Friday, September 12, 2008

My Penpal, David Catrow

About three months ago, I posted a short piece on the virtues of I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont and David Catrow. About a week ago, I got a comment from a source who identified himself as Catrow's son (Catrow being the illustrator of the book). He told me I should write to Catrow on his website and I'd probably get a response back, since all emails went directly to the artist. So I followed his advice and here's the correspondence:

Me:

"This isn't really a request per sei, but I wanted to let you know that I think your work in I Like Myself! is changing the world for the better. I'm a huge fan of the book and have given copies of it to several children, both because of the positive message it sends and because the illustrations are so fun. (By the way, thank you for making the main character a little girl of color.) So long and God speed. Lindsay."

The Response:

"Thank you for those compliments-I love that book too-one of myfavorites as a matter of fact. as a kid, I always remember looking for"me" when I read. I hope everyone who reads me can eventually findthemselves in the pictures. best wishes and thank you. Sincerely, David C."

While I didn't get an autographed copy of the book (probably because I didn't ask for one), I can now semi-honestly claim that I'm penpals with one of the top children's illustrators in the industry. This got me to thinking... who else can I add to this list? Wouldn't it be awesome to have a pile of letters (or printed emails) of authors with whom I've made contact? Well, I think it would be. Unfortunately for me (and my fantasy penpal relationships), most of the authors I read are long dead. For example, I just finished a book by C.S. Lewis and I'm currently reading Upton Sinclair. Something tells me those two gentlemen would be exceedingly hard to get a hold of. Anyway, my new self-assigned project is to (a) read a book that was written by someone who is still alive, and (b) write an email that is so stirring (either through intellectual genius or unabashed ass-kissing) that the recipients or the recipients' secretaries just have to respond. Any suggestions for authors?

6 comments:

Chatty Cathy said...

That is great that he wrote you back. I think the next author you should write to is Flora Speer (a.k.a M. Evans). I think she is still alive.

Lindsay-with-an-A said...

Well, I had to google Flora Speer a.k.a. M. Evans and... well, I guess you have to start somewhere, and the author of A Passionate Magic and Love Once and Forever is as good a place as any.

Chatty Cathy said...

...and don't forget she also wrote "Viking Passion."

Lindsay-with-an-A said...

I can't believe you actually remember the author of that piece of ... fluff.

Homero said...

Robert "Starship Troopers" Heinlein received so many letters, that he responded to his fan mail by using a form check-off letter.

http://io9.com/5048215/robert-heinleins-bizarre-fan-mail-response-letter

Impressive of you to get a response, by the way.

Lindsay-with-an-A said...

Note to self: don't write to Robert Heinlen or any other popular writers. I must therefore choose writers who are good but underappreciated.

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