Saturday, September 3, 2011

Writing to an author and having them write back!

I purchased this book
about a month ago at a little bookstore in Ogallalla, Nebraska. It is a collection of 30 western short stories written by Elmore Leonard in the 1950's and 1960's. I like reading short stories and like Elmore Leonard's style. In the years since, he has been a very successful author and screen writer. As I read the stories, I felt like I wanted to write Elmore Leonard a letter. So I did and ended up mailing it to him in care of his publisher in New York City. Imagine my surprise today when the mail revealed a return letter from Elmore Leonard!
I've covered the return address in order to respect Mr. Leonard's privacy, but I can say that it definitely did not come from his publisher in New York. He answered the only question I asked in the letter and signed it with what quite possibly could have been a fountain pen! Have you ever written to anyone famous?


  1. I suspect authors (being "word types") write back more times than you'd think. I've written to a few and I think I usually get a note of some sort back--these days, of course, I write e-mail and get an e-mail response. A real paper letter with a real signature is VERY special!

    (my last letter was from Tess Gerritsen)

  2. I was the most shocked that the letter got to him. I wrote to him care of Harper Collins in NYC and received the letter from him with the postmark and return address from another state. I think the handwritten letter is what got it there!

  3. I did the same with Patrick Smith, the author of a book called "Ask the pilot". The first time he replied personally to my email I was so surprised and happy! We still have contacts, we write emails sometimes. that's great!

  4. Aww, that's so great you got the reply:D My dad likes watching westerns, maybe I should look for this author's books for him:)

    I was thinking about writing to my favourite authors but couldn't find the address to where I could send a letter. And I'm not sure if I'd know what to write... I'd feel intimidated with their genious:P

  5. Aww...they put their pants on one leg at a time just like you. I found several writers I read on Facebook.

  6. I wrote to Michelle Obama to tell her about our garden and she replied!