I got an email Sunday morning. I didn’t recognize the sender’s name but the subject line read, your books. I opened it up, half expecting it to be a solicitation from a book marketing firm or a publicist offering to take money that I don’t have but it wasn’t. Here’s how it began,
“Hi my name is Ellie. I am 12 years old. I really liked your book The Saturday Boy.”
What can I say? She had my attention.
Ellie went on to ask if I had any other books available and if I did, could I send her the titles? She also said that she finished The Saturday Boy in four days and has recommended it to all of her friends. The email was signed,
“sincerely your biggest fan, Ellie”
What I am about to say may sound arrogant but it’s not meant to. It’s merely for perspective’s sake. The Saturday Boy has been critically acclaimed. It has received very positive reviews from Kirkus, PW, Horn Book, among others. It is a Junior Library Guild and Scholastic Book Club selection. There are people blogging about it in Norway.
And yet somehow Ellie’s email has had the biggest impact on me.
You know how artists are always saying if they can get through to just one person then it’s all been worth it? I used to think that was the biggest load of bullsquirt. I was like, “man, could they be more full of themselves?”
Well I want to apologize for thinking that. I get it now.
Ellie is my one person.
And she’s worth it.