Sunday, April 29, 2012

Day #565 Sandee Somebody

How frustrating! I know that many people put in spam filters that allow messages only from specific eddresses, but I don’t give out my personal eddress to the whole world. Instead I use an eddress that is related to my website -- my first name at my website name dot com.
Yesterday a fan I’ve never met before, Sandee no-last-name, sent me an ecstatic email about how much she enjoyed my Biscuit McKee series, particularly the cat Marmalade. I wrote her an extensive reply, sent it from my personal email, since that’s the only way my computer will send anything, only to have it bounce back. I’m sure she probably put fran at you-know-what into her safe list. There was, unfortunately, no form where I could say -- hey! please recognize me, I’m your new author friend.
So, I’m going to share her email to me and my reply to her (obviously, I’ll block out her eddress and my own). If you think you know her, please send her a link to this blogpost, would you?
Here’s her email to me:
On Apr 27, 2012, at 8:22 PM, _____ wrote:
Subject: Marmy's Series!
  I know, I know it's not Marmalade's series but I like her better! My question is, when are you coming out with more books in the series? 

 I need for you to write faster if you don't mind!  I dearly love this series and have managed,since discovering it  just a few short weeks ago,  to devour it at a rate of speed I haven't reached since my teens. So now I am suffering from Marmy withdrawals.

Seriously...when are the next books coming out?

I thank you for writing a series that is very enduring and entertaining with enough mystery to keep your interest without sex,graphic violence and vulgarity. Thank you!


Blessings from one of your oldest (in years) fans,
And here was my reply to her:
Date: April 28, 2012 7:55:07 AM EDT
To: _______
Sandee, you just brightened my day. Thank you so much for having taken the time to contact me. It's such a delight to hear from people who love Marmy as much as I do. And--I must agree--she's the glue that holds the series together.
As to when Brown as Fudge will be available? I don't have a clue. It will most likely be next year. And there's a good reason for this. The crime in BROWN involves arson. I don't know enough about fire to be able to write knowledgeably about it, so I joined the Gwinnett County Citizens Fire Academy, a twelve-week course that teaches citizens about fire, firefighters, the firefighting process, swift-water rescue, ladder and hose work, and arson investigation.
Unfortunately, after only five classes, I had to drop out (last week) because I'm dealing with a rectal prolapse (which may be more information than you want to have -- sorry!). Because of some commitments over the next month and a half, both mine and my daughter's (she's agreed to care for me the first week after the operation), it will be after the 19th of June before I can get this repaired. In the meantime, there's no way I can climb those fire ladders next week or crawl through the "burning" building (fake smoke, naturally) the week after that.
Once I'm done healing, I'm be able to take the NEXT class, which begins in August.
So, BROWN is on hold for the moment. I'm writing the non-fire scenes, but the story hasn't taken much shape yet.
You might be interested to know that I was contacted by a New York agent last month and asked if I'd be interested in writing a three-book series "with a Scottish flavor." I've put a proposal together, and the agent will be presenting it to a publisher this coming week. The series won't have a cat in it, but I hope you'll consider reading it when it finally does get published. Of course, the publishing industry has its own routine, so the first Peggy Winn ScotShop mystery may not show up for another year or so (and it may not even be called that by the time their editor gets finished with me).
If you're interested in reading about my experiences at the Fire Academy, I blogged about the Thursday evening classes each Friday for the past five weeks. Here are the links to those blog posts:
As a special thank you to you - here's the very first scene of BROWN AS FUDGE. It could change completely before publication, but I'd like to give you the flavor of it:
Scene 1 Biscuit
I saw the smoke even before I stepped outside. A dark gray wash, almost black, swirled across the yard, pushed by a stronger-than-usual early morning breeze. It wasn’t leaf-burning season yet. I headed back inside for the phone.
“Thank you for calling,” the 911 Operator told me, “but we’ve already received several reports, and the Martinsville fire department is on the scene.”
She wouldn’t tell me where the scene was, though. “Stay where you are, ma’am. They don’t need unnecessary bystanders getting in the way.”
Unnecessary bystanders? What made her think I was unnecessary? I picked the receiver back up. Bob was at the station. He’d know what was going on.
Softfoot is near the fire. I can feel him inside my head.
Marmalade purred her loud rumble and rubbed against my ankle. She’s so soft.
Thank you.
Reebok answered on the first ring. “Martinsville Police. Deputy Garner speaking.”
“What’s going on Reebok? I called 911, but they wouldn’t tell me anything.”
“There was a fire.”
“On Willow Street.” 
“It wasn’t Margaret’s house, was it?”
“No.” Bob’s normally garrulous deputy was singularly taciturn this morning. I waited for him to go on, but there was an ominous silence.
“Monica’s?” I asked.
I was in no mood to keep guessing all the people who lived on Willow. “Whose house?”
“Nobody’s house.”
“Reebok,” I said, my voice lower than usual, “would you please give me some details?”
“The shed behind Connie’s house caught fire.”
“Is Connie okay?”
“Reebok? Answer me.”
“Don’t worry ma’am, I’m sure it will be all right.”
“Reebok? What on earth is wrong?”
“They can’t find her.”
Have a lovely day,
I really don’t want her to think I’m too stuck up to respond to a fan letter. Any idea (other than the miracle of someone who reads this blog knowing her) how I can reach her?
BEEattitude for Day #565:
       Blessed are those who use no pesticides, for they shall create a haven for us bees.
The teeny details:
my books: Please buy them from an independent bookstore or directly from my website.


Megan said...

Great to have a sneak read of your next book,Fran,sounds as if it will be great but your priorities are right,health always comes first.I love the books because it's exactly the sort of place I'd like to live if I came to America and although the people aren't perfect(how boring would that be?)the would be comfortable but interesting to live with.I do feel the same as the mysterious Sandee about Marmalade and she kind of makes up for me not having a cat of my own any more since all six died of old age in a space of two years.Can't get another one till I move to Wales-a beautiful place called Llandudno-which I will do in the next six months I hope and need to buy a "cat friendly" house(friends think that's mad) and then get a rescue cat(or two) who likes Stan-my dog not my husband,don't care whether the cat likes him or not!Scottish book connection sounds great,good excuse for you to visit Edinburgh Book Festival and I would get to see you in the flesh and hear your words of wisdom.I was born in Scotland and lived here all my life so leaving will be a bit of a wrench but as I am also an Irish citizen because of my fatherI feel by moving to Wales I am completing the Celtic Circle if you like.Lots of Scots,Irish,Welsh and Bretons in France and the Basques in Spain do feel they are Celts first.My son is really into that although he lives in Amsterdam!
Hope all your medical stuff goes smoothly and good luck with your Sandee search.

Liam said...

Hi Fran,

This is Liam "Billy" Ogg, Petie's son.

I'm not 100% certain why your email would bounce back like that. Normally, that happens because the recipient's email address is invalid. I don't really think that's the case here though. It could also be the spam setting's on her email system or her email server could be down.

Anyway, If you're interested in finding Sandee, one easy method I know of is Facebook. If you enter her email into Facebook's search engine her account, if she has one, should pop right up.

If that doesn't work, you can try the same thing with Google. Just enter her email into the Google search engine and that could return some useful info. It's not quite as reliable as the Facebook method but it could be of help.

If neither of those yield any fruit then you could, if you wish, forward Sandee's email to my Mom's (aggiepete) email and I could try and find Sandee myself to link her back to your blog post.

Hope this helps!


Fran Stewart said...

Megan - I would LOVE to get to Scotland (and Wales) sometime, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for it.

Thank you for your words of encouragement. I'm glad Marmy and Biscuit fill a place in your life.