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Letters from Ann
To: My Fans!
From: Ann
Meet the Author (Me)

May 2003

Hi, readers! When I was asked if I wanted to visit almost three hundred schools in one day, I decided that someone must think I have Harry Potter's magical powers and can turn back time! Then I learned that through the "magic" of live television, I could actually visit all of the schools at the same time, and even talk with some of the students. This was too good to pass up, so I hopped on a train to Virginia to be a guest on Meet the Author at the Fairfax Network television studios.

Students in classrooms all over the United States (and Canada and Mexico!) can watch, and even interact with, the programs that the Fairfax Network produces. For example, teachers who want their classes to participate in Meet the Author will plan a lesson around the visiting author's books. Then, during the program, the kids are encouraged to call in to the show and ask any questions that they might have.

Everyone at the television station was very nice. The host began the interview by asking me how I created the story line and the characters in my latest book, A Corner of the Universe. She was also curious about what kind of research I did to set this novel in the 1960's. I enjoyed reading an excerpt from the book, and chose to share one of the first conversations between the two main characters, eleven-year old Hattie, and Adam, the uncle she didn't know she had.

My favorite part of the program was answering the questions from the kids who were watching the show from their classrooms. Claudia wondered if I knew a man as mean as Big Boss in Belle Teal, Guy wanted to know how many books I've written, and Maggie wondered if the names I choose for my characters have any special meaning. Chrissy asked the question I get the most these days, which is, "Why did you stop writing the BSC series?" and Tessa asked me about my latest project. In addition to the live questions, the producers had traveled to an elementary school the week before to talk to students who had questions or comments about the books I've written. I loved seeing the kids on tape, and they looked like they were having fun, too.

On the train ride home, I thought about what a great day it had been. One of the drawbacks to a busy writing life is that I don't get to talk to readers as much as I would like. And while nothing is better than seeing the kids in person, I'm very happy to have had the opportunity be on a program that reaches so many readers at once. Isn't modern technology amazing? Until next time, happy reading!

Love,
Ann

P.S. In case you're curious, here are some quick answers to the kids' questions: No, I'm happy to say that I don't personally know anyone as mean as Big Boss; in addition to over three hundred titles in the different series, I've written eighteen other books; I try to choose names that fit the characters, although sometimes even I don't know how I think of them; after fifteen years, it was time for the BSC members to go to high school and for me to go onto other projects; and as for my latest project, I'll tell you all about it in an upcoming Ann Online!

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