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Dear Bella’s—I have become aware that your shop was enthusiastic about The Outlaw Album, and thought I’d send this tale, which seems like a bonus track to OUTLAW. I seek no response, just spreading the thing around.
Oh, but I have to respond. If you are Daniel Woodrell: Jesus Christ! At the risk of sounding all fan-girl, you are my very favourite author. I cannot tell you how often I’ve read The Outlaw Album, how many times I sold it as a bookseller (I work full time as a freelance editor and writing coach now) and have recommended it to others. I have an entire large bookcase of short story collections, and TOA is my favourite. It’s my go-to when I need to get into the story state of mind.
I’ve reviewed both Tomato Red and The Outlaw Album on this site, and also read The Maid’s Version and Winter’s Bone, both of which I enjoyed, like the others, on a level that seems cheapened by words (and god, the WB movie: excellent as well, yes?). I own all of your books and am reading them for influence for my own writing. I wish I could adequately express just how much I appreciate your skill, your way with words, the dialogue, your stories. Please write forever. (Your books have led me to other writers you’ve recommended, too.)
If you care to read them, my reviews here are http://www.bellasbookshelves.com/?p=6486, and here: http://www.bellasbookshelves.com/?p=7618.
Thank you so much for sending along this link to your story! A bonus track! Yeah! I’m not ashamed to tell you that my pulse is erratic right now, anticipating it. I’m off to read it and then plaster it all over twitter and facebook. I eagerly await more. Please, feel free to email me any time at steph.vandermeulen[at]gmail[dot]com.
Thank you very much. Hope the new one is up to the others.
Oh god, yes. Thank you! It was a treat to get to read a new story, and it was so engrossing that when I finished I felt weird about closing it out. I actually couldn’t close the page. I left your story open on my laptop for three days.
I hope this one ends up in print in another collection. The idea of your stories scattered around the Internet rather than in one place, on my shelves, freaks me out. Anyway, I bookmarked JS, so I can go back to it whenever I want. I wish I could tell you how good it is, but how does one do that, exactly? It’s all in the way you put words together, make people talk, shine a flashlight on the underbelly of things, like when you lift a rock and see all the creatures scurry. The setting, the stuff that happens, just all of it; of course you won’t think it’s perfect, but that’s how it reads to me. I know you’ve read stuff that is just right, so you know what I’m talking about, that feeling.
Thank you. Please keep sharing your stuff. You would not be imposing if you emailed me anything. steph.vandermeulen[at]gmail[dot]com
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