A friend once quipped that I forgot to include ransom and suicide notes in my book. Yes, there are several genres of letters that did not make the cut. One of the less morbid types is celebrity letters. While it’s true I love celebrities (or celebrity gossip anyway) and I love letters, I never really put the two together for myself. Although, I have appreciated celebrity letters on more than on occasion. I was at The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville many years ago and saw a letter on display written by Patsy Cline. She sat down and responded to a fan with a long, enthusiastic handwritten letter. I was highly impressed.
Chris Lucas, author of The Actor’s Detective Guide to Writing Celebrity Letters believes it’s still possible to receive that type of attention from celebrities by writing them standout letters. I was skeptical at first. My initial thought was Twitter is the best way to get in touch with a celebrity these days, but he convinced me. (To be clear: it’s not that I think Twitter is a better medium I just don’t know how to get a celebrity address (but Chris does!) and I imagine celebs are way too busy for letters. Again, in some cases I am wrong).
The book’s foreward tells the bittersweet tale of Chris’s father. At the age of twelve he was hit between the eyes with a baseball and declared legally blind. As a way to keep her son’s spirits up, Chris’s grandmother sat beside him in the hospital and wrote letters on his behalf to major league baseball players. Astonishingly, many of them got back in touch. Some of them visited him in the hospital. This obviously had a huge impact on the young man and it ultimately led him to a career in writing and broadcasting.
Chris also makes the excellent point that this is a good way to get children interested in letter writing. Writing to Justin Bieber doesn’t feel like as much of a chore as writing to grandma and thanking her for the sweater.
The closest I’ve come to writing a celebrity is writing fellow authors and asking them to generously provide quotes for the jacket of my books. This worked out very well—especially with authors I hadn’t met. The specific letters the book addresses are as follows:
- Letter to a sports star
- Letter to a director
- Letter to a politician
- Letter to a producer/showrunner
- Letter to a mentor
- Letter to a writer/screenwriter/playwright
- Charity Request Letter
- Letter to a performer
- Letter to a CEO
- Letter to a talk show host/other notable celebrity