Wednesday, February 01, 2012

A Book, and a Sprig of Heather

I got an email from a reader recently. I really enjoyed receiving it, and I asked him if I could post it here. He said yes.

First, the background... I've corresponded with this reader, let's call him JK, for a while now. He was kind enough to ask if he could buy a signed copy of The Sacred Band from me. I said sure, but cautioned that it would cost a bit to ship it from Scotland, etc. He deferred to his wife, asking her to make it a Christmas present. Reasonable man.

His wife, to her credit, played the whole thing wonderfully. To him she made it seem that the extravagance of buying a hardcover book all the way from overseas just wasn't something she was that into. But to me, she emailed and set up the purchase. I was pleased enough that I even picked a sprig of heather on one of my walks and slipped it inside the book.

Fast forward a few months, and I received this:

Sorry it has taken so long to thank you for sending me the signed book. Work has been crazy, and as I said I wanted to re-read the first two before I started the new book. Let me tell you how I got it: I got a few things for Christmas from the wife… NHL Bruins jersey… socks... Then I get a hardcover book shaped gift. I think to myself (SHE GOT IT!!).  I say, “I think I know what this is...” Open it and it's...

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini.

Apparently my expression changed. My wife said, “OH, were you thinking it was that book from what’s his name in Ireland?” I tried to cover the disappointment with, ”No, no, this is great. I really wanted to read the last book... But, oh it's Scotland not Ireland.” 

So the morning continued as my 3yr old opens all 45+ gifts. Finally, as we were cleaning up and my daughter was in an adrenalin induced coma, my wife handed me a wrapped book and said, “You really think after all the not so subtle hints I wasn’t going to get this! I know its Scotland, but I threw you off didn’t I?”

It was a very nice surprise. I wound up bringing the book to the Christmas family gathering to show off to my brother-in-law. He is reading book 2 currently. 

Anyway, the book was fantastic, I was sad to have the story close but happy to get resolution to all the plot lines. As I got closer to the end of the book I was concerned that there wouldn’t be enough time to tie it all up, but thankfully I was wrong. You have written a great story, David. When you think about everything that happened and all the detail put in, it doesn’t feel like it would fit in only three books. I truly enjoyed it and I know that I will read the trilogy again in the future as well as pass the books on to my daughter to enjoy... 

I can scarcely imagine receiving a nicer letter as a writer. To know that my books were part of such an elaborate plot, that they were that wished for, and that they'll be part of a Christmas memory going forward...

That's just terrific.

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