Once a book is published, it has a life of its own. If you're lucky and your book is well distributed, it will be read by many people. I remember how excited I was when my daughter told me she'd seen a boy on the bus reading No More Pranks when it first came out in 2004. "Are you sure we don't know him?" I asked her. "Could he be a relative or a friend?!" But she was quite sure he wasn't and that he was reading my book just because HE WANTED TO!!
Sometimes, readers take the trouble of getting in touch. And that's how I've made some new friends in far places. I thought today I'd tell you about a few of them. Rumi and Hiro are translators in Japan. They heard about my work through my author friend Marsha Skrypuch -- and now not only are they reading my books, but they are hoping to translate them into Japanese! Over time, Rumi and I have struck up a long distance friendship. Though at first we wrote to each other mainly about books, we've begun sharing news about our families. And this week, Hiro sent me a photo of the solar eclipse that was visible a couple of weeks ago in Japan.
My other new friend is named Frank and he lives in Amsterdam. His aunt, who is an old friend of my family's and who was, like my mum, imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp during the Holocaust, lent him her copy of What World Is Left. Frank wrote to me about the book -- and we've been corresponding ever since. It turns out we are exactly the same age and I have the feeling that if the war hadn't happened, and my family had stayed in Holland, Frank and I would have been old friends by now.
So, when the writing gets difficult (as it does almost every day for me!!), it's nice to think about the surprising gifts that books can bring. Okay, that's the end of today's blog. I gotta get back to my manuscript!!