Gratefully Yours

gratefully yoursRecently, I had the pleasure of packing up 20 copies of my first novel, Gratefully Yours, and shipping them to a teacher in Nebraska.

She’d tried to buy copies online, only to find out that the book was out of print. Fortunately, I happened to have a stash of my own and was able to send them to her.

As I was carrying them to the post office, it struck me that these 20 copies were of a book first published 20 years ago! Imagine that! I grieved when this, my first book, went out of print. Yet here it is, 20 years later, still having a life. Still touching a teacher enough that she emailed me seeking a way to share it with her students. Amazing, really.

It’s a funny business, this writing books for children and young adults. There is the writing, which is itself a painful pleasure. There is the marketing, which is largely just painful, with brief joyous interludes. There is the ecstasy of the printed book in hand. The agony of waiting for reviews, and the good and the bad of that. There’s the supreme pleasure of hearing from and meeting the kids who have read your books. And then there is the despair of watching them go out of print.

Why do we do this? Because we can’t not. Because we have stories to tell and if we keep them all inside, we will explode! And because, now and then, 20 years on, we get an email from a teacher who just needs to share our story with her class. How cool is that?

And me? I’m so grateful.

7 Comments

  1. The view from a distance always gives perspective and perspective is too often the one thing we lack when looking at our own work and careers–so thanks for this! Still grieving though my OP book. Gratefully Yours is a wonderful book–consider bringing it out again in another way.

  2. Thank you, Jane Buchanan, for the books! We are using them at this moment! Each student in my 4th Grade Intervention and Extension Class is creating a Google Doc bookmark for themselves as we read Gratefully Yours! We have used your novel for 15+ years and have loved the Nebraska connections. We’ve also found descendants of Orphan Train Riders right here in our community of Gothenburg. Fascinating! Our Elementary Media Specialist was very instrumental in the process of searching for your book. Many of my original copies needed to be replaced due to years of use. Gratefully yours, Mrs. Mary Meisinger

    • Thanks, Mary. I’m so glad to know that you’ve been using my book all these years! Glad, too, that I had the copies to send. How cool to have folks in your community who can really bring the story to life for your students!
      Best,
      Jane

  3. Amy Harrison says:

    Jane, we remain extremely honored that you chose to reply with such graciousness to our request. Those books, with such a powerful message and storyline, will continue to be used in our classrooms for many years. Please accept our thanks once again for your kindness in sending them to us.
    “Gratefully Yours”, Mrs. Amy Harrison

  4. Lisa says:

    I am a former librarian and have 4 kids of my own. I have 3 ferocious readers and 1 reluctant reader. When my son ( the reluctant reader) read your book in class at the Gothenburg School, he told me I should read it because he really liked it. Thank you, your books have touched many lives.

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