My absolutely favourite part of being a writer is the beautiful, inspiring, humbling letters and emails I've received from readers. Georgia, from the UK, has sent me this letter which she originally wrote as part of her English coursework, and she has kindly granted me permission to quote part of it here. I wanted to share it because she describes the relationship between author and reader so perfectly and with such eloquence. She says:
I do not know who you are, where you are as I write this, but it does not matter to me. For I have lost myself many times in a world that you created, and there was never any need for me to meet you. You were there though, when I journeyed across land and sea; my invisible guide from page to page, pointing out what was there to be noticed and shielding what would give away the ending. So I feel like I know you, as if the story can teach me anything about the author, the dreamer...
I can see myself in the future, standing barefoot on the bank of a river watching the churning water only centimetres below me, surrounded by wild and overgrown plants, trees waving at me in the wind. The sun will be shining on my back warming my skin and clothes and my hair tickling my chin. The only sound will be that of the water and of the calling birds above. I will be looking back at what inspired me to create my entwining fibres of vision, and I will see rolling dunes stretching to the red horizon. There will be a group of travellers alongside me, and we will be trekking across the shifting sand of a waterless sea. I will be smiling and gently rubbing the small red lump on the fourth finger of my right hand I will get from writing down all my ideas.
What does it feel like to have started off my roller coaster? I know nothing about you but your stories, and yet have complete trust in your mind and imagination, enough to call them my inspiration. After reading what you created I realised what I want to be; an author or writer of some sort, an artist of the twisted worlds that flood every person's mind. I look out of the window and see the movement of the living things; from the trees to the animals that fly past the glass and I wonder if the world you invented is as alive as what I observe in front of me now? Mine is.