November 21, 2001
Dear Book Sense Members:
This is a letter of unabashed gratitude.
At the front end of autumn Grove/Atlantic published my first solo novel, Peace Like a River. Publication alone would've been thrilling; already acquainted with the crush of novels that are produced and promoted any given year, I dared only hope the book would do respectably well--that it wouldn't embarrass anyone, especially my publishers, who had put so much stock in it.
I knew, of course, that Grove/Atlantic was sending advance reader copies to many of you. What I couldn't have imagined was your response. That you selected Peace as the top Book Sense title for September/October was not only a great joy and an honor; it gave the novel the boost needed to emerge from the crush. Your generous treatment of it, your advocacy and hand-selling, continue to amaze. The holidays are just arriving--but all of autumn's been Thanksgiving for us.
I'm grateful also to those of you who hosted events during a book tour that stretched nearly two months. We've only just returned--Robin, the boys, and I--from a 10,000-mile, 23-state, 31-day drive. We'd never done such a thing before and are still sorting out our best-of lists: best fast-food burgers, In-n-Out; best grits, Biscuitville. But, without a doubt, the best surprise was this: Among booksellers, we were welcomed like family. You treated us with graciousness and warmth, and we'll not forget it.
So many, many thanks. May your holidays in 2001 be especially fine, at home and at work.