odd coincidences

I do have male readers; I know this, because some of them write to me. The letters page over on the main website contains some of those letters. However, I would guess that the proportion of female: male letters is pretty skewed toward the female, maybe 100:1. That’s why it’s very strange that I should get two emails from male readers in one day. Even more strange, they both are asking for something. Joe wants a signed photo:

I just thought I would write you an email telling you how much a fan I am of yours. I think you are one of the greatest authors I have ever seen. I read everything you write and whenever there is an article about you I always read it and save a copy of it. You are truly talented and one day I hope to be as good as an author as you. Keep up the great work and I hope to read many more of your writings in the future.

If you don’t mind I would love to have an autographed picture of you to hang on my wall. I would really appreciate it.

While Billy is more straight forward:

can i have your autograph? well if i can my address is…………

Hmmmm. I suppose this is as good a time as any to first, thank male readers who take the time to write. It’s hard to reach out like that. It’s hard for me too. I have written now and then to authors when a book has really influenced me (I had a nice little correspondence going for a while with Mark Helprin about his incomprable A Soldier of the Great War, for example). You sit down and try to say the right thing and you send it off, and most of the time you never know if it got where it was supposed to be going. Which is just fine, really, with me. I hope the authors and performers I’ve written to get the message I’m trying to send, which is a simple: I’m listening, I hear you, thank you. But I have to let it go, because there’s nothing really I can do but put the thoughts out there in the world. Then again, if I’m writing to a male, I worry that somehow he’ll think I’m yet another adoring female. Which I may be, but my adoration is well within appropriate limits. I always have the urge to add a PS: I’m happily married, in case you were thinking I might be contemplating a remake of Fatal Attraction.

So back to Joe, who has this idea that I might have autographed photos lying around, and to Billy, who will do without the photo. Why is Elvis Presley suddenly singing backup here?

So this is what I’ll do: I’ll write to them, or I’ll ask the wonderful webgenie Rachel to write to them to say thanks for the email, but sorry, I can’t send out autographs, and I don’t allow cameras within two hundred feet.

At one point I did have a PO box, and people sent me envelopes, self addressed, stamped, and I sent back an autographed bookplate. But it got out of hand, and I was thinking that I’d have to hire somebody to help, and that felt like more than I could handle, so I stopped.

But now I’m wondering if I should try to set something up again. Maybe I’ll do a poll. Yes, I will. Do you think Billy and Joe are legit? Would you want a way to get things autographed? Look for the new poll coming up soon. Or just post a comment here. What could it hurt?

7 Replies to “odd coincidences”

  1. Okay, so now I know something weird is going on: three more requests for autographs from men in a couple hours. Somehow I got onto a list. They’ll go away soon enough. I hope.

  2. don’t you have book signings to sign books that people have purchased as a way of thanking them for buying your books? I think that’s sufficient enough, don’t you? Mostly, with the wonderful world of email, if I send an email it’s thrill enough that you or webgenie Rachel respond. Sometimes books touch people and they want to reach out and ask questions because they become attached to the characters. We get to do that through the yahoo wilderness discussion group and through you/Rachel’s responses to our emails. On another note, that guy that keeps giving you grief about Treenie–what is he giving you grief about? Did he not believe Treenie could return to the wilderness and survive the gunshot wound? I thought that was such a sweet moment! I’ve been curious about that every since you wrote it on your site. thanks! cindy hendley

  3. Were those excerpts from the messages, or the whole things? Strikes me as very odd that there is no mention of the content of your books, or the characters. Nothing about what they were reacting to, which is usually what prompts a person to write an author. Curious.

  4. hi sara

    I found your webiste doing a search for the phrase “If you don’t mind I would love to have an autographed picture of you to hang
    on my wall.”

    I’m a musician and just received a similar request from a Joe Kolarz in Boyertown PA. (Do a search on his name online, he’s been hitting comedians, race car drivers, and musicians primarily)

    I suspect either:

    a) this guy is trying to set a guniess record for autographed pictures

    b) he got picked for a practical joke by someone who knows him.

    c) there’s some way for someone to profit off this and I haven’t figured out what that could be (???)

    If anyone has any info or ideas about this, please send me an email at this address and maybe we can unravel this mystery…

  5. David, are you guessing that the same scam artists are going after the mayor, and he hasn’t caught on?

    “And a man from Boyertown, Pa., wrote, “I think you are one of the greatest mayors I have ever seen. . . . If you don’t mind I would love to have an autographed picture of you.” He signed the e-mail, “your fan.” Berman said he obliged.”

    I’m still getting these emails, maybe three of four a week, always from different people. Pretty much the same wording. I ignore them now.

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