You and I never met; I always wanted to travel to Ireland and run all over the country until I managed to just bump into you somewhere. I know that this was–and continues to be–a ridiculous dream, but there it is all the same.
Reading your books when I was young was one of the reasons I started writing. It wasn’t the only one, of course. A writer’s gotta write, no matter what. But I devoured your books like I was starving, and those books made me dream about writing stories like yours. I’ve started hundreds of stories, and finished maybe thirty of them. Most of the rest are kicking around either on paper or on a hard drive somewhere, but that’s not what matters to me. What matters is that they’re there. You didn’t know it, but you were a big part of that.
When I heard about your death last week, I cried. Like I said, we never met. I never wrote you fan letter, and I probably made you very little money by purchasing your books (though my hometown library is still running these days due in part to all the fines I paid over the years!). But you were valuable to me, as an inspiration, as a dream, and as a woman. Thank you for the hours and hours and HOURS of delight and wonder you’ve given me throughout my life. I’m looking forward to re-reading all of your books soon, and making more of those hours for both of us.