Friday, March 12, 2010

Questions and Answers

It's been a while since I visited with my characters, so last Saturday I went down to Ellen's Cafe with the intent of writing a blog post that answers some questions I received from a reader. It was sometime between when the breakfast rush had slowed and the dinner rush hadn't quite started when Sara came and sat across the table from me. I had what was left of my breakfast pushed off to one side. My laptop was in front of me with a streaming cup of coffee next to it. I had printed out the e-mail from my reader and it was lying on the table to my left.

"What’s this?” Sara asked, picking up the e-mail and looking at it.

I told her.

"That’s kind of exciting,” she said. “Someone’s reading about me. Are you going to let me help you answer it?”

"I already answered it. I’m just posting the answers to my blog.” I showed her the answers.

She looked at the answers carefully before she said, “These aren’t any fun. You should write something else. Take this first one for instance. She asked, ‘How did you come up with the title?’ and you wrote this thing about how Searching For Mom refers to me searching the Internet for a mother.”

”Well, it’s true.”

”But it’s boring. You ought to say that it came to you in a dream.”

”I can’t do that; it isn’t true.”

”It can be. You’re forgetting that you’re in my world, so whatever you say is true,” she said. “I just wish it worked that way for me. No matter, just write that down.”

I took the paper from her.

”What’s the next question?”

”Explain the meaning of the cover.”

She looked thoughtful. “I don’t know. Maybe it doesn’t have a meaning. Next question.”

”Where did you get the idea for the book?”

”That one’s easy. You came in here one day and Mom and I told you about it.”

”Hardly, but moving on. Did you get the story from a real event in you life or of someone you know?”

”Of course. You got it from my life.”

”How much of the book is realistic?”

”All of it.”

”Name a scene that you’ve written that you go back to re-read often because you like it so much,” I said. “What I wrote is that I liked that scene where you wake up in the hospital and Ellen is there. But maybe I should have said I like that scene where you look like a drenched rat.”

”Let’s not talk about that. Next question.”

”If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?”

”Wouldn’t that be like lying, if you told my story different than the way it happened?”

”Yeah, something like that,” I said. “What was the hardest/joyful part of writing the book?”

”I don’t care about that one,” Sara said. “What was the last question, something about future projects? I want to know the answer to that.”

”I said I was thinking about writing another book about you and Kelly. There’s a movie studio that’s going to be filming a movie here in town. Ada’s in it, but there’s someone who wants you to convince Kelly to take her place. That’s about as far as I’ve gotten so far.”

”Do I get to fall in love this time?”

”We’ll see.”

”Is it someone I know?”

”We’ll see.”

”I bet you let Kelly fall in love.”


“It’ll be with Neal and they’ll go off to some foreign mission field together.”

”Could be. I haven’t made any firm decisions yet.”

”Well, I want to fall in love and maybe you can fix it so it’ll be with him.” She nodded in the direction of a customer who had just come in. He seemed like the kind of guy women would find attractive. She got up and walked in his direction. I didn’t tell her, but the guy is a real jerk.