Sunday, April 17, 2011

Readers, and Writers, Weigh In

It's almost always a pleasure to hear from readers. (There are rare exceptions.) Most readers don't bother to contact the author of a book they like, understandably, but some do. This is made easy in some cases because Ana's editor, a reader himself, is a member of several online reading groups where he and other readers and authors interact amicably. Some readers are downright chatty, commenting from time to time while they are in the process of reading a book. It's enjoyable to sample the different perspectives through which readers experience a story. Some recent samples might be of interest.

From a reader whose Kindle battery needed charging:

I started Distant Cousin…on my iPhone. Now the pitiful Cowboys are playing and they’re not acting as pitiful as usual so I’m reading your book and watching the ‘Boys off and on. Hubby’s on the sofa and I’m in my comfy chair behind him and he hears me occasionally laughing. He finally asks me what I’m laughing about and I tell him about how I don’t care for anything except stories about normal people and you assured me your book was very normal and that I’d like it so I'm reading it.

Now it’s getting about supper time and we’re hungry. When we do takeout our usual MO is I do the ordering, I drive and my husband goes in and gets the food. Meanwhile, my phone battery is starting to run down so while my husband goes in to get our dinner I am sitting in the car with the engine running, phone plugged in and I’m STILL READING YOUR BOOK!

I love Darcy. She and Mr. Hernandez are heading east, have just passed the Border Patrol checkpoint and I can’t wait to see what happens next. It is indeed a page turner, a cute and funny book with lots of laugh-out-loud parts. You were right. I like it!

I just thought I’d let you know that it’s been a fun read and I am thoroughly enjoying it."

[Days later] I'm almost finished with your book. Loving it. It's taken me a bit longer than usual .... It seems once I start reading I "suddenly" find a couple of hours have passed before I realize it.... It is truly well written. I love the dialogue. So down to earth with things I hear every day. It's been a truly fun read.

From a reader and outdoorsman:

I’m the dude...that told you a couple months ago I would have an opinion on “Distant Cousin” in a couple days. Sorry it took so long… I had to go through the entire series.

Well done sir. I was entertained.

I have read a lot of science fiction in the past, and this had a completely different (and believable) spin. It lacked the 'techno babble' that I often enjoy, but, if we can’t understand gravity propulsion anyway I suppose it is not necessary to explain it. The series was a compelling, heartwarming and sometimes scary page turner.

From a retired teacher:

I am on page 254 and I just started yesterday afternoon. I'm killing my back by constant reading but only put it down long enough to go to church and a short party last night.

Has this been made into a screenplay yet? I ordered it from Amazon a while ago but it has been at the bottom of my pile of books. Silly me!

[Two days later] I thought that I would just read DC1 and that would be the end of it. HA! Now I really need to reconsider a Kindle because your books aren't in our library.

For a person who never wanted anything to do with fantasy or science fiction I have come a long way! It helps that I'm fascinated by linguistics, harpsichords, geography and sympathetic characters. ....Thanks for writing such a great novel!

A reader from an online readers' group:

I have flown through nine chapters tonight and I am not bored yet. I did take a break to watch the end of NCIS.  Sorry, gotta run. A book is calling me back. I will get a few more chapters in tonight and then get to bed. Have to be at work by 6:30 in the morning.

[The next day] Unfortunately I am at work now, but I will struggle to find the time to read another chapter or two

[The day after that] Just finished "Distant Cousin". I am hooked. Guess I will download the next adventure and begin reading today. Thanks for such enjoyable reading....My money was well spent. Thanks.

From a newspaper publisher:

I really appreciated your craftsmanship in writing Distant Cousin. Maybe it was because...I was reading it with something more of a critical eye toward how you were writing than I normally would in simple pleasure reading. times I caught myself looking at it like a creative writing project.... Ultimately, I couldn't decide if you were inside my head or I was inside yours. Either way, it was good fun and I thank you for sharing Darcy's story with me.

From a romance author:

I loved the storyline for Distant Cousin. I fell in love with Ana Darcy. Sometimes she seemed to be quite immature for someone who is supposedly almost a hundred years old. But then I got to wondering how I would react if I was suddenly alone in an unfamiliar world light years away from my home planet with no way of escaping. I would probably curl up in a fetal position and pull the covers over my head. But Ana survived and in a grand way.

From an author acquaintance:

Just a quick note to let you know that I enjoyed Distant Cousin and found it quite absorbing. I really admire your ability to invent--at least I assume you're inventing, but maybe you have more experience with extraterrestrials than I know about! In any case, I know I couldn't have pulled off an ambitious project like that. The last part, by the way, was a pleasant surprise. I was wondering where you could go after the second part wound down, but suddenly I was swept away on a new adventure. And obviously you've managed to construct a lot more of those in the ensuing books....

Another reader from an online readers' group:

Once I start one of your books, I don't want to put it down. That's why I haven't read DC5 yet. Seems as if I've been too busy to prevent having to read it in small increments, and I don't like reading your books that way. They deserve my full attention.

From a former college administrator:

I'm on book three, having read one and two and can't put it down, nor could I the others. You really know how to draw in the reader. You have gained a fan.

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