Edit to add: Congrats to Sara M - random number generator has anointed you winner of the CHEAT THE GRAVE giveaway. Thank you - all of you - for stopping by to chat!
My latest book, CHEAT THE GRAVE, just released a week and a half ago and I’ll confess, I was anxious to get this one out there. I’ve wound up quite a few outstanding threads in this book, giving those who are invested in Joanna Archer’s journey some big payoffs, a bit of closure, and even a hint of happiness. While most of my longtime readers are excited about where the series has gone and continue to support each title as it arrives, I have found a small faction … a fissure … an almost cultish element comprised of a few enthusiastic souls who belligerently and consistently … Call Me Out on My Shit.
(Which totally wasn’t in the ‘Guide to Being an Author’ manual.)
Frex, let’s take this reader, who is referencing a world within my world where time moves differently:
So, if 2 days in Midheaven = 10 weeks or 70 days. And if Sola was 3 month preggers (84 LV [Las Vegas] days) when she went to MH, that would leave like 196 days until full term of 40 weeks. So if it takes 196 MH days, that equals 6,860 LV days which is 18 LV years? Something isn't adding up correctly.
That’s right. In this world that doesn’t exist, inside of another world that doesn’t exist, she’s making me do math.
These strange, over-the-shoulder type readers also have zero qualms about sending me scurrying to look things up in my own texts, and exhibit an equal lack of shyness in telling me where, precisely, they’d like to see the story go next. For the purposes of this exercise we’ll just call them collectively by one name ... say, Raven. *koff*
When Raven goes on a tear, she most resembles a five year old hopped up on Dr. Pepper, pixie stix, and one giant breath full of helium: I-don’t-want-him-to-just-disappear-I-want-him-to-apologize-then-die-magnificently-and-then-Jo’s-mother-better-explain-herself-preferably-with-a-bazooka-then-Jo-and-youknowwho-had-better-end-up-together-because-I’ll-throw-this-book-I-swear-I-will-unless-it-comes-with-a-cupcake.
The point is this. Five books into this series and it has become abundantly clear to me that I am just a mascot. A necessary evil, I think someone described it. An afterthought, really.
I know this because I’ve met a good many of my readers on Facebook and Twitter, though the diehards are on my message board. Mind, they usually just throw me a wave and a “wassup” on the way to ‘True Blood’ or Jeaniene Frost thread ;-) but more than anything they’re loyal to my girl, Joanna Archer. She’s the one they root for and yell at and for whom they’re mentally ready to take up arms. They love who she loves, hates who she hates, and are wholly invested in every twist and turn her fictional life takes … which to me is the true beauty of a series character. One reader, Heather, summed it up best after finishing CHEAT. She said:
Jo's struggles were profound and struck at the very core of all the things that I struggle with as a mere mortal. I don't have to battle Tulpas or crazed leaders … but I connected … and that was a great adventure for Joanne and me to take together. She learned that all the things she had been or ever will be made her Joanne Archer. I'm learning to accept that as well. I have to be all the various roles in life, to truly be myself.
Bingo. And the reason I (or Jo) was able to connect with Heather that way was because I felt all of that first. (See, guys? I’m not incidental!)
So while on the surface it may seem that I write about a reluctant superheroine or Las Vegas or, as this blog is titled - things that go Bump - what I really strive to bring to life are the vagaries of the human condition via this one woman who’s as real to me as she is to you. While I find observing and processing the world around me ever-entertaining, putting the resultant answers and thoughts about that world into prose is my obsession. Thus my obsession feeds yours, yours feeds mine, and on goes the beautiful dance between author and reader.
Thank you - you twisted, invested, passionate, and curiously math-loving souls - for dancing.
So what characters live on in your mind long after you’ve turned the final page? Who feels so real to you that they could be a tulpa, a real person, a friend? Joanna is clearly one for me and mine, but I’d love to hear yours, too. Leave a comment in the thread today and one reader will win a signed copy of CHEAT THE GRAVE - which thanks to all those ‘Ravens’ hit the NYT list this week!
A final note for those who might be new to my series: my publisher is currently offering up the first book for *free* on e-readers, but only for a few days longer. So if you have a Kindle, SonyReader, or Nook, you can download THE SCENT OF SHADOWS now, and read at your leisure!
Vicki, who is:
Watching: the view outside an airplane window
Listening: Sara Barielles - she needs to write/release albums faster!
Reading: JD Robb
Writing: the last six scenes in Zodaic6
Coveting: nude heels.