Reader (over)Reaction

Just as my husband about Tomie de Paola.

I wasn’t going to write a post for today. I’m facing a deadline. I almost said a ferocious deadline.

It isn’t the word count.

It isn’t the topic.

It is the fact that it is hi-lo which is always wicked hard for me.

But then I posted this graphic about how relaxing reading is on my Facebook Author Page. Not surprisingly, readers had a lot to say.

Writers take it for granted that creating a plot with rising tension means tormenting your characters. But when readers love a character? It can really make them mad. Especially if a character they love doesn’t survive the story.

When my son was tiny, we read thousands of picture books. This was a nightly ritual and he would sit between his Dad and I.

I’m not sure how it happened but for about a week a character died in every other picture book we read. Sometimes it was a human. Sometimes it was a pet. I still remember my husband saying, “Damn you, Tomie DePaola!” What book was it? I don’t even remember.

But after that if the book cover had an old person or a pet, we flipped to the end of the book. Yep. Everyone made it. We can check this one out.

And every once in a while, when we are reading, I’ll hear him mutter. “Damn you, Tomie de Paola.” And I’ll know that is has happened again.