I was so thrilled yesterday to get some fan email! Well, almost. I suppose I should have recognized right away from the message that something was wrong, but my desperate need for praise and approval blinded me for a while. Here's the message, with my (almost) fan's name omitted: DEAR MR. HINES,
MY NAME IS...AND I AM IN FIRST GRADE. I CAN'T WAIT FOR YOU TO COME TO OLD BETHPAGE GRADE SCHOOL NEXT WEEK. I READ YOUR BOOK, THE MONSTER'S TEST, IN SCHOOL TODAY. I LOVED IT. YOU ARE A VERY GOOD AUTHOR. I CAN'T WAIT TO MEET YOU.
Hmmmmm, I thought, I really like that "You are a very good author" line. But I forgot I was going to Old Bethpage Grade School. In fact, I've also forgotten that there is such a school. Further, I can't remember writing "The Monster's Test." But, aside from these minor details, I got some fan email! It's great that a first grader would appreciate my writing so much. However, a little Googling revealed that there is a Brian Heinz who wrote a children's book by this name, so I reluctantly wrote back to the (almost) fan that he mistook the cake mix Hines for the ketchup Heinz. I also urged him to keep writing, because he has a nice honest style. Direct. Short sentences. No spelling errors. Just needs to take his finger off the Caps Lock key.