Every now and again I get an email or letter from one of my readers that reminds me why it is writing is so important to me - and to others. I'd like to share this email about my novel The Puzzle Ring with you.
My name is Emily. I honestly cannot express the importance of the role you have played in my life so far. Your book, The Puzzle Ring, is a book I read as a young child - it honestly has changed my life, and I'll tell you why.
From a very, very young age, I loved books and adventures, and often visited my town's library. I read many books as a child, but there was one book in particular that I happened to pick up from the library. I couldn't put said book down, and this book was THE book that led me to writing my first story. After returning the book, I kept writing and I soon discovered that writing was what I wanted to do with my life. It became my passion, a passion lasting to this day and forevermore.
Unfortunately, after returning the book, I forgot what it was called, who it was written by and even what it was about. I was just beginning school at this time so everything left my mind as I cleared it to start learning what was necessary to learn. During my primary school years I was outcast and bullied relentlessly, and could often be found curled up on the floor of my room staring at the calendar and wishing the days would move faster.
Sadly, they didn't, but somehow I made it through the dreadful years and reached high school. If I was under the impression that things were going to get better here, it didn't last for long as the bullying continued and other things began to change. The one true friend I had gained during primary school got cancer and I sunk into an unbreakable depression. I hated everyone, including myself, and found new ways to deal with unhappiness; I injured myself and almost committed suicide.
But I had a purpose to my life; writing. I vowed, after reading the aforementioned special book and discovering writing, that I had to write a book before I died, and that vow, that dream and that book - your book - saved my life that day. A little while after that incident I visited the library (as I did regularly) and was walking down the children's aisle when I picked out a book. The Puzzle Ring, it was called. Suddenly, I remembered everything; the special book I had read as a child that had shown me my passion and saved my life, this was it, this was the book! I shed a tear or two right there in that aisle, which gained me a few odd stares and mutterings, but I didn't care - I HAD FOUND THE BOOK!
This book is sitting on my desk in front of me right now as I write to you. I suppose the purpose of this email is to say thank you, thank you, thank you. I I hope you realise how you have affected my life, how you have saved it. Thank you, sincerely, thank you Kate Forsyth. I owe my life to you.
Thank you so much, Emily, for writing to me and letting me know - your email moved me to tears. I'm so very glad that The Puzzle Ring inspired you to want to be a writer, as the books that I read when I was a child inspired me, and I am so glad that your longing to write, your compulsion to write, helped save you.
Maybe one day a book that you write will be a source of strength and consolation to somebody else in trouble - and so I shall have passed on the torch to you, and you shall pass it on to someone else, and we shall be part of a chain of storytellers stretching back into the darkness of the unknown past, all of us passing on all that we have learned about compassion and courage and wisdom and endurance - from our lives and from the stories we have shared.
If you loved this email, you may also like this earlier letter from a reader: How Books can Change A Life
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