Tuesday, February 12, 2013
And now a word from....EJ Copperman!
We asked EJ to do a guest post for our readers, and so, without further ado....
Hey, thanks ROCCO!
Authors get requests from readers. We get emails and letters (and the occasional tweet or blog comment) from people who are very invested in our work, which is always unexpected and gratifying. Any author who tells you s/he doesn’t like hearing from readers is a liar. We have egos, and they need feeding.
I always find it just a little amusing when they ask for things. I don’t mean readers who request signed bookmarks (as you can if you follow the instructions at www.ejcopperman.com) or who want to know when the next book will be coming (February 5, and it’s called CHANCE OF A GHOST, thank you). I mean the people who write in—usually very politely almost to the point of shyness—and ask for specific events to happen in an upcoming Haunted Guesthouse novel. That one always stumps me just a bit. First of all, I’m flattered that someone is so clearly enamored of my books that the characters and situations have become important to them. That’s the only explanation for a request for a fictional event to happen. Clearly, this reader has been thinking about the story after having read it, and is so close to the characters emotionally that the reader can come up with something s/he hopes to see in a future book. But the excitement of finding a story you can connect to that deeply—a film, television show, play or book—should be in following the characters through the trials and tribulations their creators imagine. Wouldn’t it be a drag to know what’s in the beautifully wrapped box before you open it?
For the record, I never use the suggestions given to me by readers. There are any number of reasons that’s the case, not the least of which is that I want the books to be products of my imagination (and I don’t want to be sued). If I see such a suggestion coming, I’ll stop reading the email and send back a reply stating that I didn’t finish reading it past a certain point. I don’t want to know if there’s a plot point a reader has cooked up. What if I liked it?
But on those occasions when I have not read the signs correctly or just missed a cue, I have seen some suggestions for plot elements in what the reader assumes will be an upcoming book. Most of these are fairly predictable—a lot of female readers are hoping Alison Kerby (the part-time investigator and full-time proprietor of the Haunted Guesthouse) will find a nice guy to help her forget her ex-husband The Swine. I have also seen suggestions that Alison’s daughter Melissa (now 11 years old) might get her first crush (I assume Melissa’s had crushes, being a precocious child, but I haven’t asked). When the reader floats an idea for a mystery plot, however, those are not so easy to anticipate. (The reader who said it would be a good idea to kill someone and have the body show up in Alison’s bed is clearly reading a different series than the one I’m writing.) I try very hard not to read any of those.
I will note, however, that the request I’ve seen most frequently is for Alison and Melissa to adopt a pet. But I point out that in running an inn open to the public, Alison has to be careful about remaining as hypoallergenic as possible. So Alison et al will not be gaining a furry friend.
E.J. Copperman is the author of the Haunted Guesthouse mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. The latest in the series, CHANCE OF A GHOST, debuted February 5. You can find out more—at EJ Copperman
Thanks for a great post, EJ! Folks, i cant' say this enough: run out and grab a copy of this book! It's a great series - even without a cat, meow!
EJ will be giving away a signed copy of CHANCE OF A GHOST to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment in the comments section with your email address. Winner will be chosen using random.org. Contest runs through Midnight, February 17! Don't forget, for extra entries you can friend the HUMAN on facebook, follow me on Twitter @RoccoBlogger, tweet or FB about this post (gets 3 extra entries) Just don't forget to list all you've done in your comment!
the winner of our Donna Grant giveaway is...VickiLake! Congrats, Vicki. Watch for an email from THE HUMAN on claiming your prize!
Coming up next week - the author of the "Cats in the Stacks" Mysteries, Miranda James, pays us a visit! and to round out the month, on Feb. 25 - I interview MOISHE, courtesy of Joanne Fluke!
We go "gato a gato" so to purr....
INCREDIBLE BLOGGING CAT