Charles was mentioning bad reviews the other day. Sometimes they come from people who haven't even read the book.
For example, I was signing books once upon a time. Night Brothers was new and I was at a Waldenbooks in a mall. I can't really recommend mall book signings. I've known of people who had successful mall book signings but they were wearing black lipstick and nail polish. That catches the eye.
Bayou Bob Petitt and I were doing a signing at a mall once and a lady kind of shuffled by and said: "They write horror fiction!" Unspoken subtext: "Let's get out of here. They're probably dangerous."
At that same book signing a mother and grandmother came along. They had a son/grandson who was a Koontz fan. I was signing Night Brothers and Robert was signing the paperback of Razored Saddles in which he has a story.
"His grandmother wants to buy him a signed book," the mother said. "He likes Dean Koontz, but she's not going to buy him a book with a cover like that one." She pointed at Night Brothers.
So they picked up Razored Saddles which has a skeletal cowboy on the paperback front. "Fine, I thought. "Wait until you read '"Yore Skin's Jes Soft 'n Purdy," He Said.' Maybe that'll teach you not to judge a book by its cover."
I get back on point
But so anyway I was at a mall, and this guy ankles up to the card table I was sitting at.
"You shouldn't be writin' that stuff about our state."
Did I mention this was in Louisiana?
"Why not?" I asked.
"Makes us look bad. You ought to be writin' sumthin' historical or sumethin'."
"It's got some fairly carefully researched historical content," I said. "There are flashbacks."
"Yeah, but it'll make everybody think Louisiana's full of all this spooky shit."
If I was writing straight historical, I'd probably have to include voodoo, I thought but didn't go into it.
"Stuff like this, and Paul Harvey, I got a bone to pick with him too," the guy went on.
About then the staff ran him off, leaving me thinking: "It's not me, buddy. It's you."
By the way, for examples of just a few of the wonderful, enlightened people in Louisiana:
Check out the Louisiana Connection on Charles' blog.