This is my second Newsletter for August, so we’ll call this August Newsletter II.
As I said in my August Newsletter I, I finished my latest novel, The Quest, which will be published September 17, by Center Street. While I was writing day and night, I didn’t have time to look at my website email, but my assistant just printed out my emails going back to March and put them on my desk. Holy mackerel! There are over a thousand letters! I finally finished reading them all and I want to thank everyone (well, almost everyone) who wrote.
Many of those letter writers felt compelled to correct three factual errors I made in The Panther:
1) Dover Air Force Base is in Delaware, not Maryland.
2) Silver Spring, Maryland is not Silver Springs.
3) Ben’s Kosher Deli (or any kosher deli) would not serve cream cheese, or any dairy product, if they also serve meat.
I’ve been getting letters correcting these errors since The Panther was published in October, 2012, and I’m up to about five hundred letters by now. So I get it. Really. But thanks for letting me know.
I can blame the copy editor for the first two errors, but I’ll take the rap. As for the kosher deli mistake, I’ve eaten in enough kosher establishments to have known this, but I was hungry for a bagel and cream cheese when I wrote that scene, so that might explain my mental lapse.
I’ve corrected these three factual errors in the trade paperback edition of The Panther which was published on August 6. Buy a copy and see the corrections.
Other corrections had to do with grammar, but in every case the grammar referred to was in dialogue. My characters are not all Harvard grads, and they speak the way most people speak, which is not always grammatical. I assure you, the author knows the difference between who and whom, but my characters sometimes do not.
In any case, I want to thank everyone who wrote, not only about The Panther, but also about my other books. Many of the letters were quite moving, especially the ones about Word of Honor and Up Country, my two Vietnam novels, and also about Night Fall which deals with the TWA 800 crash. I wish I could reply to everyone individually but that’s not possible, so please accept this Newsletter as a reply and as a thank you for taking the time to write.
Just to remind everyone, the first two chapters of The Quest are available by clicking here, and I’d like to hear from you after you’ve read them. The story begins with a Catholic priest from Silver Spring, Maryland, recently arrived from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, sitting in his prison cell eating a bagel with nothing on it. There is a knock on his cell door and he asks, “Whom is there?” Or should he have said, “Who is there?” Read The Quest and email me your comments and corrections for the paperback edition.
Enjoy the waning days of summer.
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