Author Topic: Weird reader questions?  (Read 1035 times)  

Offline RH Tucker

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Weird reader questions?
« on: June 25, 2018, 07:39:05 pm »
Hey all,

I've heard from other authors through interviews and podcasts that sometimes readers will email them asking obscure questions. Like, about someone's shoes or ... I don't know, just random stuff, right?

So, I had a reader message me through FB, asking about what a few of my character would be studying when they went to college. They also asked the hair color and eye color of a character from a free short I offer mailing list subscribers. Okay, seemed simple and innocent enough.

I answered the questions and they replied, thanking me. But then they asked me for my MC eye color from my second book. I do realize I didn't put it in the book, but just the specificity of it, it's given me pause.

Do you think this could possibly be someone who is going to try and copy my books or something and they want more details? I don't want to sound paranoid, but it just threw me off, when they asked for eye color of a second character. I don't know... am I reading too much into it? Do people who try to scam authors and steal their work make contact before?

Now I feel kind of weird and dumb for even thinking this, but it just became a head-scratcher for me.

Thoughts?

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    Offline Lark Watson

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    Re: Weird reader questions?
    « Reply #1 on: June 25, 2018, 08:07:19 pm »
    I think details that small they'd just put in if they were stealing your stuff.

    The normal case scenario is they're just really visual and wanted to know - best case is they love your stuff and they're making fan art for you ;)

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    Offline RH Tucker

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    Re: Weird reader questions?
    « Reply #2 on: June 25, 2018, 09:12:39 pm »
    I've had readers ask me what my characters ate for dinner. Considering how much drama I was dishing up at the meal, what the characters ate seemed pretty unimportant. But some people want to know.

    Yeah, makes sense.


    I think details that small they'd just put in if they were stealing your stuff.

    The normal case scenario is they're just really visual and wanted to know - best case is they love your stuff and they're making fan art for you ;)

    That'd be awesome  ;D

    Offline KelliWolfe

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    Re: Weird reader questions?
    « Reply #3 on: June 25, 2018, 09:23:18 pm »
    Just be glad you don't write erotica or erotic romance.  :o

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    Offline 101569

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    Re: Weird reader questions?
    « Reply #4 on: June 26, 2018, 05:56:11 am »
    Just be glad you don't write erotica or erotic romance.  :o

    LOL!!!!!!

    Offline Escapee

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    Re: Weird reader questions?
    « Reply #5 on: June 26, 2018, 06:00:03 am »
    It could be a hint to describe your characters in more detail. I tend to imagine the characters as crash test dummies when there's very little description  ;D

    Offline Talbot

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    Re: Weird reader questions?
    « Reply #6 on: June 26, 2018, 06:26:20 am »
    Yep, fanfic or fan art. Lucky!

    Offline Joseph Malik

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    Re: Weird reader questions?
    « Reply #7 on: June 26, 2018, 06:35:16 am »
    I have readers who ask me where the magic portal is, others who guess on their own, and some who insist on sending me pictures of their swords  and armor asking to come with me next time I go.

    One asked what "branch of Special Forces" I was in (I wasn't SF, though I was in a quiet, weird corner of SOCOM) that gets to go to other dimensions, and can he go straight in if he joins the Army, or is there a "special government army" that does this. I nearly told him to talk to a recruiter and ask for the special government army.

    This is offset, though, by the female fans. Recent market research shows that my biggest readership is younger women into cosplay/LARP/RPGs, which likely explains why I get such nice messages and some lovely selfies. Totally worth the weird from the male readers.

    When fans reach out to you, you're blessed. I wouldn't worry about it. Revel in it.

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    Offline Saboth

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    Re: Weird reader questions?
    « Reply #8 on: June 26, 2018, 06:36:33 am »
    Pretty sure they are building life-size mannequins of each character in order to recreate the story in real life in their basement.

    Offline Joseph Malik

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    Re: Weird reader questions?
    « Reply #9 on: June 26, 2018, 06:46:46 am »
    Pretty sure they are building life-size mannequins of each character in order to recreate the story in real life in their basement.

    That is awesome.

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    Offline Used To Be BH

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    Re: Weird reader questions?
    « Reply #10 on: June 26, 2018, 10:01:49 am »
    Yeah, it's probably just normal fan stuff. Fanfic/art/cosplay is entirely possible, or some people just like knowing details because it helps them visualize the story better and make it more real in their mind.

    I always know the eye/hair color of characters, but if someone asked me what someone was wearing, most of the time I'd be like, "Clothes? Normal clothes?"
    The descriptive detail in books often varies according to the author's background, though of course any of us could do research to fill in blanks where our experience failed us. I've noticed, for example, that writers with military background are much more specific about weapons, people who like to garden are more specific about plants, etc.

