Saturday, October 1, 2011

R.S. Emeline's open letter to Tim Greaton...and my response...

On An Open Letter to Tim Greaton

If you haven't done so yet, go to and check out Bones in the Tree and the Santa Shop, both are amazing stories from author, Tim Greaton. I sat and read them in a single sitting and hours later still found myself reflecting on them.


When I first stumbled upon you on Twitter I did the usual, checked out the blog and your featured titles.

Recently, life has been hectic and busy so I didn't have much of a chance to sit down and read, but the other day I finally managed it.

I started with Bones in the Tree and I understood exactly where your main character was coming from. Having gone through a divorce myself I remember the difficulties I had with phone calls from the ex. What I wouldn't have done for a place without cell service--and a friend like Bones to share the silence with.

Now, I remember reading about how your work is considered "dark" fiction, and I can both see and understand that--but I don't get that from reading either Bones or the Santa Shop. 

There might have been dark moments, but there was always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Maybe that is because my childhood wasn't full of happiness and joy, but I'd like to believe it's because your writing shows that even in darkness there can be light.

The Santa Shop touched on my emotions in a way I'm not often comfortable admitting. There were a number of times where I contemplated reaching for a tissue. Not because I was worried about what Skip would decided to do, but because I felt his pain.

Standing on that dark bridge on Christmas Eve, with the frigid air blowing around him, and his whole world torn apart--I felt.

I was right there listening and watching...waiting for him to reclaim his life.

That's good writing.

Thank you for opening your heart and your imagination to us.

R.S. very graciously allowed me to share her letter and my response from a few days ago with all of you today...

RS, I'm sitting in a dark office, staring at a blank comment screen. So many thoughts about your kind words swirl through my mind. I'm, of course, flattered and very appreciative. Thank you.

Forty years ago, almost to the minute, a truly miserable little boy was sitting alone in a dark room. He was probably listening to his parents yell and scream at each other, and he had probably spent too many hours that day trying to understand why he didn't fit in, why the kids at school constantly made fun of his clothes, his house, his life. That the little boy was smarter than nearly every other child in school didn't matter, anymore than it mattered that most of the teachers did the best they could to shield him from childhood cruelties. Unfortunately, the journey home from school that day likely involved running--probably not fast enough--and no doubt involved receiving a few kicks and punches from any number of a constellation of bullies that made it their mission to remind him how rotten life was. That little boy probably wiped his tears dry before going in his house, because they would surely have earned taunts of cowardice from his dad, who usually only noticed him long enough to make fun of him. And once he somehow got free of his mother's list of chores, chores that adults usually did in other homes, that little boy probably refused food and went straight to his room, where for a few hours he could open a book and live, even if only briefly, in a world that made sense, that rewarded goodness, a world that fought evil or at least labeled it, and a world that had heroes he could dream of and imagine someday to emulate.

That night, forty years ago, I think that little boy turned his sad eyes skyward and somehow, someway, saw this computer screen, your comments...and felt hope.

Thanks for that.


P.S. That little boy dreamed of someday creating stories that would nourish and protect their readers much the way other authors had done for him. I believe "Under-Heaven" is the best of those stories, so far.

And you can see the amazing trailer that filmmaker Rob Ellis created for it here:

As her blog states, "Leaked from the Psyche of author R.S. Emeline."

This letter aside, R.S. is an amazing and talented writer, and I strongly urge everyone to follow her ever-thoughtful and always entertaining blog:


  1. What bravery and honesty there is in both these letters. The one is a tribute to your writing, Tim, and the other is a tribute--to you.

  2. I'm glad she allowed you to share this letter. It is always a high compliment when someone appreciates your work!

  3. What a wonderful letter! I agree with Jenny, there is bravery and honesty here. I'm sorry about what happened in childhood, Tim. You've come a long way, and you deserve all the success you have. I can't wait to check your books out!


  4. I can only aspire to bring hope to others as you have done.


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! :-)