While the vast majority of the messages I receive from readers are not of this venomous variety, most aren't pure expressions of admiration or gratitude either. At first glance, they may appear to be fan letters, but they aren't -- because they're not from fans.
There are certain types of book readers that tend to take it too far. There are times in conversations about novels where the only thing running through the mind is, "Come on, seriously?" or "Oh not this again," or the best of them all, "I wish you didn't know how to read."
I am humbled. A note from a stranger whose life I have influenced means as much, if not more, than the same honor from a friend. Across space and time, with nothing more than words, it turns out to be possible to change the world at least a bit.
I began writing Love Gone Mad with that What if? premise in mind. Soon, more complexities, complications and permutations evolved, so by the novel's third draft, the plotline went far beyond the initial What if?
While everyone else was completely flipping out about the Red Wedding on Sunday night, it seems that some devout readers of George R.R. Martin's series were not quite phased by it. In fact, they were pretty unaffected by most major moments in film and television. Lighten up, guys!
The book blogger community is still essentially a frontier town, caught between laying foundations on the one hand and trying to deal with the regular influx of lawbreakers, businessmen, migrants and pioneers on the other.
Authors who have massaged their book to perfection during the editorial and page proof stage may be dismayed to learn that the electronic version readers are purchasing and reading frequently represents an earlier effort.
Even though I still sometimes sigh when a reader insists I've written something that I know, in my heart, I absolutely did not, I don't argue. Instead, I remind myself how very, very lucky I am that people are reading my book and talking about it.