Sunday, June 26, 2016

Other Eyes

I've now done signings and readings on both coasts.  That means meeting and hearing from readers who move in very different circles.  The West and East Coasts (I've lived on both) really do have different perspectives, rhythms, and vibes.  I've also done signings in the southwest which has its own distinct culture.  I think it's great that even with mass media and cheap airfare and all our migrations within our own borders that we remain a diverse nation.  The old Hippie in Port Townsend, the Presybterian book group leader in Pennsylvania, the Hispanic English teacher in's been a joy to discuss my book with all of them.

I've been struck by how Denise Aragon has resonated with people from diverse backgrounds.  She is definitely hard to take for some people.  But when they've stuck with her, they have come to admire and respect her.  Sometimes it has been men who don't take to her right away.  She puts them off because maybe she doesn't fit their idea of a good choice for a date on the town. But then I learn how their admiration for her develops and by the end of the book they see her as a true hero, and maybe someone they'd want to emulate in their own lives (though I don't suggest her diet for anyone with cholesterol problems who doesn't work out at her level).

"You're such a nice guy, how did you ever come up with that?"  I've heard that, too.  All I can say is that I'm not responsible for my bad guys.  The way I right, not imposing myself, indeed striving to remove myself entirely from what is on the page, they simply take things where their characters want.  And then I'm stuck with cleaning up.

Like Denies Aragon.  One of the things I've revealed is that if I was going to write her honestly I couldn't know how the crimes she worked on were solved at the very beginning.  To be in her character I had to truly be in the shoes of a homicide detective inspecting a crime scene.  I dealt the cards, loading up the scene with forensic evidence, painting a portrait of brutality, but I had no more idea than Det. Aragon what it all meant.  We solved the crimes together and I think that made for a much better book.

Thanks to all who have been reading my book and sharing their thoughts and questions with me.  It has been a joy and has made me a better author.

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