“The amazing thing about this book is that it just happened,” said young author Emerson Weber. “We never planned to write a book, but when HarperCollins [Publishers] reached out we just couldn’t say no.”
Back in May of 2020, 11-year-old Weber went viral on countless news platforms for writing letters to thank her mail carrier, Doug. On January 5, 2021, she released Sincerely, Emerson: A Girl, Her Letter, and the Helpers All Around Us, a picture book she authored on the subject.
“I just wanted to spread the word about sometimes overlooked but always important people that make our lives better,” Weber explained.
While most picture books take nearly two years to finish, the true story of Sincerely, Emerson took a mere few months for Weber to write and Jaclyn Sinquett to illustrate.
The 605 team connected with Weber to hear more about her journey to publication, where she wants to go from here, and some humbling advice.
WHAT WAS THE BEST PART OF WORKING ON THE STORY?
The best part about working on this story was the people. I loved working with the HarperCollins team and the illustrator Jaclyn Sinquett. They all worked so hard to make this book what it is now. What was really fun was seeing the illustrations progress over time. They went from sketches to black and white art to full color with every little detail. I just love how they bring the story to life.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
When I grow up, I want to be the president of the United States. I know that has nothing to do with letter writing, but that is what I want to be.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO ACHIEVE WHAT YOU HAVE?
This all happened because I wrote a letter to my mailman, which is a simple act of gratitude. I would tell someone to just be kind and do kind things—not for acknowledgement, but to just put good out there and good will come to you.
I ALso love writing letters and making art because it allows me to express the sides of myself that love to write and create
DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS FOR ANY OTHER BOOKS?
No, I don’t have any ideas for a new book yet. I think I’ll just continue writing letters and see what happens. It worked well the first time.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE FOR THIS YEAR?
I hope in 2021 that we will continue recognizing people that do things to make our day-to-day easier, like mail carriers. This year has brought much deserved attention to them, and I hope it stays that way.