E-mail Guidelines

The business address is for business mail only.
No fan mail, please. There is a separate address for that. If you send fan-stuff to the business mailing address, it won’t get a reply.

Please read through the FAQs before sending your email! There may already be an answer to your question online.

I may not be able to respond to your e-mail, and it may take me a long time to respond when I can.
Guys, I am not trying to be rude, or inhospitable. Something weird and wonderful has happened to me, and in a way it’s your fault: I am getting popular! Once, I was able to answer every mail promptly, read and comment on people’s stories, add every link I got to my page. Now, with a packed schedule, I rarely get to reply, but not because I am contemptuous of the mails or their writers. You people pay me compliments; you also pay my bills. I am always glad to hear from you, even if I don’t answer. I do apologize about the links, and the stories, and the replies. The only way I can repay you for helping me to make my dream come true is to read your mail, listen to what you tell me, meet you as I can, and keep writing!

Please don’t put yourself down.
You don’t need to refer to yourself or what you say as “pathetic,” “boring,” “stupid,” “ordinary,” “insignificant,” “weird,” “strange,” that I might be “sick of hearing” anything—you catch my drift. In this wonderful world, there will be people lining up to put you down, belittle you, and treat you badly. Please don’t give them a head start by talking that way about yourself (unfortunately, nobody can help what we think about ourselves in our own minds). Also, you don’t need to thank me for “taking the time” or “bothering” to read your mail. It’s my honor and pleasure to read mails.

You are never too old to enjoy my books.
As a person with a library that is one-third teen books, intermediate books, beginning chapter books, and picture books, I say the only thing that matters is that the reader enjoys the book, whatever their age. Any decently written kids’ book should be just as enjoyable for adult readers. Good stories and good ideas are ageless.

Don’t send me fwds: jokes, chain letters, sad stories, or schemes to make money.
I delete them from my mail queue: I don’t respond to any of these, and I don’t send them on.

I am unable to accept and comment on stories sent to me by fans.
My attorney advises against it: there’s no telling that an idea I see in someone else’s work might not vanish into my head and re-surface years later, with me thinking the idea is my own. That’s one way for authors to get sued. Since I pay this man the big bucks, I have to listen to what he says! However, if you are looking for advice on writing and publishing, please see the FAQ.

I cannot send out or accept request for individual signed books.
I get so many people asking if they can mail me books to sign, or if they can pay me to send them a signed book, that it just isn’t possible for me to fill all these requests. It would take too much time from my day and my assistant’s day. I’m sorry! Keep an eye out for giveaways, charity auctions, and local appearances. That’s the best way to get a signed book.

If you write to me, make sure you can receive my reply!
Many times when I answer a mail, the Postmaster software bounces it right back to me, saying that screen name is not accepting mail from me or that the person’s account no longer exists. Also, be sure to check the spam filter settings on your e-mail, because sometimes, responses will be marked as spam.