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My favorite was a hand written letter from a prisoner at the Terre Haute Federal pen.

He had clearly read one of my instruction guides (on home defense) and wanted to offer me advice as well as tell me what a powerful book it was.

He went on to say I was a fav of his cell block and that fights had started over whose turn it was to get the one copy of my book next.

I looked the guy up and sure enough, he had been arrested for domestic terrorism charges, federal firearms violations and treason for forming a militia (not legal in many states).

I figured if that guy liked my book, then I had a real winner on my hands.
 

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One guy wrote to inform me that he liked one of my stories because he used to perform one of the more kinkier acts that a character did. (Which I'm not allowed to describe here.)

I wrote back, thanking him for his complements, and didn't ask for more details.
 

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Someone claimed to have "lived" the story in one of my kinky erotic romance stories. I'm not saying she didn't! Stranger things have happened. Still ...
 

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Joe_Nobody said:
My favorite was a hand written letter from a prisoner at the Terre Haute Federal pen.

He had clearly read one of my instruction guides (on home defense) and wanted to offer me advice as well as tell me what a powerful book it was.

He went on to say I was a fav of his cell block and that fights had started over whose turn it was to get the one copy of my book next.

I looked the guy up and sure enough, he had been arrested for domestic terrorism charges, federal firearms violations and treason for forming a militia (not legal in many states).

I figured if that guy liked my book, then I had a real winner on my hands.
This is seriously the most amazing story ... HA!
 

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Joe_Nobody said:
He went on to say I was a fav of his cell block and that fights had started over whose turn it was to get the one copy of my book next.
That's very cool.

If you ever end up in jail, you would be the badass everyone was scared of.
 

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The only thing any reader has ever said to me that really touched me (that is, that really felt genuine, and like he understood that I worked really hard on the book and acknowledged that I had some skill at writing) was when a friend of mine finally read one of my books (most of them don't).  He was helping me move some furniture and we were stuck in traffic and with me right there he told me that he didn't realize how much I observe and how much I think about the things that other people take for granted until he read the book.  He said he felt like my ability to see things and then communicate aspects of everyday life that everybody sees but nobody really thinks about struck him as something really unique and special, and he didn't think many people in the world could do that.  (I disagree with him; I think anybody with reasonable intelligence and a significant ability to take risks can write very well, with a little practice and critique.  But I was really moved that he saw something in my book beyond just the story it told.  He saw the significant amount of skill and work and passion I put into writing it.  Which was nice, because there's actually a little bit in the book where one character kind of rages at the world because nobody sees the significant amount of skill and work and passion he puts into the things he creates. 

My friend also said, "You know, I've always just assumed you're a good writer because I've known you for like twenty years, and you've always been so into writing.  I just figured anything you like to do so much, you must do well.  But now I've actually read your book, and I actually KNOW you're an excellent writer.  It kind of makes me think of you in a totally different way."

So it was really good to know that my friend got what I was trying to do.  So many people who know me personally have never bothered to read anything I've written; they just pat me on the head and say, "Oh, of course you're a good writer."  I hate that -- I f*cking HATE it.  It feels so insulting.  Nothing makes me angrier than being patronized by the people who are supposed to care about me.  This one friend really gets me know.  That feels so immensely satisfying, I can't even describe it.  No written review could ever feel as good as that conversation we had, I think.  :)
 
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