Friday, March 9, 2012

Turn Your Back If You Dare

Gabriella Herkert

Catnapped and Doggone

Who can you trust? Let's start by admitting that if you are searching for the blindly devoted on this blog, you may have bigger issues than we can address today. We spend our days (nights, weekends) plotting against the world. It's not personal. It's just fiction. Let's repeat that one together, it's not personal, it's just fiction. And incredibly fun when things are going well.

We don't mean to raise your suspicions. You should be suspicious and leery of offering us access to your deepest, darkest secrets. We are probably up to no good. Probably, definitely. I only confess it to put you off your game. Surely anyone who looks you in the eye and says I am beyond trustworthiness must be overstating the case. Evil reverse psychology inappropriately applied to friends and readers. My bad.

Here's a top 5 quick list of some of the people you should never put your faith in:

1. A boyfriend commenting on your new dress.

2. A parent critiquing your manuscript.

3. A neighbor insisting you didn't flash him (he'll also tell you he never looks out the window).

4. A customer service person kindly insisting it's not a user-error.

5. A politician, lawyer (uh oh -- that's me), insurance salesman, any salesman or the weatherman.

Now that we've eliminated some of the people you should never turn your back on, let's discuss some of the people you can rely on for loyalty and protection. And when you can rely on them. I can rely on Rebecca Cantrell to provide an alibi for anything below a Class A felony committed (allegedly) while at a conference we are both attending. How do I know this? She's sitting next to me in the cell. Nobody talks, everybody walks. It's not so much about trust as self-interest and accomplice testimony.

You can absolutely rely on your readers to find the typo. No matter how many times, how many ways you and your team have reviewed your draft, it's out there. And someone, with fresh eyes and an attention to detail admirable in an IRS auditor, will find it. The other thing you can depend on -- they'll let you know. It's not just the typo either (yes, my cat changed colors in Catnapped), it's the factual flaw. Research, research and more research will not keep you safe from this. Trust your readers, they'll fix something just as your breaking something else in the next book. Then, they'll share again.

Here's the quick-list of who you can trust with everything:

1. Your dog. The Lab won't blab.

2. See #1.

3. See # 1 and 2.

4. See #1, 2 and 3.

5. See # 1, 2, 3 and 4.

At least there is a list.

Watch your back.



Rebecca Cantrell said...

I got my marching orders, Gabi, and I am on it.

I think we need to get Josh a dog.

Michael Wiley said...

I've got to say that your neighborhood must be more interesting than mine, since we don't get a lot of flashing around here, Gabi.

As for the dog: we have a boxer-lab mix. I'm not entirely sure that the trust thing still applies.

Meredith Cole said...

Very funny, Gabi! My mother, funnily enough, is a great reader for my manuscripts (maybe because she's a retired teacher) and has helped me pick out typos...

I don't have a dog -- I have cats. I can trust them to get hungry early in the morning and knock stuff off tables when they want to play.

Maureen Hayes said...

I trust my cats because everyone knows a cat will never tell you a lie just to make you feel better, but a dog, well they need to people please so they sometimes stretch the truth!

Gabi said...

I definitely think we need to get Josh a dog. A rescue with a good story to tell. And melty eyes.

Gabi said...

You should live in my neighborhood. I really am terrible about the flashing thing and the neighbors across the way(the young men) are generous in the scenery department.

The boxer thing must be the dominant DNA. I hadn't realized any Lab, no matter how recessive, could be questionable.

Gabi said...

I always wonder about cats. They seem to have deep thoughts all their own. I'm not sure I could call the trustworthy. Dogs, I'm sorry/happy to say, seem to have littler brains.

Gabi said...

You're right, Maureen, cats will never lie to you. They've got that fixed you're not living up to my expectations look and arched back escape techniquee. Dogs don't lie. They just look on the bright side even when you can't see it.