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Letters from the Onyx Court


Would you like to receive a letter from a member of the Onyx Court?

Mary Robinette Kowal has announced the Month of Letters for February, and furthermore sparked the notion of participating in it fictionally. So, from now until the end of February, you are invited to write a letter to any character from my Onyx Court series (novels and short stories alike). I will respond as rapidly as I can, in the form of a handwritten reply, produced the old-fashioned way with a Venetian glass dip pen, and quite possibly even with a wax seal!

To get in on this exchange, here's what you have to do:

1) Pick which character you're writing to, and when. Anyone from the series is fair game, be they mortal or faerie, real person or invented. (Some, I will warn you, may be better correspondents than others; Nadrett is not much for writing letters.) The date is important because for the faeries especially, when you contact them may make a great difference in their replies. Characters contacted before their births or after their deaths are unlikely to reply at all, but don't worry about that too much; the only ones I have death dates for are a) the historical ones, b) the Princes of the Stone, and c) the people who die on the page. If you're really in doubt, you can e-mail me and ask.

2) Decide who you're writing as! You're welcome to write as yourself, of course -- but feel free to write in another persona if you want to. This can be historical, fictional, invented, whatever; think of it as a little snippet of fanfic. Just try to give me a sense of who you're pretending to be, either in the letter, or in an accompanying note. That will help me run with whatever you've started.

3) Write a letter -- or postcard -- and mail it to me. It can be as long or as short as you like, but yes, you have to write an actual, physical letter, not an e-mail. (If that poses a problem for you, because of disabilities/international postage/whatever, drop me a line and we'll work something out.) The letters/notes themselves should be addressed to the characters, with the date somewhere on it; the envelopes/postcards should be addressed to:

Marie Brennan
P.O. Box 6802
San Mateo, CA 94403

BE SURE TO INCLUDE YOUR RETURN ADDRESS. I promise not to share it with anyone. If you forget this step, I can't write back!

4) Have fun!

In return, I will send you, as promised, a handwritten reply, in the persona of the character you've chosen, possibly with a wax seal if I don't think the post office will chew it up too badly. I will answer any letters received before March 1st, and maybe a grace period of a few days after that, just in case things get delayed in transit, though I cannot promise with total certainty that all my replies will go out before then (it depends on how many letters I get). I'll certainly do my best.

Once you receive your letter, you're welcome to do with it whatever you like. Read it, of course; share it with friends, blog about it, post pictures, hang it on your wall. (Which several people have already threatened to do. I, um, need to practice my cursive.) Have fun!