Monday, September 1, 2008

Reader Views, Good and Bad

While I was in Elk Grove at the Fine Arts Festival, I received an email from a reader who was disenchanted with my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series. Among other things, she didn't think I'd developed the character enough and she felt that Tempe wouldn't have married Hutch, a Christian pastor, because of his strict beliefs.

She isn't the only one who isn't crazy about Hutch. Frankly, I love him. He's a great husband, supports Tempe in nearly everything except when she dabbles in the spiritual side of her Native American heritage. Of course, this is because he worries about her soul. He also worries about the danger she's in because of her job. They are in love, so having some problems in the relationship add conflict--and from an author's point-of-view--makes it more fun to write. Because I've been friends with and have a son-in-law who is a pastor, I know these guys stick to what they believe in. I've also known enough spouses of people in law-enforcement to know that they do worry about their loved one's safety. And at times, get irritated when the job takes them away from the family unexpectedly. I explained some of this to this reader. Not sure it will help.

The very next day I received this:

"Want to do some fun reading? If so pick up Marilyn Meredith’s Tempe Crabtree series. I have read each novel and enjoyed every one of them. Marilyn has made her characters so different than those we are to reading about. Another great thing is there is no specific order you have to read them in. Each one is a separate story that doesn’t depend on a previous Tempe Crabtree adventure. They are also a fast read. Marilyn’s stories flow and you don’t want to put the book down. I can’t wait for the next one to go on sale."

Keith Bettinger, Author of: Fighting Crime With "Some" Day and Lenny, or What Happens When Car 54 Where Are You Meets Dragnet

Keith is a fellow member of Public Safety Writers Association and works with me on the PSWA conference. He's also a retired police officer. I'm always worried when cops read Tempe stories because she does far more sleuthing than any deputy would ever do, obviously Keith recognizes that I'm writing fiction and just enjoyed the story as it was told.

Is there a lesson in this? Guess it's simply that readers have different tastes and there's not much I can do about that.

What I'll continue doing is telling a story the best I know how.

You can go to my website, http://fictionforyou.com and read first chapters of most of my books.

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