A few years ago, I read Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, and liked it so much that I decided to tell the author. I found her email and sent something simple, just praises for the book, and asking how her “project” had continued to make her happy after the book had ended. It was your basic fan mail.
I was surprised when she wrote me back a few days later, thanking me for my email and asking me questions. In my mind, all authors live in an alternate universe, but she had reached back to me and showed me that she was, indeed real. I wasn’t sure what had compelled me to write her in the first place, but I was so glad that I did.
The next time I contacted an author was totally by accident. I had loved Phil Klay’s Redeployment, so when a friend mentioned she would be meeting him, she asked if I had any questions. I sent her with a list, and was SO happy when she returned with answers. It was like a celebrity sighting!
Every so often, a book or movie (most recently Leslie Jones of SNL) will really impress me, and I’ll reach out and let that person know. Sometimes I feel like a girl writing to Santa Claus, but I’m always amazed by how often I get earnest responses back. I always assumed that an email from me would be a huge inconvenience, but maybe hearing that your writing is great isn’t so bad. Maybe it shouldn’t be uncool to be a fan because I know that when someone is a fan of me, it makes my day. Let’s appreciate those who touch our lives, with their actions or their art, and let them know.
Fan mail is in, people.