From the forward of Up Close: Harper Lee
When I was asked to write a young adult biography of Harper Lee for Viking’s Up Close series, I set out on the task of trying to contact her through her agent in New York and her oldest sister in Alabama. A former colleague who had recently met her wrote her a letter of introduction on my behalf. I also wrote at least ten drafts of my own letter to Miss Lee. It’s a daunting task to write to such a beloved and passionately silent author, who has been known to respond “Hell no!" to interview requests, but I needed to make sure that Miss Lee knew about the biography before anybody else did. I wanted to tread with care and respect every step of the way.