Dear Anne McCaffrey,
About 25 years ago, I discovered your book, The Harper Hall of Pern, when I was sixteen. Your beautiful writing entranced me and after all these years I still haven’t forgotten Menolly and her story. I recently introduced the book to my own sixteen year old daughter who loves it. I’ve read your other Pern books since and have enjoyed them all. I realized recently that out of all the books I’ve read in my life, and specifically all the science fiction and fantasy books, your stories have impacted my writing the most. You have a distinct way of pulling your readers into your fantasy world, and making us care about the characters. I’ve completed a few fantasy novels of my own and hope to be published one day. I just want to thank you for planting the seed.
If you have any advice for a new writer who wishes to become published, I’d welcome your thoughts. I hope I’m not being too forward in saying this, but I’d love to share my writing with you and see what you think. I hope to one day meet you in person. I wish you well and hope you are recovering from your surgeries.
All the best and with love,
New York, NY
I’ve been asked this so many times I never have the same answer anymore!
First — keep reading. Writers are readers. Writers are also people who can’t not write.
Second, follow Heinlein’s rules for getting published:
1. Write it.
2. Finish it.
3. Send it out.
4. Keep sending it out until someone sends you a check.
There are variations on that, but that’s basically what works.