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The little things

October 29, 2020

As I’ve said before, it’s the little things that make you happy.

A couple of nights ago I finished reading Thomas King’s new novel Indians on Vacation. Like everything else by King, I absolutely loved it.

So much so that yesterday morning I sent him an email. The subject line was Indians on Vacation and the message simply read: “Thank you. That’s all.”

Five minutes later I received a reply: “Your kind note brought a smile to my face. That’s all.”

That made me smile, too.

This wasn’t our first communication.

A couple of years ago, King’s novel The Back of the Turtle was the book of the month for the Bad Girls Book Club. I absolutely loved the novel (as did everyone else), but there was one thing that was driving me crazy. It involved the remaining letters in a largely burnt out sign. It drove me so crazy that I tracked down an email address that might or might not reach him and sent a message:

“There are probably hundreds of questions I could and should ask you, but this is the one the answer to which will keep me sane.

“Which ‘four letters that remained seemed oddly reassuring’? A lifetime of playing Scrabble has turned me into a fairly dab hand with anagrams, but ‘Ocean Star Motel Vacancy Welcome’ (especially when I’m not sure the final two words are even in the equation) are just too many letters for me to reduce to a reassuring four-letter word.

“If you’ve a mind to do so, please put me out of my misery.”

To my delight I received a one-word reply: “SAFE”. Reassuring, yes, but no F in the original sign. “Bless you, kind sir.” I responded. “Although I think you mean SAVE?” Moments later: “Sorry, yes, SAVE.”

Made my day – even more so after someone I know who knows King quite well told me he never answers emails from readers. (The rest of the Bad Girls were also impressed.)

I suspect you can see, based on the brevity of those responses, why I figured short and sweet was the way to go on his latest novel.

Other made-my-day moments:

  • Christopher Brookmyre liking a tweet in which I called him a bloody tease in reference to Fallen Angel
  • Getting thumbs ups and hearts from Ian Rankin in response to comments I’ve made
  • A “Happy to help!” reply from Mick Herron after I also tracked down an email address for him and wrote to thank him for keeping me semi-sane during a dental nightmare
  • The fact that Doug Johnstone and I seem to be turning a bit into Twitter buddies.

Once again, it’s the little things.

Oh, and do read Indians on Vacation. It’s fab.

From → Blog

  1. krysross permalink

    That is really cool.

  2. Donna permalink

    Cool as all get out!

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