I can’t fill a top ten list with fan interactions that stand out in my memory, but I’ve had two amazing good ones, and a few funny reviews.
My Most Memorable Fan Interactions
A Fan’s Love for The Eldritch Heart
Hearing that the girl who inspired me to write The Eldritch Heart loved it so much she read the book twice, felt like she could relate to the characters in the story, and even calls it “her book.”
Books that Start a Conversation
In a review of Caller 107, a woman wrote that the book started a deep discussion with her teenage daughter about some of the topics in the story. That made me grin for weeks.
Lord, grant me patience…but PLEASE hurry.
Chatting with readers via my Facebook page and they “grr” at me because the rest of a series isn’t released yet and they want to read it now.
On Creating Situations the Resonate
A female reader told me that a scene in Caller 107 resonated with her in a way she didn’t believe a male author could capture. At one point while hanging out with the “bad crowd” one of the guys sticks his hand up Natalie’s shirt and starts pawing her. The reader told me that something quite similar happened to her as a teen, and Natalie’s internal reaction was pretty much identical to what she thought at the time. (In this case, though the reader had complimented my writing and characterization, I didn’t take much glee in it as my feeling bad that she wound up in that situation overshadowed it).
On Creating Characters that Speak to Readers
After reading The Summer The World Ended, I had someone ask me if I had teenage daughters. They were surprised I didn’t, as after reading Riley’s characterization they felt certain I had a recent example to draw from for inspiration.
Thanks for the reviews…
Some funny things that I’ve seen in reviews, though I’m not sure if those count as “interaction” with fans since I only read them.
How real is real?
Someone thought the “economics” of the city in which Division Zero takes place weren’t realistic, but he was completely okay with the level of realism portrayed in the psionic powers, ghosts, laser pistols, and flying cars.
What’s the reading level on this one?
I had a review of Nine Candles of Deepest Black (a young-adult horror novel) complain that the book was “too geared” toward young adults.
What did you just read?
In a review of Prophet of the Badlands, the reader complained about the “time travel elements” losing her since she didn’t really care for time travel stories. (There is no time travel in the story. The character she was referring to was in cryogenic suspension and is from the distant past not the future.)
Do you know where your mother is?
A review of Caller 107 complained, “where are the parents. Why are they letting her run around like that?”
Valid questions, but if the parents were perfect, the story wouldn’t have happened. The entire premise of the story is the main character’s reaction to having parents who are screwing up big time.
The Eldritch Heart
Matthew S. Cox
Publication date: August 1 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Synopsis: Princess Oona Talomir enjoys the little things that come with her station: a handmaiden, her lavish bedchamber, and scores of fancy dresses―the duty to win a decades’ long war, not so much.
Oh, did I mention assassins?
Seers foretold the conflict would end by her hand. From the moment she drew her first breath, the neighboring kingdom has been trying to kill her so she could not grow powerful enough to destroy them. The king, fearing for his daughter’s life, has kept her confined to the castle grounds for most of her sixteen years. With the tide of war turning against them, the burden of her crown becomes too much to bear, yet one thing lifts her spirits amid the gloom.
Her servant girl, Kitlyn.
Alas, in a kingdom obsessed with the god of purity, she is terrified to confess her forbidden love. When her father makes a demand she cannot abide―marry a prince to forge a military alliance―Oona panics. He is handsome and honorable, but he’s not Kitlyn. Unable to admit why she cannot obey, Oona does the only thing she can think of, and runs away.
Alone and unprepared in the wilderness, she prays the gods will let Kitlyn find her—before the assassins do.
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