I’m here to help.
Dear Mr. Vonnegut,
Would it be unstuck of me to say that you are my favorite author?
I am writing to you to ask if you might read and blurb my debut novel, Numb (forthcoming from Harper Perennial in August). It is the story of an amnesiac who can’t feel pain, his rise to fame, and other commonplace events.
To receive a blurb from you would be no small reward for the work that went into writing it (you have no idea how many Mad-Libs I had to complete before I finally had a novel-length text completed). It is obvious that writing a novel takes an investment of time, but I find that it takes an investment of self as well. In fact, while I am on the topic of investing oneself into fiction, I hope you will let me comment on your work.
I wonder if your fiction might not have gone to the next level if only you had invested more of yourself into them, really injected yourself into the narrative in some way that made the reader say, “That’s him, that’s Vonnegut. That’s the author of the book I am holding.” For instance, in Breakfast of Champions, you have a moment in which the “author” of the novel being read appears and worries about the quality of the book. You do something similar in Slaughterhouse Five when a prisoner of war, one with shall we say “latrine-based” issues to deal with, is revealed to be the “author” of the book. I am certain that you worked very hard on both novels, but what if, and bear with me on this because I’m going round the bend here, what if these “authors” in those books were in fact YOU. Imagine how that would have blown the readers away if they were introduced to the idea that the AUTHOR OF THE BOOK THEY WERE READING WAS APPEARING AS A CHARACTER IN THE BOOK THEY WERE READING. That tingling I’m feeling right now means I’m either onto something huge or that my dandruff shampoo is working. Too bad you hadn’t thought of that. Something to think about.
Anyway, thank you so much for your time, and please do let me know where I might send you a copy of my book.
PS. I have just now learned about your recent passing. I hope you won’t let this keep you from reading my book.