I received this letter from a gentleman in North Carolina last week:
Mrs. Lomoe ,
I have been reading some of your books, your experience at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair and wondered if I could send you something to ” sign ” for me ? This would be greatly appreciated .
Can you e-mail me an address to send it to you ? I will enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope. Thanks !
This is the first time I’ve received a “fan letter” like this. My first reaction was excitement and pleasure at the notion that I’m actually building a reputation to the extent that someone would make such a request. Then came the questions: What is he going to send? Will it contain anthrax or unmentionable secretions, or maybe explode when I open it? Do I want some stranger knowing where I live?
I relayed the request to my husband, whose frown instantly told me he shared my concerns and then some. Our immediate conclusion: time to open a post office box. I decided on another town in Rensselaer County. He thinks that’s too close, and that I should use an Albany address, but I don’t want to drive across the river every time I feel like checking my mail, so I’ll probably use my town of choice.
Normally at this point I’d veer off into some musings about the nature of celebrity, online identity and so forth, but I’m not up for it at the moment. Since October 18th, I’ve been plagued by something I first thought was the flu, then just a bad cold, but now it’s segued into bronchitis. I’m finally on some antibiotics I hope will wipe it out. In the meantime, I’ve been trying to carry on business as usual. Some highlights:
- I put together a newsletter and mailing for the Memorial Society of the Hudson-Mohawk Region, for which I’m the administrator and about which I’ve blogged previously. Right now, I’m busy preparing for our annual meeting this Sunday. I even started a blog for them; it can be found at http:hudsonmohawkfca.wordpress.com. Just to add to my current discombobulated state of mind, I used the same WordPress theme I’m using here, because it applies every bit as well to funerals as it does to mystery novels.
- I participated in the Poisoned Pen Web Con last Saturday. Had a great time, and I’m glad to learn they plan to run a similar event next year. Now that the event is over, you can visit www.ppwebcon.com to access all the materials for free. Well worth it – there’s some great stuff there!
- Tomorrow I’ll be on a panel at the NYS Museum with the Mavens of Mayhem, the upstate New York chapter of Sisters in Crime. We’ll be discussing Edgar Allan Poe and his influence on the modern mystery. I wasn’t sure what I’d be able to add to the discussion, but amazingly enough, I found the program for the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe Awards Dinner literally staring up at me from the floor behind my computer, and it’s chock full of articles about him. Talk about synchronicity! (I’d also visited his home and grave and heard an excellent panel about him at the 2008 Bouchercon in Baltimore, but I’d been dubious about finding my notes. Now I won’t need to.)
Speaking of Poe, now I’m off to an evening at a local bar, the Fuze Box, with some local poets, titled “An All Hollow’s Eve Reckoning: A Tribute to Edgar Allan Poe.” There’ll be an open mic component, but I think I’ll sit this one out – my nagging cough will keep me out of commission, and I’ll need to save what voice I have for tomorrow’s panel at the museum.
On Monday I’ll be back with news of my upcoming Blog Book Tour, scheduled for November 9 through November 20. P.S. to Phil in North Carolina: I’ll have that P.O. Box address for you by early next week. I hope this is only the first of many such communications from my fans!