FUNNY WOMEN #27: An Author Answers Her Fan Mail

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That’s what we authors are always working for, that personal connection with the reader. It’s what makes all the unpaid hours, mostly spent blogging for a book deal, worthwhile.

Dear Nancy,

I wanted to write and thank you personally for your kind note. My editor at SPAQ!XY passed your email on to me this morning, and I’m very gratified that “Dry Cleaning Receipt for Zack the Lego Maniac” found such a favorable response with you. That’s what we authors are always working for, that personal connection with the reader. It’s what makes all the unpaid hours, mostly spent blogging for a book deal, worthwhile.

It was so kind of you to take time from your doubtlessly lucrative professional life to let me know how my short piece brightened your day. To many readers, a 850-word piece like “Dry Cleaning Receipt” may seem like something that I’ve simply tossed off effortlessly. In fact, flash fiction is the most demanding of the literary arts, one that requires the author to balance intimacy, immediacy, and a nighttime job at Happy Donut.

You mentioned in your letter that you are a sales representative for a medical supplies firm. That sounds like an interesting profession. Do you know how much I made last year? And I went to Columbia! But then, life is funny. I don’t suppose you are hiring now, what with the bad economy. It’s just something to consider.

In answer to your question, I am currently living in Ohio, though I still love New York. In fact, I’ve been hoping to go back soon and visit some old college friends. Are you living in Manhattan or Brooklyn? Most of my friends are in Manhattan these days, but of course if I had a place to stay in Brooklyn I could just take the subway. I also do pieces on commission.

Thank you again for your thoughtful comments. I’m so gratified to be a regular contributor to SPAQ!XY, a fine journal that more than makes up in prestige for what it doesn’t pay in money. And it’s the support and encouragement of readers like you that I value the most. I hope to hear from you again soon, over email, or in person, or perhaps via PayPal.

Best wishes,

Your favorite author

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Original art by Ilyse Magy.

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Summer Block's work has appeared in McSweeneys, The Toast, The Rumpus, PANK, The Nervous Breakdown, and many other publications. More from this author →