Good morning. Or Afternoon. Or evening. Wherever you are and whenever you are reading this. It is morning here in Minnesota on this exceptionally COLD day. The coffee is brewing and I am capturing a few minutes to myself before my day explodes into activity.
You are probably familiar with the name Sue Grafton. She was the author of the long running books that started with A is for Alibi, a series she started after having penned 7 previous books. It was this alphabet series that went on to make her the famous author she had become. She passed away in December, and although she was not an author I read (yet) she is one that holds a special place in my heart.
I have a personal story about her. It was at the Penguin Bash in New York during the Book Expo of 2013. I was at this event with my good friend Allison and my roommate that year Cindy (Cindy’s Love of Books).
I was siting and talking with a group of book reviewers when I believe it was Jill (Rhapsody in Books) who ran up to me and grabbed my arm. “You have to come and meet Sue Grafton!” she said. I remember feeling like a little kid putting the breaks on. I had not read Sue Grafton’s books and what would I say to a big name author who I had not read?
I was introduced and I came up with something awkward and surely cheesy by saying, “So.. you are on W. What happens when you get to Z? I mean, AA already means something and AAA means something else.”
For some reason, she liked me. We talked for about 15 minutes about writing and my wanting to do so myself and having yet (even now) to find my direction. She gave me her email and told me to write her anytime to discuss writing.
Well as most things Expo for me… I have HUGE plans when I return home, however life kicks back in and many things, such as emailing Sue Grafton about writing… fall to the way side. It was a few weeks later the letter arrived.
It was a beautiful letter from Sue Grafton hoping that she was mailing the girl that she talked to about writing. (Gulp) I had not given my information to her but somehow she had come up with my mailing address and sent me this personal letter encouraging me to follow my passion. It was beautiful. Amazing. And somewhere I still have that letter.
From that year on, she sent me a Christmas card every year. Now, January 12th, I have put away all the Christmas cards of 2017… except hers. Hers is still on my refrigerator. I am savoring the memory of her, the conversation, the letter and knowing that this is the last Christmas card I will receive from this amazing author… who changed the world – and ended the alphabet with Y.