c/o Third Place Books
17171 Bothell Way NE
Lake Forest Park,
Dear Mr. Fforde:
I regret I will be unable to attend your book reading and signing on January 8th. I have been looking forward to your appearance in Seattle ever since I knew that your newest book, Shades of Grey, was due to be released.
The fact is I have a herniated disc that does not allow me to travel well. Or anything else, for that matter. I only have relief by lying down which is precisely what I am doing at this very moment.
I received a copy of your new book as a Christmas present which is due arrive any day. I thought I might mail it to Third Place Books for your signature but I can't even get out of bed to get to the post office. Besides, I thought it might be bad form for me to make a request of Third Place Books if I didn't actually buy the book from them. And then there was the risk the book wouldn't be returned which was a risk I am not prepared to take.
Maybe Third Place Books would be good enough to have you sign a new book and then mail it to me along with an invoice for all costs, including shipping and handling, and the wages paid for the low level employee who had to stand in line as my surrogate. Would you mind asking them for me since you'll be there anyway? Any chance you could include a photo of you with my surrogate? I would be much obliged.
Missing this appearance makes me double my regret at having missed your earlier appearance in the Seattle area on August 1st, 2007, during your promotion of First Among Sequels. It wasn't because I was unaware of your appearance or that I forgot to write it on my calendar. I didn't miss it because of health issues; I was perfectly healthy in 2007. I missed it, if I am to be perfectly candid, because it was sunny that day.
I would be surprised if anyone had shown up unless they were originally from out of town. However, any Seattle-ite that I know was outside enjoying the sunshine. I have no doubt that I was there with you in spirit as I most likely was reading, or had already read, First Among Sequels by that time.
Perhaps that is why you decided to return in January when the likelihood of sunshine here is at its lowest. A very wise decision. You should have a much better turnout than you did in August.
For having missed your Seattle appearances, I would like to help you out with a couple useful tips for visiting here:
There is only one place to get coffee. (What I mean is one chain of stores as you should run into one every few feet.) Plus, you will stand out as a foreign traveler if you don't order properly. I would suggest you order a
. 1/3rd decaf
· Triple shot
· Sugar free vanilla
· Sugar free hazelnut
· Light whip cream
· Extra hot
· 175 degrees
· White chocolate mocha
Also, there is a very high geek population here which you may have already been exposed to as they are not known to enjoy sunshine and may have been at your August book signing. I imagine your books go over well with the geek population already so I assume you need no further instruction on this matter.
I very much hope you enjoy your visit and the weather is not too dreary while you are here (although I imagine it must be much like Swindon). I'm sorry I didn't get to see you, for a second time. Much success to you on your U.S. tour. I hope to catch you the next time you're here.
Until then (unless I can persuade you to drop by the house on the way to the airport),
P.S. The Seattle Times recently reported an incidence of time bandits in the area during the Christmas weekend. Please dispatch Thursday Next (and perhaps her father if you can reach him) as soon as possible. We are in need!
*This morning: 2 million without power on the East Coast* …maybe we ought to think about, you know, getting some.