Tucson Festival of Books

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    Dear Mitch,

    Hope I’m not being too informal by addressing you as such, but after hearing you talk yesterday morning at the Tucson Festival, I felt as if I got to know you a little. I, too, am an inspirational writer who’s had a little unexpected success with a short Christmas story I wrote and self-published as a Kindle e-book.

    I started writing Jesus on a Park Bench on 12-23-12, finished it on 12-24-12 and put it out with a very rough cover (which is still up to differentiate between edition 1 and 2). I gave it away free for five days, only intending it to be a gift to friends and family, since I was going through a very rough time financially and didn’t have anything else to give. It had over a thousand downloads during the free period and has stayed in the top 100 of Inspirational and Inspirational Fiction ever since. I was blown away by that, so I totally identified with your story of what happened with the publication of Tuesdays with Morrie–one of my all time favorite books, by the way–and the direction your life has taken since.

    I also identified with your answer to the person who asked why you did all the charitable work you do–“Because you should.” I’m still far from acheiving any kind of long-term financial stability, and am, in fact, still flirting with homelessness myself, yet I still founded a charity to give the homeless in the area (of which there are thousands due to the climate) copies of Jesus on a Park Bench with $5 gift cards for McDonald’s inside. It isn’t much, but when you’re starving not only for food, but for some human kindness, too, it helps.

    So, I just wanted to say that your talk inspired me to keep going, both professionally as a writer, not to give up, and also to keep my fundraising going, continue to help those less fortunate. It also made me admire you even more. And (wow!), I know you must be around my age to have been in college in the 1970’s, but you look like you’re still in your 30’s! That’s what being a good person can do, eh?

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