Friday, October 1, 2010

(Oops!) Day Five: Letter To Someone Who Influenced My Life

  Dear Gail Carsen Levine,

   As a ten year old, I was very, very selective about what I would and would not read. Which meant I read only Calvin and Hobbes comics and Tin Tin Adventures (in English, not French), which were also in comic form if I remember correctly. Finally, my mother bought me your book, Ella Enchanted (which she kept pointing out won a NEWBERRY AWARD), but I refused to read it because a.) my mother picked it out and she was silly, and b.) the cover looked boring.

 Months went by. I remember my mother nagging me almost daily to read it, but I never would. It remained on my nightstand, gathering dust while I ignored it vindictively. This probably would have gone on forever, if I hadn't gone over to a friend's house and she had it proudly displayed (standing up) on HER nightstand.
  "Hey, I have that book!" I said, excited.
  "It's so sad." She said solemnly. I nodded, trying also to appear solemn, and hoping she couldn't tell that I had no idea whether it was sad or not. I was so embarrassed and worried that she would find out I hadn't read it, that I went home and immediately cracked it open.

  I was hooked by the end of the second chapter. Whaaaat?? Mandy's a fairy?! What the frizz-nitch? I had to keep reading. And reading. And reading. I was sorry that I had to prove my mother and the Newberry Award people right, but this was an awesome book. I finished it in a couple of days, and  I was immediately indoctrinated in the world of fantasy. I couldn't get enough of it. Eventually, I bought all of your books (your longer ones were really the best, but nothing beat Ella Enchanted to me) and read them all like a drowning person being thrown a life preserver. After I finished those, I realized that if I wanted more, I would have to branch out to other authors.

  So, long story short, I became a reader. I read everything and anything I can get my hands on, and my bookcases have grown fatter and fatter. I've branched out to other genres now, but fantasy will always hold a special place in my heart. And Calvin and Hobbes.

 Thank you for writing Ella Enchanted. It not only made me love reading, but made me want to be an author who would make other people love reading.

  Wishing We Were BFFs,