Thursday, March 17, 2011

Email Follies

I received an email yesterday that was very odd.  I am not sure what to make of it.  As an author, I receive emails from students sometimes asking me questions about my books because they have a report due.  These questions usually ask me to expand or clarify things but make it obvious that the person has read the book (and usually that they enjoyed it).  Yesterday's email felt like a blatant attempt to dupe me into outlining my whole book for the person so that they would have all the info they need for a report.  I can't be sure, and I don't want to assume someone would ask this of me.  Maybe it was sincere, although, as I said, odd.  Here is part of the email:
"Could you give me a list of the characters and the reason why they went to the mental hospital
I was confused and I want to make a poster for my room of the characters and a brief description of them because I loved the book so much!
Could you respond ASAP so I canget[sic] started soon Thanks!"
 The suspicious bits of this note are a) saying they needed a "brief description" and b) ASAP.  What do you guys think?  I still have to write the person back, obviously not with the answers to her question (because I would actually have to go back and reread the book myself and create my own handy chart.  I'm guessing a student who is a fan of my book could do this more efficiently than me, no?).  But I don't want to make her feel bad either, if she was merely doing this out of love for my book (I kind of feel like if that were true, she would already know all of the info she needs, though).  Conundrum.

I also had a nice exchange with an area librarian who is hopefully helping to stop a potential official challenge of Get Well Soon in her district.  She is a smart cookie who read the book as soon as the verbal challenge occurred (the difference between the verbal and official is that librarians can hopefully ward off any paper/board meeting/media frenzy (as if about my books, but still) by talking directly to the challenger and straightening things out.  I do love a good challenge, though, so I'm curious to see what, if anything, happens.  

I better get dressed.  The in-laws are being imported from South Carolina for a couple days.  Yee ha!

5 comments:

Read my books; lose ten pounds! said...

Tell the person something totally bogus and see what they say!

hahahaha

Adam Selzer said...

I always tell people (politely) that I didn't even do my own homework, and I'm not about to do other people's.

Julie H said...

Read my books... I doubt they or their teacher would know the difference. And Adam, love that!

craftysunday said...

I knew I had read something like this, somewhere:
http://madwomanintheforest.com/students/
(from Laurie Halse Anderson). Although, I'm sure this is a common conundrum in the world of writing.

-mindi!

Julie H said...

Mindi, I don't know what I'd do if I were as talented and widely read as LHA. She rocks.