The Up Side of Email

Sometimes I lament the time it takes to keep up with emails, as many people do these days. But I received a few recently that made me very glad for this way of connecting with people I might otherwise not hear from at all.

Like this one:

Hi Kathy!!

Highway of HeroesI just bought and read your “Highway of Heroes” book.  Amazing…..  You did a great job with it.  I loved the pictures.  My brother (Cpl Michael Starker)  was killed in Afghanistan May 6, 2008 and I travelled the Highway of Heroes with my family.  It was a very moving and unforgettable experience and to see it in a book now makes it timeless.  Thank you for writing this book.  I appreciated it.

Carolyn Straub

When I wrote Carolyn asking permission to quote her message in a blog post, she said:

Yes – you may certainly use my message and my full name.  I am okay with that.  I really support your book and back you with it.  My girls (age 9 and 11) were not able to come with me to Trenton and only heard my story.  When I was able to sit down with them and share your book and show them that it was like that for me they were able to get a glimpse into what I saw that day.  We all cried when we read the book together – my girls really miss their uncle alot, as do we all.

Thanks for keeping in touch.

And then there was this one:

Hello Ms. Stinson,

I Feel Different: A Book About Being AdoptedYour book about being adopted has been highly recommended to me by a psychologist that I have my adopted son seeing. Being from Korea he is dealing with the issues of not ‘looking’ like us and feeling different from the rest of his family. The problem is that I have been unable to find this book anywhere, it has been out of stock at Amazon for awhile now and I cannot find it anywhere on the internet or in bookstores. Do you sell it directly or have any suggestions as to where I might purchase a copy?
Thank you so much,


I was able to direct Pam to the link on the publisher’s website where she was able to order it. I hope by now that she and her son are happily reading their book.

And last but not least, from a friend and fellow writer:

Dear Kathy,

Ich mag RotJust back from Germany and I kept forgetting to e-mail you about this conversation I overheard in a staff room in Wurzburg.  The artists I was working with were talking – in German – about this book they’d been working with in grades one and two.  I got a bit here and there but my Deutsch is pretty spare.  Anyway then suddenly I understood what they were talking about: the colour red.  And how this book was just perfect for teaching with and … I interrupted to say: Red is Best?  Are you talking about a picture book called Red is Best?

Yes! They said. Our favourite. We love it. You should have seen their faces when I said knew the author, like, personally.  Well, I went up two flights of stairs in their minds.

Just thought you’d want to know of how you little one was faring out their in the foreign speaking world.


Want a peek at the covers of the Red is Best translations! They’re pretty neat!

Do you fret that you’ll never get dug out from under the onslaught of all those emails? Or has a message landed in your inbox lately that made you glad for email’s existence?

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Kathy Stinson is the author of the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin. Her wide range of titles includes picture books, non-fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction, horror, biography, series books, and short stories. She has met with her readers in every province and territory of Canada, in the United States, Britain, Liberia, and Korea. She lives in a small town in Ontario.

Kathy Stinson


  1. Erin on November 7, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Getting email from readers is still so new that I'm caught off guard every time (and weirdly, it's my adult short story that generates most of it), but it's always wonderful. 🙂 I'm glad that you get to hear how your books are making a difference. Peter read us 'Highway of Heroes' — it's lovely.

  2. Kathy Stinson on November 8, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Glad you liked Highway of Heroes, Erin. Can you tell me about your adult short story? I'm (so far) only familiar with your work for young readers.

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