Saturday, November 6, 2010

Rambling about Lloyd Alexander

The first time I really thought about a writer's style was when I read Gypsy Rizka.  I'd checked the book out of my library based entirely on the front cover, and never bothered to check the writer's name.  Halfway through the first chapter I thought to myself, hmmm, sounds an awfully lot like Lloyd Alexander.  I looked at the flyleaf and saw that it was indeed written by him. :)
Once I realized nobody could write like Lloyd Alexander except him, I did a very brave thing.  I wrote a letter asking if he'd consider writing a story based on Norse myths and (here's the brave part) actually mailed it.  I didn't mention that I wanted to be a writer myself because I was afraid he'd say `then why don't you write a book based on Norse myths instead of bothering me about it?'
Lloyd Alexander wrote back.  He seemed happy to have heard from me.  He even promised to think about writing a book based on Norse Mythology.  I'm sure he did think about it, too, though he never actually wrote one.  He died a few years later.  I'm grateful that I worked up the courage to write to him before he passed away.
Hmm... maybe I picked the wrong title for my blog.  This post has nothing to do with fairytales, though its certainly rambling enough.  So, does anyone else have a hero you're glad you talked too (or never had a chance to talk to?)  What authors would you recognize, even if their names never appeared on the work?


  1. I would love to write a letter and send it through time to Mark Twain. I also missed the opportunity to write to T. H. White by virtue of being born too late.

    The first author letter I ever write was to Lisa Collier Cool, describing how I used the advice she wrote about in her HOW TO WRITE IRRESISTIBLE QUERY LETTERS (with a nonfiction focus) to sell my first article. She wrote back as well!

    I think I'd recognize a Jennifer Estep book--I know her writing quirks!

  2. I never thought to thank the people who take the time to make books on the craft of writing. That's a good idea.