Thursday, October 11, 2012

First Fan Letter for THE DOGS OF WINTER

About a week and a half ago, during a school visit, I had the good fortune to meet a woman who had lived and worked in Russia (as a teacher) in 1993, just as the Soviet Union was crumbling. We talked about her experiences there and I, of course, told her about my new book, The Dogs of Winter. I told her I was nervous about writing a story set in a place so foreign to me, that I hadn't even been to. I also told her the doubts I'd had over the years about my "right" (as an American) to tell this child's story.

This morning, when I opened my email, I saw that she'd written. I was nervous: I knew she'd bought a copy of The Dogs of Winter and had planned to read it. I also know she is a passionate and very discerning reader. Here is what she wrote:

Not only did I read it within 24 hours, I’ve already told 2 middle school librarians to purchase it immediately.  Emailed my book club, to give them a heads up that “Dogs of Winter” will be the November read AND got my 16 yr old daughter to read it (who by the way is the twilight lover & only likes teen romance books)!  Remember how I kept talking about “Between Shades of Gray”?  It’s my book of conversation w/everyone that will listen.  Well, it’s been replaced.  You know that I read a lot of books but a select few stay with me forever.  I like to think of them as my “life changer books”.  “Dogs of Winter” is now on that select list. This book spoke to me. I can honestly tell you that I dreamt about these amazing dogs two nights in a row after reading it.

You had been a little apprehensive about writing a book based in Russia, having never been there.  Well Bobbie, you had me fooled.  You sold me at the very beginning when you briefly talked about “Mother hanging clothes on the line on the balcony”.  I did that weekly, we all did.  The sleeping arrangement of Mishka with Mother & Babushka.  I lived like that with my host families.  I could go on and on about the vivid & correct descriptions of how you portrayed life in Russia

Your book made me feel so many emotions. I became so home sick while reading your book that I called my “Russian Mom” Galina on Monday just to tell her that I loved her.  I told her about your book & she said to tell you “Balshoy Spasiba” for writing a book about her countries babies!  Balshoy Spasiba means Great Big Thank You.   

I seriously could go on and on about this book but I’ll save that for people that haven’t read it.  I’m so thankful that you listened to that voice that told you to write this story.  I’m thankful for your talent & can’t wait to see what you come up with next.  I’m thankful to have met you & been inspired by you.  I hope to be able to stay in contact with you, even if it’s just checking up on your blog.

Thank you Bobbie!


  1. I'm nearing the end of the novel, and I'm sad because it's almost over! This is a great letter, and it clearly means so much. Thanks for sharing!