Thank You for Ayla

Dear Mrs. Auel,

Many years ago, I read Clan of the Cave Bear. I don’t recall how the book came into my life or why I chose to read it, but once I did, I couldn’t stop. I have since devoured all of the books in the Earth’s Children series. 

The story of Ayla so inspired me that I became determined to name my first daughter—if ever I had one—after this strong and beautiful woman. Ayla embodied so many characteristics I hoped to instill in my future daughter: strength, compassion, modesty, problem solving, open-mindedness, and so much more. If I could envision one woman in all the world that I hoped my daughter could be like, it was Ayla. 

After a decade of feeling this way, I became pregnant with my first child. I didn’t want to know the gender, as it really didn’t matter. Due to a slip-up of a family member, however, I did, in fact learn the baby’s gender early. 

I was having a girl. 

I didn’t realize how much I was secretly hoping for my sweet Ayla to be born, but it became clear by how deep my excitement was and how great it blossomed over the remaining course of my pregnancy. Finally…I was going to meet the little girl I had dreamed for so long of guiding into this world. 

Ayla was born [in] 2019. 

I have written her letters since 2007, long before she was ever conceived, and now I have the most beautiful name to address my letters to. I thank you for that. 

It is very important to me that Ayla be given the Earth’s Children series of books, her own new set, rather than my older and mismatched set. I may wait a few more years to buy the new set, so that she can better understand and appreciate the books. 

In the meantime, however, I’d like to record myself reading the Earth’s Children series to Ayla, so that she will know her namesake in her mother’s own voice. Perhaps it will help her to fall asleep through the years. It will also be a lovely way for her to feel close to me when I’m gone.

I’d like to do this via a podcast, so that I will be able to store such a large audio file. Recording myself reading your books on a podcast would make the story available to a public audience, but I don’t want to do that without your permission. 

I know there is already an audiobook version of the Earth’s Children series, but would it be okay for me to create a podcast of myself reading your books? 

I will likely also speak to my daughter about other topics on the podcast, but the main point of it would be for me to read her the Clan of the Cave Bear series so that she will know where her name came from and what it means to me.  

If you are comfortable with this, I’d love to have a conversation with you about how best to proceed. I want to make sure I do this right, respecting you and your work in the process. 

Perhaps we can even be partners in this endeavor, exposing a new audience to your timeless story. 

Thank you, Mrs. Auel, for taking the time to read this letter. It brings me both joy and anticipation to write it.

I hope this letter finds you in good health, and I look very much forward to your response, whatever it may be. 

Thank you for Ayla,


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