Mail Bonding: Letters from My Readers

Victorian Mailbox from iStock.jpgDear Ms. Richards,

Recently I found your Shenandoah Album books and read them all.  Sure I had found an author I could admire and trust, I went back and read some of your other novels. I found several words that I don’t even want to “think.”  I am now ashamed to be seen with your novels. I hope you are happy.

Disgruntled Reader

Dear Disgruntled,

After a rough calculation, I’ve determined that I’ve written and published more than 6 million, three hundred thousand words in my career.  If you have found only a few words that offend you, I am truly flabbergasted.

PS: While I , too, get tired of an abundance of profanity, I make no promises that the occasional profane word will not slip from a character’s lips when it’s really needed.  Rare, but there.  I do understand and appreciate what offends you and try not to do so.

Emilie, who wonders how you “bought” the novels that offended you, since right now they are out of print.

Dear Ms. Richards,

I read your novel Endless Chain, and I want to say it’s a left wing propaganda piece favoring illegal immigration.  Furthermore, I KNOW you wrote it so that “those” people will start reading your novels. 

Perceptive Reader

Dear . . . Reader,

Had you really read the novel, you would have noted that both Elisa and her brother were US citizens.  However, far more important?  I wrote the novel to explore what happens as communities change when people of a nationality new to an area begin to settle there–as we have done in this country for centuries and as your own ancestors probably did.  If I garnered new readers, I am delighted.  All people of good will are welcome to read my novels, and we don’t need to agree about everything or anything my characters proclaim.  This is fiction, topical, yes, but fiction, a chance to visit new worlds and think new thoughts.  Sometimes new thoughts are worth having.

Emilie, who feels enriched by the contributions and talents of all nationalities and requires no litmus tests for readers

Dear Emilie,

I have read and loved all your novels, and I am so glad I found them to keep me company.  I hope you plan to write many more.  Write faster.

Grateful Reader

Dear Grateful Reader,

I am the one who is grateful.  Sometimes you call me on mistakes.  Sometimes you take me to task for a character’s actions, but you continue reading my novels.  Where would I be without you?  I’ve watched from my side of this computer as some of you have dealt with frightening and life-threatening illnesses.  I’ve given permission to have my work read at funerals of your loved ones or even your own.  I’ve been teary-eyed when you’ve told me what my books have meant to you in times of personal darkness, or how a character helped you understand someone and make peace.

There are few jobs better than this one.  Thank you for allowing me this privilege.  I promise you, no matter what I write, I always take you seriously.



  1. Kathleen on May 1, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Well I am in the catergory of the Grateful Reader.. I loved all of your books that I have read..with the exception of the Ministry Murder series..but I will get around to reading these too.. Your books are wonderful and I cannot wait for the next one to hit the shelves.
    And thank you for the many wonderful hours of reading pleasure your words have given me..

  2. Emilie Richards on May 1, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Thank you, Kathleen.

  3. Gloria Bernal on May 4, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Re: “Disgruntled Reader” I can’t imagine anyone being ashamed to be seen with your novels, come on! Compared to many of today’s contemporary works, they are quite clean. I just finished Endless Chain and was just captivated by the entire thing. I always like when you write about the past events as well, such as Dorie Beaumont in this case, the slave. I picked up one of your older books at a book exchange while traveling and have been reading them ever since. Our book club did Whiskey Island and Parting Glass as well. All loved them. Your grateful readers are in the majority, I’m sure. I’m grateful to have many more hours of reading pleasure ahead of me as I catch up on what you have out there. Many thanks for your insightful and thought-provoking words. Blessings!

  4. Emilie Richards on May 4, 2010 at 9:22 am

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I appreciate your kind words.

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