I will not blog about politics... I will not blog about politics... I will not blog about politics... I will not blog about politics...
So! What do YOU want to talk about?
A friend whose opinion I respect recently got in touch with a request I'll admit I hadn't considered before. She said I should write into (assumedly at the beginning of) each book a list of the characters who will be involved in the story. She explained that it helps people who might have trouble keeping up with each name as it appears in the story, particularly those mentioned near the beginning that don't show up again until considerably later.
My feeling on cast lists had always been that if a person can't remember who one of the characters is, I have not done my job adequately. I should have given that character a personality trait or at least a physical attribute meant to make the person stand out and be memorable. If I didn't do that, I should have done better.
But my friend said that some readers have memory problems and need a reference point, which I'll admit I had not previously considered. So I've been going back and forth on the subject for a while now, and I think for the next Haunted Guesthouse novel (due from Crooked Lane Books in 2018) I might just add that list at the beginning.
Now I have to go back over that manuscript and make a note of every lunatic I invented, then come up with a way to encapsulate each character without giving away the plot. Maybe this whole list thing isn't exactly the greatest invention since the wheel after all. But I'm still going to do it, I think.
It feels like I'm cheating, somehow, but if readers will be helped to have a more enjoyable experience reading my book, I am not the person to argue.
I'll throw it open to the vast population of DEAD GUY readers: Do you like, dislike, or are you completely indifferent to, character lists at the beginnings of mystery novels?
There. I didn't blog about politics. But it was REALLY difficult not doing that. I deserve a cookie, or something.
Pitchers and catchers report in 22 days. That's what's keeping me going right now.