James Alexander Kazymiri

September 1, 1999

Post #916 – 19990901

Dear Daniel,

In a nutshell: I am thirty-eight…I have worked as a radio announcer…did stand-up for five years…wrote comedy material for Joan Rivers, Robert Orben, Paul Harvey, others…was one of the Usual Gang of Idiots (contributors) to MAD Magazine…acted in plays, commercials and did voice-over work…and now I know what I want to do, what I was meant to do to leave this world better than how I found it: write books for children and younger readers. Will you help me? I know this type of pleading desperation is very unprofessional (and I despise unprofessional behaviour), but I refuse to edit an emotional fan letter.

Will you be my Navin Diebold and I the humble (if somewhat aged) apprentice? Of course I have no idea in what capacity you could assist, or what shape/form such assistance might take. I’m just saying this is what I really really want to do and you have been one of my favorite writers since I first read ‘Avocado of Death’ so many years ago.

Please don’t be put off by my effusive display; I really am quite sane and an extremely talented fellow. Please do what you can. I promise that I will leave you alone whenever you say the word (or if I never hear from you).

Daniel replies:

Before I respond to your unusual posting, I have to ask you this: Are you a fabulously wealthy individual? By this I mean, are you so rich that money is meaningless to you? Would getting rid of 100's of 1,000's of dollars, or even a million be no inconvenience to you? If the answer to these questions is, ""yes,"" we can have a dialogue. If it's, ""no,"" it's no.