Monday, September 3, 2007

Letters that arrive in my mailbox

I receive some interesting mail in my InBox. Aside from the endless stream of junk mail that seems to pour in every day, readers often offer comments, praise and helpful advice about my books and my Blog.

One reader responded to my laments about poor organization, by suggesting that I look into hiring an organization specialist. She explains that her office was also a disaster area. In desperation, she broke down and hired a specialist she found listed in the phone book. According to her, the expense was worth every penny. It's embarrassing to admit, but I didn't even know that such specialists existed. So, tomorrow I'm getting out my yellow pages to see what I can find in the Eugene, Oregon, area. I'll let you know what happens!

Another reader, who was traveling with her husband to San Francisco, wrote to ask me if she could buy a copy of THE CLIFF HOUSE STRANGLER in the Cliff House Gift Shop. The answer is yes. The manager and clerks who run the gift shop, have been more than gracious about stocking the book.

One reader asked me if I hadn't exaggerated the prejudice Sarah is subjected to in the series. Actually, I've downplayed it, in some cases considerably. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to find a book titled, WOMEN LAWYERS AND THE ORIGINS OF PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY IN AMERICA: The Letters of the Equity Club, 1887 to 1890. This volume covers the many letters written by early women attorneys throughout the country, detailing their experiences practicing -- and in most cases NOT practicing -- the law after they'd passed their State Bar Exams. Believe me, if I'd strictly adhered to these predominantly discouraging stories, Sarah would have faced a great deal more prejudice than I've portrayed! In fact, my editor strongly suggested that I tone down some of the prejudice against my heroine in my first mystery, MURDER ON NOB HILL. Being new to St. Martin's Press, I thought it best not to argue. That's why I found it so funny to be accused of exaggerating the situation!

Then there's my neice who wrote me from New Hampshire saying that if Pierce Godfrey (a character from THE RUSSIAN HILL MURDERS) didn't come back into Sarah's life she'd never speak to me again! Relax, Melody, Pierce will be visiting Sarah again in book four in the series, TERROR ON RINCON HILL.