Dear Uncle Stevie: A Love Letter

This month we're thrilled to be celebrating the upcoming debut of our own dear Bonny Kitty Cutlass, aka Kathryn Holmes! We're all so excited about the release of THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND, and we're giving you the chance to win a copy by participating in our love letter blog hop. All month long, the YA Buccaneers will be posting our own love letters to the people and things that have inspired us, and we hope you'll join in by posting your own love letter on your blog. Take the time to shout out your feelings to whatever person, book, place, experience you find inspirational in your writing life--be as creative as you like! Then let us know by sharing the link in the comments, and you'll be entered to win a copy of Kathryn's amazing debut!

My love letter is addressed to a person I think many writers feel very fondly about:

Dear Uncle Stevie,

You first came on my radar in eighth grade, when that new boy Emil in Advanced English told us all about a creepy book he'd just read called Misery. It sounded horrific and gruesome and absolutely riveting, and I filed it away in my mental index to look for during my next trip to the library. Not finding it, I picked up a copy of Cujo instead. I had read adult books before, but this was no Jane Eyre, Uncle Stevie. Never had I felt so completely consumed by a book, meeting characters who were strong and terrible and real, feeling the sticky, sweaty desperation of a mother trapped in a hot car with her young son. I went promptly back to the library to check out the rest of your books.

Over the years that followed I stayed up to date on your latest, but by now you've outpaced me, Uncle S. Your plots are crazy and weird and far-fetched, but they're always entertaining. Quite honestly, I am hardly ever satisfied with the endings of your books, and yet I still love reading them. My favorite? Insomnia. I stayed up all night to finish it, and I cried at the end. But Lisey's Story? Man, that one was a stretch for me. And as much as I enjoyed Under the Dome, I kind of felt like I'd met all those characters before in your previous work. But no matter the far-fetched premise, no matter the retread persona, I will always be happy to pick up one of your books. Your voice, as strong and straight and funny as ever, is like curling up on the couch in my favorite sweats and a fuzzy blanket--it feels like home. But what makes you even more special to me is the favor you did for aspiring writers everywhere when you published On Writing back in 2000.

See, I wanted so badly to become an author, but it wasn't happening. I was always waiting for magical inspiration pixie dust to come sprinkling down on my head before I could face the blank page, but a few paragraphs scribbled down during business trips does not a writer make. By the time the 10th anniversary edition of your memoir was about to come out, I'd reached a personal ultimatum: Either I had to commit--really commit--to writing, and do my utmost to become an author, or I had to accept that I was too scattered and undisciplined to ever achieve this goal and let it go. It was at this point that I picked up On Writing, where besides your personal writing journey, you offer the neophyte writer friendly advice and encouragement. You said that you write 2000 words a day, and you promised me that I could easily manage 1000 words a day. Coming from you, it sounded doable, so I made the choice to try your advice. Four months later, I had a book. Four years later it was published, and I had started a new career.  

So, Uncle Stevie, you weird, wonderful, all-American original: Thank you. For sharing what's in that cracked skull of yours, and for being generous with those of us who want to be like you.


Brunhilde B.H.

Who would you write an inspiration love letter to? Post the letter on your blog and let us know where to find it! More on our blog hop here.