    I find that if I write when I'm hungry, I spend too much time describing the food...
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    Offline RH Tucker

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    Re: Weird reader questions?
    « Reply #11 on: June 26, 2018, 12:15:01 pm »
    Just be glad you don't write erotica or erotic romance.  :o

    HA HA HA!!   :)

    Pretty sure they are building life-size mannequins of each character in order to recreate the story in real life in their basement.

     :o :o :o

    Yeah, it's probably just normal fan stuff. Fanfic/art/cosplay is entirely possible, or some people just like knowing details because it helps them visualize the story better and make it more real in their mind.

    I always know the eye/hair color of characters, but if someone asked me what someone was wearing, most of the time I'd be like, "Clothes? Normal clothes?"

    Right?! LoL


    Let me tell you, it is awesome.

    Here's some fan art I got for my Terminator/Snow White steampunk mashup:


    And one from my YA web serial:


    SO COOOL!!! That's awesome!!


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    Re: Weird reader questions?
    « Reply #12 on: June 26, 2018, 12:37:01 pm »
    Wow Mark!!! That's amazing!!! Very cool!!!

    Offline VirginiaMcClain

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    Re: Weird reader questions?
    « Reply #13 on: June 26, 2018, 01:14:31 pm »
    Most likely FanArt, which is awesome!

    I once had a fan reach out to me to show me the hand-bound, printed on his school printer (he took the webserial version of the book, removed the code from it, and then re-did the formatting himself), cover done by hand, copy of my first book that he was "making" for his girlfriend for their anniversary before she shipped overseas (apparently he couldn't afford the real thing).

    I had a very brief moment of wondering if he was violating my copyright before I shook myself out of that silly thought and replied telling him how sweet that was and asking for her address so I could send her a signed copy of the book. (I sent them both signed copies.) He sent me pictures of how he did it all too. It must have been incredibly time-intensive.

    Still one of my favorite pieces of fan mail, really.
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    Offline RH Tucker

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    Re: Weird reader questions?
    « Reply #14 on: June 26, 2018, 01:26:12 pm »
    Most likely FanArt, which is awesome!

    I once had a fan reach out to me to show me the hand-bound, printed on his school printer (he took the webserial version of the book, removed the code from it, and then re-did the formatting himself), cover done by hand, copy of my first book that he was "making" for his girlfriend for their anniversary before she shipped overseas (apparently he couldn't afford the real thing).

    I had a very brief moment of wondering if he was violating my copyright before I shook myself out of that silly thought and replied telling him how sweet that was and asking for her address so I could send her a signed copy of the book. (I sent them both signed copies.) He sent me pictures of how he did it all too. It must have been incredibly time-intensive.

    Still one of my favorite pieces of fan mail, really.

    Aw, that's amazing!  :D

    Offline Rosie Scott

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    Re: Weird reader questions?
    « Reply #15 on: June 26, 2018, 03:01:31 pm »
    Do you think this could possibly be someone who is going to try and copy my books or something and they want more details? I don't want to sound paranoid, but it just threw me off, when they asked for eye color of a second character. I don't know... am I reading too much into it? Do people who try to scam authors and steal their work make contact before?

    I may just be looking on the positive side, but it's possible they're drawing fan art and want it to be accurate. I've gotten questions like these before from fans who later send me art to put up on my website. I'm pretty descriptive in my writing so these things could be found in my books as well, but perhaps they like asking me for it instead. Haha. If you talk with this person again, maybe you could tell them that you'd put up fan art on your website if they wanted to? Then you could get an answer whether that was it or not.

    If they wanted to steal your work, I don't know that they'd go to this much trouble to get details concerning eye color correct. Then again, what do I know? I don't steal work, so maybe I'm behind the times. I think it's more likely that they're just a really big fan of yours.  :)

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    Offline Joseph Malik

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    Re: Weird reader questions?
    « Reply #16 on: June 26, 2018, 04:12:19 pm »

    Thanks for the tip, Joe.  *heads for the recruiter's office*   8)


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    Offline 101569

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    Re: Weird reader questions?
    « Reply #17 on: June 26, 2018, 05:41:47 pm »


    Gotta say the zombie pack really needs armguards!

    Offline Pandorra

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    Re: Weird reader questions?
    « Reply #18 on: June 26, 2018, 07:07:36 pm »

    Gotta say the zombie pack really needs armguards!

    And turn 30 pd ruck into 50 pds ...  :o

    Awesome stories and art guys!!!

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