing.

So, dear friends, remember to take pleasure in the little things - whether it's a tiny petal on a cinguefoil flower, the crest of frost on your window, or the sparkle of love in an old woman's eye. And if you're writers, write like the wind!


December 5, 2007

Mr. Dean Koontz
PO Box 9529
Newport Beach, California 92658

Dear Mr. Koontz,

Last night during a grueling bout of insomnia, I reached for my copy of Brother Odd. With my flickering flashlight, I took great comfort in joining Oddie in his race to save the children of St. Bartholomew's. I delighted in the reappearance of Elvis with his quirky outfits and antics, and loved getting to know the monks, sisters, and children. The repartée between the Russian and Odd was stylish and witty - it floored me!

I'd been savoring this book as a treat each night, for your dedication to the craft brings such joy. After all, who else speaks of "light buttering the walls," or "shadows oiling the corners." God, I loved those passages, replete with perfectly chosen verbs and lovely imagery. Pure enchantment. The scene painting was profoundly enjoyable - what a fantastic setting for Odd's third adventure! I couldn't stop reading, even though I wanted to stretch it out to enjoy every single sentence.

Two hours later, still wide awake, I lay in bed with a monster smile plastered on my face. Uncontrollable. Recurrent. Unfading.

I'd finished the book, and continued to imagine the scene between Odd and Jacob (one of the most important and wonderful characters you've ever drawn, no pun intended!) You tore into my heart with that one, especially when Jacob laid his head against Odd's shoulder. So priceless, so moving, so... Koontz. Thank you for that unforgettable moment.

Flossie won my heart, too. What a lovely, tragic, brave and unforgettable child. Anyone who loves dogs that much couldn't help but become a favorite, even with the bit part she played. ;o)
The short but sweet visit with Ozzie was comforting, as well, because I'd missed him.

Anyway, I realize you receive over 20,000 pieces of mail each year, and probably read feedback like this ‘til you want to scream. But as a writer, I never tire of the "book reports" my readers send me. Each time they say they "couldn't put it down," or "stayed up all night to finish it," or "gave it to their mom to read," I experience that tingle of validation that keeps me going.

With that in mind, I decided to write once again to connect and thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing Brother Odd.

As a token of my deep respect and gratitude, I've enclosed a copy of my latest book, Tremolo: cry of the loon, a coming of age mystery set in Maine in 1964. Midwest Book Review recently honored me by writing, "...his style is lilting and beautiful. He weaves childhood memories of the lakes of Maine into a stylized whodunit that is original and breathtaking."

I'm not including this as a ploy to get you to read it, promote it, or help me in my career.

I know I will get there with hard work and persistence. And I will. I'll never give up, and I'll never stop writing, even if it's just for my own therapy and to satisfy that daily craving to create.

Rather, I am giving you Tremolo because it's the only way I know to thank you - it's such an integral part of me, it's my way of bowing down to your great talent and once again, from the bottom of my heart, thanking you for the Odd Thomas series.

Warmest regards from an avid student of your work,

Aaron Lazar at School #7, reading to fourth graders on National Reading Day. These children were a true delight - beautiful and bright, and they LOVED to read!

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