Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Jacqueline Wilson is a very nice lady

My daughter is an avid reader, usually to be found curled up with a book if she has the choice. Her favourite author is Jacqueline Wilson, author of the Tracy Beaker books among much else - a name which should be familiar to any parents of girls aged from about 7-13. Jacqueline Wilson has an official fan website to which my daughter is signed up, but in August she went a step further and sent a fan letter to Ms Wilson.

I expected that at most she would get a printed form-type reply; imagine then her delight to receive a hand-written postcard from JW herself. I have never seen her quite so excited. The card is now her single most treasured possession.

From the fact that JW has had a card printed (it shows the author in front of a shelf-full of her books), I summise that she replies in person to most if not all of her fan-mail, which must be a huge effort. I heard from people who have attended her signings that she is meticulous about dealing attentively with her fans in person too. What a pleasant thing it is to encounter a successful person who is willing to 'give something back' to that extent.

7 comments:

No Good Boyo said...

She gave a reading at Waterstones in Reading, when fellow-Welsh Sioba Siencyn was still masquarading as one of their employees. She was friendly, patient and approachable. So much so that Sioba let her out of the stationary cupboard and allowed her to sign some books. She didn't even press charges.

Gadjo Dilo said...

What a nice lady. I'm like that too. I carry around cards that I printed of myself standing in front of a bookcase (it's the one containing the Victorian Erotica in The British Museum Reading Room). I gave one to a bloke I met in a bar last week; I think he only wanted me to buy him a double shot of Iancu, but I wasn't going to let him go without telling him my life story, oh no...

Mrs Pouncer said...

She's lovely. About 6 years ago she did a signing at a bookshop in the nearest small town to us (about 3 miles away called Woodley). I took my daughter who was about 9 or 10 and we were the first in the queue, and J. Wilson couldn't have been nicer. I don't know what she was like with the kids at the end of the line, though. It stretched for miles.

Gyppo Byard said...

M'dear Mrs P: You'll be devastated to learn - assuming you didn't know already - that that particular bookshop is no longer a feature of Woodley shopping precinct. But there's a new 'Chapter One' bookshop there now, next to the bakery. And on Saturday's there's a second-hand bookstall in the market, which is where I got the antique Malay phrasebook I mentioned a while back.

The Dotterel said...

Not sure whether to pass this information to my daughter or not. She could probably take Jacqueline Wilson as her specialist subject on Mastermind.

Mrs Pouncer said...

Cripes, Gyppo! Are we nearish neighbours? Have we passed at the deli counter at Waitrose (sometimes superior to the Twyford branch). How spooky.

Kevin Musgrove said...

She was extremely nice when she came to our children's book festival before she became famous. Frog's met her a couple of times since and reckons she's not been spoilt by fame.