A Little Praise Goes a Long Way


It doesn’t happen nearly often enough, in fact hardly ever, but it happened twice in one week, and I admit I feel damn good about it.

First, I got a letter (actual handwriting, ink on paper, delivered to my mailbox) from a reader who said great things about my novel In Flight.

“The mystery of what happened when Robert was in the fugue state made it a real page turner . . . I’d be reading along and gradually realize that he was no longer in the present, but reliving a moment he had forgotten.”

Then I was in a bar the other night to see my friends Howard and Eric and their band perform. I took a break from the noise and the crowd and went to the back of the bar and sat on a stool. A woman approached me and said, “I read your book.”

Stunned, I was. She must have known someone there who knew me and pointed me out.

“Thank you.” I didn’t ask her which book she read.

Clean . . . Break?”

Yes, Clean Break was one of mine.

She said she loved it. She said she also loved another of my novels, the one with drugs that mentioned Thacher Park, a local favorite spot.


We spoke for another minute and then she excused herself and said she was sorry to bother me. Bother me? You made my day.

I didn’t have to fish for the compliments. Every writer knows never to ask someone what they thought of your book. Never even ask if they’ve read your book. Because if you have to ask, you probably don’t want to hear the answer. I know people who’ve read my books and never said a word about them to me. I’ve given my books to friends and never heard a peep about it again. That’s fine. It’s part of being a writer. So is being super grateful when a reader has something good to say.

So thank you, Mary. Thank you, Kate.

By David Klein

David Klein

Published novelist, creative writer, journalist, avid reader, discriminating screen watcher.


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