Up to date correspondence & the joys of fanmail

I am now almost up to November answering my correspondence. There’s only a hundred more emails to answer! Yay!

If you’ve written to me this year and not heard back from me, that means I either didn’t get your email, or you did not get my response. Either way best thing to do is to write me again.

I received more fan mail this year than all previous years added together. (Which, admittedly, was not hard as I received very few until this year.) Of all the fabulous things that have happened to me in 20081 those letters are by far the best. The majority were about posts and essays on this website—especially requesting writing advice. The next biggest group of letters were about the trilogy, and lastly about How To Ditch Your Fairy. Though to put that in perspective HTDYF has already attracted more letters in the few months since it was published than Magic or Madness did in its first 18 months of publication. Yay, fairy book!

Thank you so much for the wonderful letters. Each one gave me a tremendous lift. Even if I was already in a good mood they made me happier still. While I’ve always wanted to be a writer, until my first book came out, it had never really occurred to me to think about what that would actually mean, about what it would be like to have readers. I know that sounds a bit bizarre, but I was so focussed on my writing, and on getting published, that I just hadn’t considered that part of the equation: that being published means being read by people I’ve never met. I’m glad that part didn’t occur to me ahead of time. I think it would have spooked me. But it turns out to be fabulous.

Thank you for all the letters pointing out the typos and errors in my books and my blog. I really appreciate them and do what I can to fix future editions. Keep ’em coming!

Thanks to everyone who wrote and begged for more books in the Magic or Madness and HTDYF universes. I’m pretty sure that HTDYF is a standalone and the MorM series a trilogy, but I’m thrilled my books left you wanting more. The best way to get more is to write it yourself. There are gazillions of wonderful fanfic sites out there. You could add your own stories about the further adventures of Tom and Charlie. Go forth and create more fanfic! Mash up MorM with Buffy or Nana. Or HTDYF with Naruto! What would be cooler than that?

Thanks for all the tips on quokkas and mangosteens and cricket and 1930s fashions and photo sites. Much appreciated! Though I’m horrified that any of you are settling for dried mangosteen or mangosteen juice. Ewww. There are no substitutes for the actual fresh fruit!

Good luck with your writing. Yes, sometimes it can be hard and you don’t know what’s going to happen next. That happens to the professionals too. The only thing you can do is keep pushing through. Don’t give up. But remember to have fun with it too. One of the best things about not being published yet is that you have heaps of time to experiment. Write the same story in all the different points of view. See which one works best. Try writing a story backwards. Starting at the end and working your way towards the beginning. Write in lots of different genres. Muck around! Have fun!

Thanks for your letters, your comments, and all your support. It means the world to me.



  1. Of which more on the last day of the year. []


  1. Tim on #

    Thank YOU Justine for giving us this amazing blog and your wonderful books! You always have something insightful (and often funny) to say and I find that yours is one of the few blogs I visit on a regular basis. I can’t wait until HTDYF comes out in Australia.

    Thank you and keep up the awesome work!

  2. afaz on #

    I agree with Tim. You shouldn’t be thanking us – we should be thanking you! I’ve only read Magic or Madness, since my library doesn’t have any of your other books (sad, no?) and I’m lacking in the funds to go to a bookstore, but this blog entertains me to no end. When I come online, there are two things I check – my email and your website. It’s almost always a nice little pick-me-up when I’m feeling like crap and it makes good days that much better. And if anyone does a HTDYF/Naruto crossover, I’ll make sure to read it. (I am, after all, something of a fanfic addict.)
    So thank you so much for just being such an excellent writer.

  3. sara z. on #

    While I’ve always wanted to be a writer, until my first book came out, it had never really occurred to me to think about what that would actually mean, about what it would be like to have readers.

    Second this. It has been a huge unexpected joy for me, too.

    And, me, too, thanking you for your wonderful blog!

  4. E. Kristin Anderson on #

    Hoorah for a wonderful year! I’m one of the ones that thinks there could be more fairy books – but just so you know, I also think it is great standalone. I sent HTDYF to my best friend (who has a parking angel who is, her words “a big black lady named Charlie”) for her birthday (which is today – December birthdays can be tragic!) and she is THRILLED.

    I LOVE that you are open to other people writing in your universe. So many authors dislike it and some have even forbidden it, which I don’t understand. If someone was inspired to write in a world that I created, I’d be cheered and flattered! Then again, you are Justine, Queen of Awesome. So how could we ever expect any less from you?

  5. Justine on #

    And now I must thank all of you for thanking me for thanking you. My head may explode.

  6. Nicola on #

    Hi Justine, would you be willing to disclose your mangosteen source in Sydney? I’ve googled and googled to no avail.

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