I have just had eye surgery and will have another operation in January 2010, so please be patient as it will be some time before I can answer letters.
The Islands of the Blessed has now been published. Unfortunately, my husband accidentally deleted most of the letters posted under this heading and is struggling to restore them. The replies I have already written are still in Q & A and I think I have copies of all the letters.
Erin asked me how to cite this source. If you were referring to this page, the following should work:
Most writers don't even come close to making a living with their writing. Almost all of them have a day job or a husband or wife who supports them. Many write for the joy of seeing their work in print. Or they write because it feels wonderful to create something. These people often don't mind giving away free books or to entertain an audience for free. I envy them, but alas I am the other kind of novelist. I depend entirely on selling books for my income. When my family moved from Zimbabwe to the United States, we were only allowed to take $500 with us. While we were very happy to be in the U.S., it meant several years of frightening poverty. This ended when I began to sell books.
I was probably the only author in the world, except those living in central Tibet, who didn’t have a website. Until now. There were a couple of reasons for it. I didn’t understand how to make a website. I didn’t know how to blog or to get onto other people’s blogs. I didn’t know what a chat room was, except that people got into mischief there. Let’s face it, I was firmly grounded in the 19th century.
Dear Sarah-Anne, Matt isn't going to dress up that differently from anyone else. Most of the time he would wear jeans and a T-shirt. At parties he would be dressed very formally in a suit. Mexican children are dressed exactly like adults for parties. The one exception is the Day of the Dead, which is like our Halloween. Mexicans are very fond of dressing up like skeletons with big sombreros, fancy black jackets and pants decorated with silver. Google The Day of the Dead and I'll bet you will come up with lots of pictures and ideas. Mexicans have displays of skeletons doing almost anything, getting married, going on picnics, driving cars. I hope this helps.
I hope you will all be patient with me while I figure out how to answer questions on this #$*!! computer. This answer is for Kathryn Dwyer. Thank you for liking the Ear, the Eye and the Arm so much. Someone has just done a screen play for it and has given it to Will Smith. He is interested, but nothing in Hollywood is certain. He is probably waiting to see whether Obama is elected before taking a chance on such an off beat project. Up till now, Hollywood has been unwilling to make a movie about black children because they think the market is too small. They think there won't be any European sales either. A long time ago I was turned down by a top New York publisher because she said no one wanted to read a book about black children. This turned out to be wrong and perhaps Hollywood is wrong, too.