Jeff Kinney Success 3 Years Later! (Diary of a Wimpy Kid author)

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TristAndShoutt
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Jeff Kinney Success 3 Years Later! (Diary of a Wimpy Kid author)

Post by TristAndShoutt »

Sent: October 3, 2018 (LoR, SASE, Wimpy Kid poster)
Received: May 17, 2021 (Pre-written letter w/ pen signature)

TL;DR- I wrote to Jeff Kinney back in 2018 and got a reply from him 3 years later.

This one was a looooong time coming, as I'm sure you can tell from the sent/received dates. As a matter of fact, Jeff Kinney was one of the first-ever celebrities I tried sending fan mail to back when I was still in high school! I first attempted writing to Kinney on September 11th, 2018, sending him a SASE, a LoR, and a Double Down poster which I'd received as a pre-order bonus or something. This was one of 4 letters I sent out that day, with the other 3 being cartoonist Butch Hartman, Lilo & Stitch director Chris Sanders, and former Sega CEO Tom Kalinske.

This first attempt was ultimately in vein, as 3 out of the 4 letters I'd sent, one of them being the letter to Kinney, were returned to sender throughout the following couple of weeks. This was because the addresses on fanmail.biz were out-of-date, and after posting about my RTS's to the forum I made a 2nd attempt at sending all three on October 3rd of the same year, alongside brand new ones made out to composer Alan Menken and Mario voice actor Charles Martinet.

The only person I got a response from at the time was Tom Kalinske– an unbelievably sick first-success which I actually posted about back when it first happened (read about it here if you're interested).Other than that, nothing else came back from this original batch of letters. I think part of the problem was that I used metered postage instead of stamps for all of my SASEs, which of course is only valid the day you get it metered. Kalinske was nice enough to go out of his way and resend mine after it came back to him, but my guess is that the other people I wrote to didn't have as much time on their hands. This of course didn't turn out to fully be the case, but a couple years passed by and I moved on, writing more letters and finding a surprising amount of success. I held some faith in a response from Kinney since he'd had long response times in the past, but after 2 years I just assumed he no longer responded to fan mail and that I'd never hear back from him.

Then, out of absolutely nowhere, on May 17th, 2021– a whole THREE YEARS LATER– I got an envelope in the mail sent to me from the 9th floor of 195 Broadway in New York City. I had no idea what it was at first, but was then met with one of the biggest shocks of my life when I saw a drawing of Greg Heffley on the envelope seal and immediately realized what I'd gotten. Surely enough, enclosed was a typed letter from Jeff Kinney, dated to May 10th of the same year, and with my name and address printed at the top!

This letter was surprisingly heartfelt– instead of some push to advertise the latest Wimpy Kid book, Kinney acknowledged the time that had passed since I first wrote to him and apologized for how long it took to respond, as well as thanking me for taking the time to write to him in the first place. He also expressed hope that his books brought me joy growing up, even if I'd possibly moved on from them in the time since I first wrote to him. He ended the letter by noting how hard the past year has been on everyone and welcoming me to go back to the Wimpy Kid books if I'm ever feeling nostalgic. Underneath the text was official Wimpy Kid art, and to the right of it, a massive autograph written by the man in blue pen.

As someone who's been a Diary of a Wimpy Kid fan for over 10 years at this point, I can't describe how much this meant to me. This was such a perfect response to get– it's clear that he hasn't much time to attend to fanmail over the past few years, and I really appreciate that he chose to address this as well as show some sentiment to those who grew up with his books. Frankly I'm shocked I didn't burst into tears when I first read it! I'm pretty positive it was a pre-written letter, as it seems other people on Reddit who wrote to Kinney had similar experiences and pretty much got the same exact letter, but that's honestly understandable as I'm sure there's been a huge build-up of incoming letters over the years. Besides, the fact that it's signed is enough for me– and yes, I'm positive this is an authentic signature. It looks pretty real to me!

I was a huge Diary of A Wimpy Kid fan growing up– I own and have read every book up through #11 and seen the original 3 movies countless times, and while I'm not too caught up with the franchise nowadays I still look back on it with a lot of fondness. This is why it meant so much to me to finally get a response from him (even if I never got back the poster I'd sent him :lol:).

And that's the story of the longest I've ever waited for a fan mail response. I know this is from a few months ago, but I wasn't able to post about it at the time since I was having issues with resetting my password. I thought I'd still take time to post about it now since it's such an awesome story. If you read the whole thing, thanks a lot! I'll attach some pics in a little bit so you can see the letter for yourself (as well as the sick envelope it came in).

Cheers,
~Tristan

ADDRESS USED:
Jeff Kinney
Amulet Books
195 Broadway
9th Floor
New York, NY 10007

http://surfmypictures.com/image/95350d7 ... 94ob9.html
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Successes: Tom Kalinske, Annie Potts, Phil Collins, Alexey Pajitnov
Pending: Randy Newman
In-person autographs: Bruce Springsteen, Chris Trapper, Adam Levy (lead singer of The Honeydogs)
Broadway casts: Hamilton 2017 & 2018, “The Lion King” 2017, “The Band’s Visit” 2018
TristAndShoutt
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Re: Jeff Kinney Success 3 Years Later! (Diary of a Wimpy Kid author)

Post by TristAndShoutt »

UPDATE: Ok, as promised here are some pics, including one of the full letter. Cool, right?!

http://surfmypictures.com/image/95350d7 ... 94ob9.html
http://surfmypictures.com/image/95350d7 ... tsvlb.html
Successes: Tom Kalinske, Annie Potts, Phil Collins, Alexey Pajitnov
Pending: Randy Newman
In-person autographs: Bruce Springsteen, Chris Trapper, Adam Levy (lead singer of The Honeydogs)
Broadway casts: Hamilton 2017 & 2018, “The Lion King” 2017, “The Band’s Visit” 2018
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Re: Jeff Kinney Success 3 Years Later! (Diary of a Wimpy Kid author)

Post by admin »

Hi TristAndShoutt :)

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