It’s always FANTASTIC to hear from children who’ve enjoyed reading The Rescue Princesses and when they’ve made the effort to write a letter that makes it extra special!
I’ve had letters from around the UK, USA, Ireland and an email from Australia! I have to “fess up” here and admit I’m a bit behind on answering, but that’s only because I’ve been finishing a new book. I shall be back on track with my replies very soon!
The first thing I LOVE about fan letters is the information I get about the readers. They don’t tell me their height or how good they are at times tables. None of the boring stuff adults focus on. They tell me what’s important to them such as their favourite colour, favourite animal and what pets they’ve got.
One girl writing from Hawaii said, “My favourite animal in Hawaii is the monk seal…I have brown eyes. My favourite color is silver.”
Some letters include the most amazing pictures, like this one drawn by a girl from Omaha. There’s no WAY I could draw as well as that at age seven (I still can’t draw as well as that!).
The second thing I love about the letters is the questions they ask. These provide a lovely insight into how these readers feel about the stories, what interests them and what they’re thinking. So in honour of all those letter writers out there, I’m going to answer some of the most common questions.
1. Why do you write?
Eek! This one really puts me on the spot! I’ve always been drawn to stories and one day I decided I wanted to have a go at writing my own. After that I practiced for a long time and learnt the skill of writing. I find it really fun!
2. What is your favourite animal?
I love elephants! They’re so intelligent and funny. I would have liked to have written a rescue adventure with an elephant in, but it was pointed out to me that it wouldn’t work well in the story. One day I SHALL write a book with an elephant in!
3. Do you have any pets?
We used to have two guinea pigs but sadly they grew old and died. One of my children has gerbils but they are really hers and I’m not allowed to interfere. They’re very inquisitive animals though – great to watch!
4. Where do you get your ideas from?
Ideas often pop into my head and it’s not always easy to tell where they’ve come from! To me, it’s all to do with brain soup (which is less gross than it sounds!). Imagine all the things you’ve ever done, all the things you’ve ever seen and all the things you’ve ever thought, all mixing up inside your head. This is brain soup! Sometimes the stuff in my head jumbles up perfectly to give me a new idea.
And one last thing! Lots and lots of children ask if I can make them a character in one of my stories. My answer to that is: look very carefully – you’re already there in the book!