Friday, December 4, 2009
MY EMBARRASSING MISTAKES ...
No, no--these aren't embarrassing mistakes. (Shame on you for even thinking that, O dear reader!) They are reader Kaye Barley (center) and crime writers Ken Bruen (left) and yours truly at Bouchercon 2008. I'm running this photo because Kaye's the November winner of our Barnes & Noble gift certificate! More on that below; meantime, Shane's Biggest Mistakes . . .
It's true. I've never had a reader point out a mistake. I've been reamed on a few occasions for something a character said or did, but never for a factual error.
Which is not to say I haven't made one. I surely have an array of bonehead errors over the course of BLOWN AWAY and CUT TO THE BONE. I will surely have more in TORN APART, coming to bookstores July 6. (Yes, I took a correspondence course in plugging myself while confessing my sins. I got an A.) I certainly will eff-up in every book I write.
Why? Cause I'm human.
I take extremely seriously my duty to prevent errors, to the extent of driving for hours to locations to see if facts on the ground match my Mapquest research (online maps are mostly right, but not infallible); dripping gasoline on my tongue to accurately describe the taste (bitter and metallic, with aftertones of leather, citrus and persimmons); and wading into an icy river to see what physical reactions my detective hero, Emily Thompson, might experience when escaping a serial killer (for the record, that would be shivering, gasping, curling in on myself, and shrinkage, though that's a problem for the author, not Emily, cause she's a girl and, um, yes, well, let's move on, shall we?)
But nobody's perfect, and the face-reddening errors are probably there. It's just that readers haven't called any to my attention. (This is where Rebecca and Kel would normally jump in to shout, "What readers????" but they're imbued with the holiday spirit and thus holding themselves back.) Naturally, I choose to take the readers' silence as, I Have Committed None.
Who says denial is just a river ...
NEWS FLASH: NOVEMBER'S WINNER IS KAYE BARLEY
Applause! Applause! The fabulous and talented Kaye Barley, a voracious reader who brightens every book conference she attends, is the winner of November's Criminal Minds prize for ... uh, just being you. We appreciate your followage of our efforts no end, Kaye, and to prove it, I'll send you a Barnes & Noble gift certificate. And, if you promise not to point out my embarassing mistakes, an autographed copy of CUT TO THE BONE, my current book. Everone join me in huzzahs for Mrs. B, and check out her own wonderful blog at:
PEOPLE I WANNA SLAP SILLY(CONT.)
A Sarah Palin speech scheduled at the private College of the Ozarks in southwest Missouri was expected to draw a crowd of 5,000, and the school said it agreed to keep out reporters. The few media outlets that did manage to gain access to the speech did so by using one of the free tickets given away to the public, and the college asked they not report on Palin's address."I can't take their tickets and ask them to leave, but we have asked them (local reporters) not to (attend)," said College of the Ozarks spokeswoman Elizabeth Andrews.
My comment: The public has every right in the world to hear the thoughts of this highly public figure who might run for the presidency, Ms. Andrews. We do that through reporters, as we can't be there outselves. Which is why your "no reporters" closure reminds me so much of the "No dogs or Jews" signs we saw on public beaches not so terribly long ago. What are you afraid a reporter might see, anyway? It's not like a presidential candidate would say something inane like "I can see Russia from my front porch ..."
Shane Gericke's third crime thriller, TORN APART, will be published July 6, 2010, by Kensington. Visit him at www.shanegericke.com