• Power of Persuasion

    03 March 2011

    I'm in Thailand on a short holiday, so I know I shouldn't really be blogging, but I got a terrible attack of the vomits last night, so I've spent most of today in my room, taking it easy. My loss is your gain!! Anyway, rather than blog at length about the joys of throwing up all night long, here's an email which came through from a fan called Lori.


    My English teacher just gave me the topic for our research paper this year: Write about a book that has literary merit, and tell why it is considered a classic. I have wanted to write a paper analyzing the literary elements in The Thin Executioner for quite some time now, so I was excited to have this opportunity.

    When I first approached my teacher about writing to this book, she was very reluctant because she thought it was just another modern teen book. Then I explained to her that The Thin Executioner was inspired by The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and how it dealt with many of the same social issues. She was impressed when I made a long list of similarities between the two books, and finally agreed to let me write the paper on the two books.

    My thesis statement is going to be: "The Thin Executioner brings the past social issues that Twain analyzed in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to light in much the same way as the original, but in a different, creative manner. In this way, Shan makes the issues that Twain addressed more relatable to a modern audience, and both books are a cry for change in a corrupt society."

    My teacher is now very excited to read my essay when it is finished, and she can't wait to read the book herself! I am so excited that I am going to be able to write my final senior English paper on The Thin Executioner because I will be writing something both fun and meaningful. This is probably the only time I’m going to call the task of writing an 8 page research paper fun!


    Lori's email put a BIG smile on my face! I'm always telling fans they have the power to make things happen if they get involved and try to change the world. If you want something hard enough, and are prepared to use your imagination and work to get it, then more often than not you CAN realise your goal. I've done many events over the years which started with a determined fan pestering their teacher or librarian or bookseller to get in touch with my publishers to try and make something happen. And I've had lots of letters and emails from fans like Lori who managed to persuade their teachers to use my books in school, to bring a touch of gory joy to the classroom!!! Of course you won't always succeed, but your failures will ultimately just make the successes all the sweeter when they come. You should never not try to change the world just because you don't think you can. The world is changed every day, in all sorts of tiny and massive ways, by people like Lori -- people who try. YOU can be a world-changer too -- if you want to be...

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