the journey from writing a novel to ... what were we talking about again?

Tag: letter

Fan Mail!!!

I haven’t figured out if it’s tacky to post fan mail or not. I think I’ll eschew formalities because I’m just so gosh darn excited about it!  The following is from Berkeley. California? Hope you don’t mind MO!


My younger daughter (10) is an avid reader and really fickle. It takes her hours of picking over titles before she settles on book. She’ll look at the cover, the back cover, the synopsis, the author’s description of herself, and read the first chapter before committing. Once she’s made a decision, it’s best to get out of the way, as she will disappear in her room until the book is done.

Anyway, she picked _Jackson Jones_ last week, and ripped through it. I’ll have to find a place to post the pictures she drew after finishing the book. The sketches will eventually be turned into a shadow box, which is her mission over the Thanksgiving break.

Last night, I spent a couple of hours with her back at the book store looking for something that was worthy of following JJ. No luck. She was in tears about it. (I think that may of had something to do with her dread of having Thanksgiving weekend at her Grandma’s with nothing to read.)

I just wanted you to know you have a rabid fan here in Berkeley. If you are ever in the area for a signing, please let us know.

I hope you have continued success with your writing.



I have decided to buy beautiful stationary and send out thank you notes to fan mail writers. Because 1) mail is almost dead and 2) who doesn’t like getting cards in the mail?

In other news: spent an hour on the phone with lovely Kathleen and must have all edits done by Thursday. Maybe Friday at the latest. Then the book will be finished (being written and awaiting publication) before she’s gone. Here’s praying for an awesome new editor!!!

Eating: salted caramel hot chocolate with soy. oh my good golly it’s gooooood!

Watching: nothing! Are you kidding me? I’m on page 16 of 136!

Listening to: annoying Christmas music. The radio kind, not the soft pretty kind. Must change stations.

Reading: Assassins.  Vogue.

Fan Mail!

This was not written by me. It was written to me. And I hope she doesn’t mind me posting it. It’s the first email of this morning and fully made me feel important.

Hi Jenn,

I am a mom to one girl in 4th grade and I recently brought home your book from Costco and tucked it away for Christmas or some other occasion.  The reason I bought it?  Well, first off, on the back it said you live in Ottawa and so do we; and second, your heart is in Hawaii and so is mine!  Haha…  We actually lived there for 3 years prior to moving to Ottawa a couple of years ago. 

Anyway, my daughter came home from school last week telling me that she needed to choose a book for a book report at school.  She loves to read (as do I), but couldn’t think of a book she wanted to do the report on, so I pulled out your book.  At first she thought it was going to be “too boyish”, but I said, “Just listen to the first chapter and then you can decide.”  Well, we were both hooked immediately!  Now when she takes it to school with her, I have to ask what chapters she’s read without me so that I am able to get caught up before we read that night.  I don’t want to miss a thing!

You know what is funny?  I read the last few entries on your blog, one being a review stating that there was no villian in the book, etc.  The thing is, that’s exactly the reason that my daughter and I love it so much!  Do you know how many books we have read half of and then had to stop because they’ve caused her to have nightmares?  Too many!  I love that this book is fun and entertaining, and also has a good moral foundation.  Just because a book doesn’t have a ‘bad guy’ doesn’t mean it’s not interesting.  We both look very foward to reading about Jackson’s adventure together every night, and we can’t wait to pick up your next book!!

Thanks for the great story!

Isn’t that awesome? Everyone should have a fan letter like that. I feel so good and lovely inside. Thank you!!!!


Reading: ‘I’m Number Four’, ‘Demons and Angels’, ‘Heaven’, ‘Soul Harvest’, November’s Issue of Vogue (I know, I know)

Eating: pizza. Oh I so regret it now!

Watching: the boys play Indiana Jones

Listening to : giggling.

Fan Mail #2

From an old teacher friend. Although he was never my actual teacher, he taught me a lot.

“Jen–What can I say?–I’m not a reader at all–but read this twice in a row–now you have to understand that I’m not an editor or a critic–I’m terrible in grammar etc…BUT I do think that I have a better than average imagination and creative mind–mainly related to songwriting BUT I have written some screenplays, so I feel qualified to pass some judgement—even after the second reading Im trying to find ways that i can describe to someone who asks me, what it was like—OH—finding words to describe the crazy journey Jackson is on isnt all that hard BUT trying to convey a sense of how you tell the story is another thing–I tried to tell my wife and I said–I had the feeling that Jen was sitting on my shoulder, at times it was her voice I heard as she explained things or made aside comments–even without the illustrations I pretty well could see everything perfectly–the uniqueness of the bracketed definitions–priceless—I have to tell you I almost peed my pants with the Thompsons Full Mouth Translation Book–brilliant!—the naming of the chapters is genius–the short little chapters had me in tears–ironically enough the bathroom break came right on cue!!!–brilliant again—the talking directly to the kids who might be reading this–friggin creative–
Anyways–as you can guess I loved it–and even though it has been a million years since I saw you or read your stuff–I was not one bit surprised at how you crafted this book–it is so weird–if someone had just given me this book and told me that a former student had written it–I would have guessed YOU 100%–and I have seen some great stuff from former students of mine–(Caroline Pignat–won awards for her books and I have stuff from a couple other former students that I have used in my songs–Jen Dugay and Val Lacelles–but noone comes close to your —Im going to say it–twisted little mind (and I mean that in a nice way)—BUT I WON’T GET INTO THAT NOW!
It is my “Favoritest” book—I hope you are holding on to your stones so that when you hit creative blanks can remind yourself to believe in the truth that you are a great gifted writer who belongs in the top of the class—so I look forward to the next 3 books–LET THE ADVENTURE BEGIN!
I’ve got to go now I think i hear a few CRUBBIES scurrying around in my back yard harasing some night owls–damn gum!.”

Jerk made me cry… wait, I shouldn’t call him a jerk. Because he’s not. And as soon as I get my hands on his songs, I’ll post them…


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