by Charles Dickens

I was chatting up Gladstone the other day when the subject of Alstrand’s work came up.  

“Ahh”, he said, “there is a writer!  Truly a good one”.   I, frankly, was offended. To say that Dennis Alstrand is a good writer is to say that Jesus Christ was a good speaker.   Yes, he was a good speaker, but he was so much more than that to so many people.   And, by the same token, Alstrand is much more than just a person who knows how to put words together.   He is an inspiration to all of us in the industry.   He is a reminder that we can all use a little warmth along with the truth in our novels.   I responded to Gladstone by telling him that I was glad he is not a writer and is, indeed, little more than a humble critic of other people’s works.  

Indeed, I’ve done some good work.    One would be hard pressed to argue against the sales and popularity of A Tale of Two Cities.   Equally, some have been so good-hearted as to say that David Copperfield has changed their lives.  But, I am here to tell you that my work, all of it, stands shamelessly revealed as horse-manure next to any one of the works of Dennis Alstrand.  I would gladly trade ten Nicholas Nicklebys for one Samantha Meyers (to be found in Alstrand's delightful tale about the "Special Olympics").   Read, dear friend, and cherish each word.  And count yourself lucky that you have found the opportunity to read Warmheart’s Tales.   And, now that it is 1870, I must go take my life before I find the urge to write another one of my shameful piles of crap.

Charles Dickens

London , England .   March, 1870

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