I am reading On Writing. One sentence has spurred me to write to you. It reads, "I have spent a good many years since - too many, I think - being ashamed about what I write."
I do not pretend to have read all of your work, but I have read a good deal. I won't tell you that I have loved every character you have written or that every work is a masterpiece. What I want to tell you is that I am thankful for every story you have shared with me, Constant Reader. You have written some of my very favorite characters and you have scared me to death on more than one occasion. Your characters have a lot of courage to overcome some of the situations they find themselves in. I like to think they get their courage from you. It must have taken a lot to overcome the critics and the
shame they tried to instill in you. There are those among us that can't appreciate the darkness. They don't understand, that without the dark, we can't see the light.
You are a light for me. You have inspired me to write. I am working on my first novel, but it is so much harder than I thought it would be! I read On Writing to get me going again when I start making excuses not to write. You make writing seem so easy! I thank you for this book and your support of new writers. You inspire and delight so many of us. I fear we don't let you know often enough. I thank you, sir.
Tell Edgar Freemantle I said hello.