When Michelle released her ghost story "Dark Matter" a few years ago, I was excited for a new Michelle Paver book, but didn't expect to be scared. I mean, the only times I've ever been scared while reading a book have been due to external influences, like the time my cat, Topsi, grabbed my foot during a particularly tense moment when I was reading one of R L Stine's Goosebumps books in my teens, or when my Westie, Kero, moved enough to cause the blanket to shift on my leg right when I was reading about a creature in J K Rowlings "Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them" that creeps along like a shadowy fluid cloak. But, as it turned out, Michelle Paver's "Dark Matter" actually scared me. I'm talking curled under the blankets with shivers running up my spine, too scared to even go to the bathroom, kind of scared.
When I heard Michelle was bringing out a new ghost story called "Thin Air" I was eager to see if she could pull that off again. But whether she did or not, I was excited for a new Michelle Paver book, and eagerly shared the prank video that was part of the pre-release publicity. It turned out she did pull it off again, as I mention in my review of "Thin Air" on Goodreads. But that's not the point of this post, even though her ability to do so was an excellent achievement.
The point of this post starts with the prank video going viral, and me getting an eMail thanking me for helping to make that happen. In the eMail, it's mentioned that if I requested the signed book plate that people signed up to her mailing list had been invited to request if they eMail proof that they brought a physical copy of "Thin Air" this would be sent out soon. To which I sent a reply containing the following paragraph:
I didn't reply asking for a signed book plate. Having something signed by you would be great, but I have to stick to audiobooks or eBooks because I can't see to read print ones, so I figured there wasn't much point in my asking for one.
Honestly, I kinda thought it would be ignored, and that the eMail I was replying to was just an eMail sent out to the whole mailing list. I mean, despite the fact I've seen it mentioned several times that Michelle always replies to fans, I didn't expect any kind of response. But I sent my message anyway.
To my surprise, a few weeks later, I got a reply that contained the following short message from Michelle's literary agent, Peter Cox:
Michelle would still like to send you a little something... what is your postal address?
So, I sent him my postal address. I mean, I'd heard the guy's name in connection with Michelle's a bunch of times, and he had a copy of my response to the original message, so I figured it couldn't hurt. Besides, getting something in the post from one of my favourite authors would be amazing, and I wasn't about to let that chance slip through my fingers.
That was a few weeks ago.
A few days ago, these items arrived in the post for me:
The items include a pin badge (or button, to most of those outside the UK) and wrist-band style bracelet from Michelle's "Chronicles Of Ancient Darkness" series, a signed book plate, and a picture of Michelle with a young wolf named Torak (who I think was actually especially named for her character by those who run the zoo or wildlife preserve he was born to, if my memory serves me correctly, though I don't remember the full details, unfortunately). The wrist-band is even semi-tactile (the symbols are tricky to feel, but I can feel they are there). Besides, tactile or not, it's the thought that counts. I mean, it's nice to be included, even though the official requirement was that you had to reply to your mailing list eMail with proof you'd brought a physical copy of the book, which I couldn't do, though I did grab an audio download from Audible a few days in to November.
Anyway, I've included Michelle's Twitter name in the subject of this post, because I'm hoping she'll see this and know how grateful I am to her and Peter. So, Michelle, if you see this... Thank you!
I hope, one day in the future, I will get the chance to pay it forward, and make a fan of mine as happy as Michelle Paver and Peter Cox have made me.