Dear Kristin Cashore,
Authors have always been a mystery to me. They are just a shadowy figurehead on the back cover of a book with a few sentences about their life and other books they've written. I come up with questions in my head of how the author would react if I asked what did they read when they were little, or how they come up with characters. Authors mean something to me, but I feel like they can't be caught. A ripple on the water because every time you try to catch them, they slide father away. It's not easy to talk to an author, but why not? Why not make it an exciting thing we can both share? A letter from my heart to yours that shows my response to an inspiring book.
I had read your book Graceling for the first time almost nine months ago and still read it. Drawing strength from the words you had written. The cover is worn, some of the pages torn, and yet I don't care. The words are the things that matter, and they stir something deep in my chest that feels like pure energy, just barely contained inside me. Those words are the things I see, understand, and connect with. When I had registered the overall theme of the book, I was dazed. I wondered how Katsa would feel if she had a twin sister? Did I exist in a parallel world? My feelings felt like they were in overdrive, spinning and swirling through my brain. The concept of self-control and self-mastery was overwhelming as I read. Learning about yourself is hard, struggles rise every day and I must fight them. It comes through practice and discipline. I was taken back and a little appalled at the way you describe Katsa. Shocked. This is it, said the voice inside my head, and then it clicked. This is what I am. Katsa is just like me. She is me. You showed to me who I am. You gave me the words to discover my character that I was so unsure of for my whole life. I played my part in life, the stuff we're required to do. School, friends, home, and family, but I was never really there. At school, I was only half focused. At home, I would only answer a question if asked directly, sunken into my obsession to find my free reining spirit. Was I needed in this world? Could I do something with my life? My mother could see the difference from that fateful day when I closed the back cover and look at the world with new eyes.
Graceling showed to me what myself could not. Your words showed I have a personality, a character that I can relate to and show to the world. I will be proud of my abilities, and let nothing drag me back. Just like Katsa. I will not be in a cage, but running free to embrace the world with open arms. With these arms, I will try to catch the author who unleashed those emotions. She won't slip away from me. I remember that Katsa's Grace was survival. I will survive to do great things in the future I swore to myself. One of those things is to show you my gratitude. You helped me find my heart and myself.