Wednesday, March 08, 2006
The wild reader
My second book, The Naked Marquis, was officially released March 1. Yahoo!! It's already sold out at the local Borders--the one across the street from my youngest son's high school. In a few days, I'll go to other area bookstores to see if I can sign stock.
A weird thing is beginning to happen. People, even people who aren't related to me, who don't know me, are reading my book.
"Duh!" you say. "Isn't that what you expected?"
Well, yes, I realize this is the goal. Certainly I want thousands of people to run to the store and buy the book. (Hint, hint.) That's how I get royalties and maybe new contracts to write more books. And I do have an imaginary reader in my head while I'm writing and revising. I often ask myself how a reader would experience a particular scene. Is it clear? What emotion does it create? Will the reader laugh? (I write humor, so laughter is usually a good thing.) But when the book gets out there in the wild, real readers will pick it up, people who will bring their own experiences and thoughts to my words.
One type of reader I don't have in my head while I'm writing is the male of the species. I'm always a little taken aback when a man tells me he's read my book. Maybe this is because the males I live with--one husband and four sons--run screaming at the slightest suggestion they might look at my stories. Or maybe I'm just freaked that men will read all the male point of view parts and find them totally unconvincing. Or just take things in an unexpected way. One of my male friends, after reading my first book, asked me who in my life or what events inspired me to write the psycho murderer rapist villain.
Aeeiiiiee! No one. It's fiction. I made it all up. It's lies, lies, lies.
So, with a new book out, I find myself split--eager for people to read it, yet a little afraid and hesitant at the same time.