What's the most interesting thing a fan/reader ever told you about your work?
Bobby Nash: When Evil Ways first came out, I came in to work one morning at the day job. My phone rang and when I answered it, one of my co-workers said, "You bastard. I didn't get any sleep last night because I couldn't stop reading your damn book." I took that as a great compliment. Another friend read Evil Ways and later commented that after reading it, "I was a little creepy to her now." I also took that one as a great compliment.
A couple weeks back at ConNooga, I was on a panel about characters and there was a question from the audience that mentioned reading a book called Snow Falls that had great supporting characters. It took a few seconds for the light bulb to go off over my head and realize that she was talking about a book I wrote. I was, surprisingly, flabbergasted for a moment. It was a great moment for me.
Thomas Deja: I had a fan tell me that the story I wrote for The Ultimate Hulk helped him get through a very rough time when his mother fell seriously ill.
Ron Fortier: That I would rot in hell for what I did to Popeye.
Rob Davis: That for them, as a fan, my work "was Star Trek" when I was drawing it. I floated for days on that one.
Ralph Angelo Jr.: That’s an easy one, a friends wife loves my books; she recently finished ‘My Enemy, Myself’ and the next time I saw her she said that the epilogue was “the most romantic thing I ever read.” Which was a real surprise to me, I’m not a really romantic guy. I’m kind of gruff and to the point with a lot of things. But that scene where Crystalon magically crafts a diamond ring out of a piece of coal and puts it on Amanda’s finger really struck a chord with her. Funny fact #2 about that scene. I added it on after I finished the book. I went back to it before I sent it out for editing, something like a week or two after I finished it and added that scene. She liked it, a lot. That surprised me, a lot.
Van Allen Plexico: I'm sure I'm forgetting lots of good ones, but maybe the many people who, after reading the Sentinels, have said they wished I was writing Marvel's Avengers. That always makes me happy to hear!
Lee Houston Jr.: Besides the fact that they liked my work? Which is something I never heard until I attended my first convention as a writer. Then I would have to say it was when a fan said where they thought Project Alpha actually took place, but I will neither confirm or deny the guess until Alpha, Book 2: Wayward Son is released.
Bill Cunningham: I had a joyful fan who kept emailing me, posting on Facebook and replying to Twitter as to when I was going to finish The New Adventures of Frankenstein Collection in print.
He was contacting me every day, and no reply I gave him was good enough or soon enough. The fact that my Mother was undergoing chemotherapy at the time, and my father had broken his ankle didn't deter him from contacting me. Some days he was posting in Facebook, and on Twitter, and via email. I blocked all three areas, and would see my spam and trash filters pile up with his Russian novel sized rants.
It got to the point where I was waking up the morning, and he was the first thing I was thinking of...
It was a bad year.
Gordon Dymowski: Reading one of my many Amazon reviews, finding out that a story that I had written was a "futuristic dystopia".....when I had written it to take place in the 1950s.
Erwin K. Roberts: Actually an editor, in editing one of my stories, provided a good one. The hero had to take a draft physical. He's ordered to report at 5:30a.m.
I got an email saying something like, "Was that a typo? Or do they really start that early?"
As Ron, or just about any vet, will tell you, yes, they do start early. I mentioned this to my barber, a Viet Nam vet, he said he reported at 5:20.
Stephanie Osborn: That he was surprised I was female. He didn't think females could adequately write believable internal dialogue for guys... unless you want me to also mention the guy who decided to tell me all about his alien abduction, because I wrote a book with aliens in it...
Armand Rosamilia: A reader thought I was female for writing Darlene Bobich as a lead in my Dying Days series and then 'accused' me of having a female ghostwrite her parts. I took it as a compliment, I guess...
R.J. Sullivan: "You're a dude, but you got us girls all figured out." To which I replied, "Tell my wife."
Elizabeth Donald: I could go with all the times people found meaning in my work that I didn't intend, the allegories I didn't see but were perfectly valid interpretations. I could mention the debate over the tensile strength of the aliens' exoskeletons vs. the approximate power of the soldiers' ammunition - true story, man - or this totally undeserved reputation I seem to have developed for killing off my characters at a rapid pace. But I think I'll have to go with the reader in an online forum who accused me of being Harlan Ellison writing under a heretofore unknown pseudonym. That's the best compliment I could ever receive.
Allan Gilbreath: If interesting can be scary - the number of women that really want to meet Galen (a vampire that thinks you are a snack). They truly want to know where the real Galen is and that I should get him in touch with them. I explain that he is fictional and I get the nod and wink that "sure he is" and they still give me a number on the back of a business card that he should call.
Jim D. Gillentine: That they slept with a copy of my book under their pillow. True story...
Frank Fradella: Someone once called me the illegitimate love child of Robert B. Parker, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Shakespeare and Alan Moore. I dedicated my next book to that crazy bastard.
Tony Acree: A reader told me my book disturbed her so much after reading it before bed, she could only read the rest of the book during the daytime, in full sunlight.
Bill Craig: I had a fan tell me I wrote pulp fiction as well as Lester Dent, aka Kenneth Robeson.
Derrick Ferguson: There was this guy who somehow managed to read my stuff for years, including my Marvel/DC fan fiction without realizing I'm black. I've certainly never made a secret of it Anyway, he sees my picture on the back of Dillon And The Voice of Odin and sends me a long email saying that he didn't appreciate me "tricking" him all these years. He advised me to "stop trying to write like a white man" and further suggested I "write about subject matters and situations appropriate to your race."
Percival Constantine: One reader pointed out that when he typed the title of one of my books on Amazon to write a review, the results included "a most intriguing sex toy."
Barry Reese: I had a reader tell me, to my face, that I must be an "#%%hole" because of what I did to one of the characters in Rabbit Heart. I was extremely pleased that I'd upset them that much.
Rebekah McAuliffe: One of my readers told me while she was reading Gears of Golgotha, she cried and wanted to throw the book about four times (she had a Kindle or Nook, can't remember which, so she couldn't throw it).