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July 30th, 2005

The Old Buzzard Had It Coming has been out for close to a month, now, and thus far, things are moving right along nicely. The reviews have been positive, at least the ones I’ve seen. I’ve posted most of them on both the “Books” page and on the “Press Kit” page, and I add new ones when I find them. I keep waiting for the bad one, which is surely inevitable, since there isn’t a book on earth that everybody likes. So far, so good, though — unless none of my friends and relatives have had the courage to forward the stinkers to me yet.

I’m beginning to hear comments from readers, a couple of which have been so lovely they have moved me to tears. I appreciate the comments, good and not so good. It’s the criticism that helps you improve, and it’s the praise that keeps you going.

I’ve been busilly setting up events and signings and trying to get some media notice. This has been the hardest part for me, thus far, since the learning curve is so steep. Knowing the best person to contact is dificult. Fortunately, I’ve had a lot of help from the press (Nan and Marilyn, Barbara and Rob, Monty and Jen), and other authors have been most generous, notably Betty Webb, Carolyn Hart, and Tony Hillerman. If any of you guys need an organ that I can do without, give me a call — just not all at once, please. The libraries and bookstores here in the Phoenix area have really stepped up, as well, and all my wonderful friends … no, no, I can’t start listing them all, there are too many. At least I have material for acknowledgments for the next 10 books.

Long ago, when I was head of a rather specialized collection in a university library, one of my staff complained that many of our users had no idea how to find the materials they wanted. “Why, they don’t even know the SuDocs system,” she said.
“Kid,” I replied, “what normal person knows the SuDocs system? You’ve got to teach them. People aren’t born knowing this stuff.”

And now, all these years later, I take comfort in my own advice.

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