Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
As a matter of fact, I do hear from my readers quite often and on a regular basis. Much of the time, readers will send me messages to tell me how much they liked or disliked the book they just finished. They’ll tell me what they thought was going to happen or what they wanted to happen. I always love the e-mails I get that tell me how I should have written the book or how I should have made one of the characters. It can be very interesting and sometimes very insightful as to where other people thought I was taking the story or what they would like to see happen. It doesn’t change anything with the book, but it’s a good way to measure if I was successful in throwing the reader off or if the red herrings worked in the mystery. And to be fair, nine times out of ten, the readers’s feedback is positive. There’s very little negativity amongst the readers.
In addition to the general comments about the book, I get a lot of questions, much like the one that I’m responding to. I guess there are really three categories that the questions fall into. First, I get the questions about upcoming books or if there’s going to be a sequel or prequel to the last book they read or if I’m working on any series of books. The majority of the questions are about the books or the characters or my writing in general. The second set of questions is usually asking for advice if they want to write a book or what other authors they may like since they’ve read all my books or how they can get their book published or how I did it and things like that. Then the third set of questions are usually a bit more personal. They want to know what I like and dislike or what I watch on TV or what I do in my free time or how they can meet me or do I have a girlfriend. They’ll get pretty personal at times too.
It’s always very flattering that readers actually take time out of their lives to reach out to me with feedback or questions. I really appreciate that. It’s real encouraging that there are people out there who like my work enough to respond and get excited about it. There’s no greater satisfaction for a writer, no greater inspiration as well, than to have a responsive and interactive group of readers, to have your book read by complete strangers and accepted as good and to have these people become fans. To have someone say they enjoy your work is the greatest thing to hear when you’re a writer. It’s so rewarding that words can’t begin to describe it. And despite the fact that I get a lot of mail from the readers, it never gets old. Believe it or not, I do read each and every one that gets sent in. I may not be able to personally respond to the readers, but I do read all the fan mail.