Having sold my first story a few weeks ago, this week I finally got around to sending out some short “thank you” messages to writers who have influenced me and given me encouraging words not to give up over the years. Today I sent a note to Piers Anthony.
Growing up (in junior and senior) high school, I was a rabid Piers Anthony fan. By the time I was in college, I had 50 or 60 of his books (I now have well over 100 of them). I wrote him a letter in college and he promptly wrote back a two-page, single-spaced letter. His letter was encouraging, but realistic about the chances of actually getting a story published. We exchanged two more letters and that was it. Over the years, I read less and less Piers Anthony, not because I grew tired of him, but because I broadened my reading. I still bought his books whenever they came out.
So today I send him a short email message (his email address was available on his website). In it, I told him that his encouraging words with respect to writing kept me going and that without that kind of encouragement from writers we look up to, many writers (myself included) might have quit a long time ago. I told him that I had finally sold a story and that his encouraging words helped to make that happen.
You can imagine how surprised I was, therefore, when a few hours later, I had the following reply:
Good for you! You have become one in a hundred. Future sales won’t come easy, but the next one shouldn’t take you another 14 years. –Piers Anthony
Pretty cool, eh!
There are a few more on the list and I’ll post about them after I get the notes send out.