Years ago I had a friend who wrote an article once a month for his company’s newsletter. And nobody read it. Tony could write okay. The problem was his regular piece was always full of nothing but “thank you’s” and “coming events”. Anytime someone did something noteworthy, he recounted the deed with effusive praise. Whenever future activities were planned, he would write about them extensively and encourage participation. By his third newsletter, everyone was ignoring Tony’s articles.
So as I write this blog entry, I do so with a certain amount of trepidation—because I want to say a big “thank you” to all the kind people who posted such wonderful comments as part of the “Lazarus Barnhill Tribute”. I’d also like to thank my friends at Second Wind Publishing who promoted and carried this off without me knowing about it until it was at hand. You’re all delightful and lovely people—in addition to be fine authors. This is the first time I’ve ever experienced a tribute, and it’s a wonderful, heady experience.
I must admit, however, there is a dark side to this of which most people aren’t aware. In the service of full disclosure, I suppose I should be completely candid and say that, without telling our “blog guru” what I was doing, I snuck in and removed all the ugly, hostile comments some people left. . . . Well, I suppose it’s the thought that counts. Folks make their tributes in different ways. As I’ve read and reread the questions and observations about me that I deleted, it dawned on me I should respond to them. Yes, even warped internet flamers need love and attention from time to time. So here are some of the less favorable comments and questions along with my personal responses:
What was your mother thinking when she named her son Lazarus? Was that lame name the same as your daddy’s? KDB
No, my father’s name is not Lazarus. When Mom named me that she was more than a little cheesed at my father, who at the time of my birth was in the Navy sailing over to Korea to fight a war. She wasn’t about to name me after him. Laz is a name that’s appeared in various generations of my family for some time, always accompanied with the hope that the bearer will final achieve something worthwhile. . . . Now that I think of it, KDB are my mom’s initials.
You should stick either to romance or to crime/mystery. Where’d you get the idea you could screw up two genres? M. Douthit
You should read more good books. In fact, you need to visit the Second Wind site. Many quality romances (like Safe Harbor, Badeaux Knights, Fate and Destiny and A Love Out of Time) have strong elements of mystery and crime in them. And some outstanding crime books (like Carpet Ride and my own The Medicine People) are full of romantic elements. It would difficult to find a more heartbreaking romance—with a hopeful ending—than the thriller False Positive. Murder in Winnebago County actually has a love triangle in it so compelling that Chris Husom’s readers demanded she resolve it in her upcoming sequel Buried in Wolf Lake. Even though she would deny it, Pat Bertram’s books, especially A Spark of Heavenly Fire, are loaded with complex romances. It’s a great privilege for me to be published by Second Wind, where authors are not confined to a single genre—which is really just an acknowledgement that a good book may have love, death, laughter, adventure, crime and even the supernatural in it.
You make fun of police officers in The Medicine People. You should be ashamed of yourself! Edna S.
My uncle and great-uncle were policemen in the little country town where I grew up, Edna. They used to follow me around to make sure I wasn’t getting into trouble (or giving them a bad name) and when I got my driver’s license they’d find an excuse to stop me once every week or two. I’m just getting even with them. Anyway, the hero of the book is a clever cop and he’s surrounded by smart, ethical policemen who are trying to do what’s right. I happen to think The Medicine People is actually pretty realistic in its depiction of police.
Your hero in Lacey Took a Holiday is a kidnapper. He gives me the creeps. And the girl who’s the main character is a hooker. She’s not much better. Nobody wants to read about people like that. P.P.
Don’t I remember you from the romance writing contest? You really ought to do something about your initials. Anyway, get the book and the read the whole story. They both start out as “damaged goods” through no fault of their own (he is an embittered WWI vet whose wife and child died in childbirth; she ran away from home as a teenager after being sexually assaulted and then being blamed for it). Lacey Took a Holiday is not so different from a lot of modern romances in that the main characters have had prior relationships and endured great pain. I’ll admit the story is a little gritty and realistic. Second Wind is thinking about moving it over and making it a mainstream title.
I understand you removed some of the steamier love scenes of your first two books to make them more acceptable to your readers. Soon you’ll have another novel, East Light, coming out. Have you made certain the sexual content is acceptable? KDB
Dang it, Mom! Quit posting on the blog.
Anyway, thanks for all the good comments. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate them. And now for some upcoming events . . . —Laz Barnhill