A piece of fan mail started an unlikely friendship for Launceston boy Lui Aitken, 13.
In 2009, then nine-year-old Lui wrote to Justin D'Ath, author of the popular Extreme Adventures and Mission Fox series.
''I asked him if he was launching his new book in Tasmania because it was about a Tasmanian devil - Devil Danger ,'' Lui said.
D'Ath said he was delighted to come to Launceston to launch Devil Danger, just as he was yesterday to launch his two latest titles, The Last Elephant and The Singing Ape.
These books are part of a new series - The Lost World Circus - set in the future where the only animals on earth are part of a travelling circus. The books' protagonists, 13-year-old Colt and 10-year-old acrobat friend Birdy, are on a mission to help the animals and restore them to the wild.
Lui is a fan of the new series.
''They're very daring, full-on and written by a very good author,'' Lui said.
''I love reading. With Justin's books - and a few others - I get the story, like a movie in my mind.''
Nella Pickup, of Fullers Bookshop, said D'Ath's books were extremely popular, especially for upper primary school children.
The books have clearly had an impact on Lui, who helped launch the books at the Launceston LINC yesterday with about 100 schoolchildren.
D'Ath said his main message for kids was to enjoy reading.
''I want children to become lost in my books; to experience the magic of the written word, to see that reading is not a chore, it's one of the most exciting, imaginative and enjoyable things they can do,'' D'Ath said.