Have you ever been so inspired by an author’s work that you wish you could tell them exactly how much they have impacted your life? In this series, Literary Love Letters, we do just that – share open love letters to inspiring authors. In this edition Scott Wilbanks, author of The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster, writes to J.R.R. Tolkien.
Dear Mr. Tolkien,
Now that the dust has settled with my book deal, and you’re safely (and simultaneously) in the ground and my heart, I think it’s high time I told you something.
Ms. Austen is the bomb. The… bomb.
Are the two of you acquainted, by chance? I think she’s on LinkedIn. Sort of a Tina Fey type, only with a take-no-prisoners attitude and dialogue to die for. If you’re Googling, and I suspect you are, ignore the links that suggest she’s fodder for the pithy and shallow. The only thing uglier than jealousy is ignorance-with-an-opinion, I always say.
And while it’s true that she inspired every little particular in my protagonist—Annabelle Aster—from her sartorial eccentricity to her flowery prose, you, YOU, my dear sir, are the reason I even put words to paper in the first place. Your trilogy turned me into a book-a-day nerd by the age of fourteen, fuelling the very outside-the-lines imagination that landed me this feature in the Novelicious website—thank you, Kirsty and crew!
My mom blames you for my socially maladaptive ways, of course, and that’s fair enough. I suppose some might consider it unnatural for a man of tender years to pitch a tent in the sci fi-fantasy aisle at the B. Dalton Bookseller in the local mall, but I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drummer. That being said, she, likewise, credits you with inoculating me against the eighties. I mean, just look at my brother. How he made it through that decade without asphyxiating on all that hair spray, I’ll never know.
So take a word of advice from an old trooper, and look Ms. Austen up. A collaboration would be epic. I mean, imagine the literary traction you’d gain with Ms. Bennet in Middle Earth.