Monday, March 27, 2006
Story Behind the Dedication
Happy Monday, BGs.
First, a very big "thank you" to the buyers of Web of Lies out there. It has debuted on the April bestseller list (representing sales in the month of February) at #17. Released in mid-January, Web of Lies was just beginning to sell off shelves in February. With store promotions starting in March, I'm hoping sales will continue to rise, and WOL will move up in placement for the next list. But you never know about these things.
As for that secret dedication at the beginning of WOL:
For my pals Deb Raney and Robin Lee Hatcher.
Now you have to read it.
Amazingly, I was able to keep that dedication a secret, even when it was included in the ARCs. You early readers of the book were indeed good secret-holders. Robin Lee and Deb had great, long laughs when they received a copy of the book and saw the dedication.
So what's the story behind this tribute?
It began with a certain Deb Raney, during the very first ACFW conference (the organization was then called ACRW) in Houston. She and I, and some other authors were on a published author panel, see. (Note to Deb--when you're on a panel, speaking publicly, you're not supposed to diss fellow novelist's book.) So somebody asked a question, which I can't even remember now. What was important was Deb's answer, in which she managed to insert--quite emphatically, I might add--that she "doesn't read Brandilyn's books."
Well, now. She kept right on talking, as if she hadn't just cut me to the quick. But do you think I was gonna let her get away with that? Especially when I'd sent her a copy of Eyes of Elisha--free.
I reared my head back and ogled her, then faced the audience, wide-eyed. "Did you hear that?! She just told everybody at this conference she does not and will not read my books!"
Ol' Missy Deb did some fancy back pedaling, I can tell you. What she meant, she stuttered, is that she couldn't read my suspense novels because they were too scary. But she'd read my women's fiction and just loved them. (Oh, yeah, honey, back pedal away.)
Well, boy howdy, I had me some friends at that conference. One of 'em, a clever gal by the name of Tammy Alexander, sent Deb a gift box after the conference--chocolates and all kinda other soothing things to take the edge off while Deb read Eyes of Elisha. (Including a tin of Altoids for those moments when Deb forgot to b r e a t h e . . .) If I remember right (Deb, are you reading?--please do correct if it's not true), as a result of Tammy's persistence, Deb did read Eyes of Elisha. Queen Wimp apparently shivered all the way through it--and finished vowing she'd never read another suspense written by yours truly. True to her word, she has not touched another of my suspenses since--even though she has received a free copy or two. (I have since stopped sending them. I mean, really, I'm not in to self-flagellation.)
To this day I have no doubt Deb still runs around conferences telling people she won't read my books.
Then there's Robin Lee, who's wimp as extraordinaire as Deb. Only thing is, Robin is much more diplomatic about the whole thing. She certainly doesn't announce her refusal to read my books in public. In fact, out of the kindness of her heart and because she's a friend of mine, Robin took a huge gulp--and forced herself to read Eyes of Elisha.
"I'm very proud of myself," she told me later. "I only had two nightmares."
She, too, has not read another of my suspenses since.
Man. With friends like these . . .
So. Two much-loved pals, both sitting ducks, thanks to their wacky wimpiness. I do kill people for a living, you know. Do you really think I could let the opportunity pass to at least poke 'em a little?
Oh, yeah, yuck, yuck they went at the dedication. But let's be clear here. I haven't heard word one from either of these two wimpettes that they've actually read Web of Lies. Can you imagine that? A book dedicated to you--and you refuse to read it?
Especially when it was dedicated with such unselfish, loving, warm intent.