A couple of days ago I received an email from Aaron Lazar, author of Tremolo: Cry of the Loon. He said: “I started A Spark of Heavenly Fire last night and am HOOKED, big time! I read 100 pages (usually I fall asleep when reading in bed after a few pages) and dreamed about it all night. Wonderful! Can’t wait to read more, Pat. You’ve got a winner here.” Today he wrote: “Read another hundred pages last night. I’m mad with you! I didn’t get enough shut eye! HAAAAA!”
I do enjoy keeping men up late at night! I like keeping women up late at night, too. During all these years of wondering what it would be like to have people read my published novels, this is one aspect I never took into consideration — how wonderful it would feel to know that I am keeping people up past their bedtime so they could read a few more pages. Such an awesome power!
In November, I posted a bloggery, “What If People Like My Books?” I had been so focused on getting published, that for some reason until then it never occurred to me to wonder what it would be like if people actually enjoyed my novels. After 200 rejections, I was poised to deal with more of the same, but so far I have received only positive feedback. It’s an incredibly affirming experience to have people peek into your mind, to become intimately involved with your creation, and to get what you’re saying. So much of me is in the books that I thought I would feel exposed, but I don’t for the simple reason that the books no longer belong to me. They belong to anyone who reads and enjoys them.
Wanda H. wrote: “I’ve now read both books! They were both spellbinding and kept me engrossed until I finished. It was hard to put them down to sleep and not to pick them up again in the morning and instead go and do things.
My favorite is A Spark of Heavenly Fire. I love the characters and the action and the . . . well, everything. But it only edges out More Deaths Than One by a bit.
I now see what you mean about an unnamed genre. Kind of a big picture conspiracy, behind the scenes machinations and how that affects the little guy (or gal) on the street. You did such a terrific job. I know you’re going to enjoy tremendous success not only with these books but also with the books you’ve yet to write.
Anyway, just to gush a little more…. I love your work! You rock!”
Sheila Deeth, who won the first autographed copy of my book because of her wonderfully imaginative entry for my More Deaths Than One Contest, wrote an incredible review of the book. She starts out: The first three pages of “More Deaths than One” have to constitute a serious contender for the best opening scene of a novel. Two main characters are introduced, a garrulous waitress and a taciturn hot-chocolate customer. They meet. She talks, a lot. He reads the paper. “And Lydia Loretta Stark was dead. Again.” With two such immediately real and appealing characters, and a line like that, I’d challenge anyone not to want to keep turning the pages. more . . .
So . . . what if people like my books? I feel honored, and if truth be told, a bit humbled.