Love Letters

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

~~Did you ever write any love letters? Or get a love letter? Do you like to read other people’s letters? My daughter has been reading the love letters her mother and father-in-law wrote each other while they were dating. She says they were so in love.
~~When my husband and I were dating, he was off at college and I was still in high school. We wrote letters back and forth all the time. My daughter won’t be able to read our letters because those letters got lost over the years, but now I sort of wish they hadn’t. Reading back through them would have taken me back to when I was a different person. That’s what reading old letters can do. Take you back. Show what was then.
~~I have used letters in my books. Some actual letters like the ones Jerry wrote his mother in my nonfiction book, Angels at the Crossroads. Those letters were invaluable to me as I tried to get inside Jerry’s head to know what he was going through during his hard times in prison so that I could write his story. And the letters I include in the book just as they were written by Jerry help the reader see how Jerry changed from a mixed up kid to a Christian man ready to accept responsibility for what he’d done and start living a better life even while he was still in prison.
~~When I was writing my upcoming book, Angel Sister, that will be published in 2011, I read a book of letters a soldier wrote home to his wife from World War I that helped me write about my character’s memory of being in that war. And in my Shaker book, The Seeker, that will be released in July, I have a whole chapter of nothing but letters between the two main characters. Not exactly love letters since one of the characters is living in a Shaker village and love letters would definitely be a rule breaker for a Shaker, but the hints of love are there for the discerning reader.
~~I love letters. I love writing letters and getting letters. I probably have every letter I ever received from a reader. Guess that lets you know the mailbags weren’t too full coming to my door. But I can’ t say that I have all my readers’ e-mails. I’ve had too many computer crashes that chewed up the e-mails and took them off to the computer graveyard. And while e-mails might have replaced the everyday letter and perhaps even love letters, you have to think that it’s unlikely any bundles of those e-mails will be found in the attics of the future just waiting to take us back into another life. Then again, perhaps our attics will be electronic and the bundles of e-mails even more accessible to the reader who wants a glimpse of the past.
~~But there’s something special about taking pen in hand and writing “I love you.” Or “I loved your book.” Or “I’m proud of you.” Or “Roses are red. Violets are blue. Angels in heaven know I love you.” Or “thank you for reading.” I do, you know – thank you for reading.
~~P.S. You’ve still got time to get in the drawing for my book giveaway the end of the month. Just send me an e-mail from my website or leave a comment. Thank all of you who have already entered. It’s always so much fun hearing from you.
~~P.P.S. I’ll be at a book club in London, KY Friday. I love book clubs. I’ll have to send them a letter telling them so.