Even people who have fans can be fans, and below, 8 young adult authors talk about the time their love for a writer, an actor, or a boy-band hottie boiled over into the writing of a fan letter. Prepare for adorable:
When I was in the fourth grade, I wrote a letter and sent fan art to Ann M. Martin, because I was OBSESSED with the Baby-sitters Club. I got a form letter back a few months later and I was so excited, I made my teacher read it out loud to the class.
–Courtney Summers (All the Rage)
When I was a little kid I wrote a letter to the legendary blues singer and songwriter Bonnie Raitt. I got back a very nice form response with an invitation to join her fan club. I did. And then I saw her in concert when I was eight and she was amazing.
–Nina LaCour (Everything Leads to You)
I wrote a fan letter (email, obviously) to A.S. King after finishing Ask the Passengers. The book inspired me to do some charity work with an LGBT homeless shelter where I was going to buy King’s books for interested teens and try to get a book club running—except the shelter never responded to my email. Still, A.S. King’s books are magical that way, and inspired me to become an even more honest writer.
–Adam Silvera (More Happy Than Not)
This wasn’t to an author, but in the mid-eighties I wrote a fan letter to actor C. B. Barnes because I really loved the television show Starman (and I thought he was cute). Pretty sure I got a form letter and a black-and-white photo in return, both of which I no doubt cherished.
–Stephanie Kuehn (Delicate Monsters)
Back in the day, I used to write fan letters (and fan fiction) all the time to the New Kids on the Block. My favorite was Joe. I’ve since met him a few times, back in my People mag days. Turns out he’s human just like anyone else. And he bites his cuticles! I never wrote an author fan letter as a kid—for so long, I didn’t realize there were real people writing books! But the first time I got to go to an author signing, I was so floored. What an amazing experience.
–Sona Charaipotra (Tiny Pretty Things)
When I was in high school, I read and fell in love with Mark Lindquist’s Never Mind Nirvana, which I read on the recommendation of my favorite English teacher. (Nirvana was my favorite band in high school. Still is.) I promptly became obsessed and emailed him, though thank God I have no recollection of what I said. I was so shocked when he wrote me back, and was so nice! I promptly went on Amazon to leave a glowing review…and accidentally called it “one of the best books I’ve ever written” instead of “read.” Super awkward. But we did exchange a few more brief messages, and he was a super nice guy, and I still have a printout of the very first email folded up in my copy of the book, fifteen years later. I MEAN FIVE. FIVE YEARS LATER.
–Dahlia Adler (Under the Lights)
When I first started writing, a friend at Random House gave me an ARC of The Night Circus. I fell head over heels for that book. So what did I do? I wrote my first fan letter to Erin Morgenstern. It was gushy and obnoxious and full of OMGs. We started a correspondence; I told her how frustrated I was with my revision process. She took the time to give me step-by-step revision tips on what worked for her. It was the best writing advice I’ve ever received, and carried me through my nearly yearlong rewrite. Of course, The Night Circus went on to become a HUGE success. What can I say? I have awesome taste in books. I saw Erin at a party a few weeks ago, and she remembered me! When I told her she’s in the acknowledgments for my debut, Blood and Salt, and that I have four books coming out in the next two years, she was beyond excited for me.
–Kim Liggett (Blood and Salt)
And that’s a good note to end on. Who are YOUR author crushes?