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Dear Residents of Shine, Canada

Dear Residents of Shine, Canada

Tonight I was chatting with the ever-brilliant Dr. W about how numerous and how loyal my fans are. By all estimations, I believe I have about 300 folks who buy my books. Who are they, my friend asked. I had to reply, I don’t know. I don’t know how old they are, what gender, what race, what geographical distribution, or what other books they like. This is a real problem for a new writer. If you can’t describe your typical reader, then you don’t know who to reach with your message. My books cross genres, so I advertise them as thrillers in hopes reaching horror, fantasy, and mainstream audiences.

My friend suggested I was going about this all wrong. Probably, I admitted. I have never had a stranger come up to me at a convention and announce him/herself as a fan. He said it was all in the geography. He said there is a small town of 300 people, probably a former mining town in Canada, who are in fact all my readers. It’s called Shine, after the gold they used to find there. I can’t find them because they are hidden away. If I were to go onto Google Street View, I would see they have erected a monument in my honor. They have breakfast specials in their diner named after me. They would invite me to the dedication of the statue but they can’t find my address.

I considered his suggestion. There are small but avid fan groups in Canada that have impressed me with their furor. Phantompolooza comes to mind (fans of the 1974 Brian DePalma film The Phantom of the Paradise, which I adore). For many years running, a couple hundred fans would gather to celebrate this decades old mash up of Faust, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and the Phantom of the Opera, complete with GOHs from the film. Maybe the Canada theory wasn’t so far fetched.

More to the point, 300 fans may seem like a pretty pathetic base when you compare it to the six plus billion people on Earth. But 300 people would be in fact an impressive crowd if I got them all in the same place. How wonderful it would be to get them all in their town hall to discuss my work for hours on end. I could answer all their questions and I could bask in all their accolades.

Wait a minute. I already have that. It’s called the Internet. With email and social media, I can talk to all my readers. If they have questions, they can ask me directly. I can’t see them face to face, so I can’t always tell their demographics. So I have to do some homework to know who I should be reaching out to for new readers. Lots of folks would love to move to Shine, and the business of being a writer is learn who those people are. But they are out there, waiting to hear from me.

So if you live in Shine, Canada, or would ever consider moving there, let me know your concerns, your questions, what you liked or hated about a book, who you think I write like or who you wish I wrote more like, or what you would like to see me do in future books. I promise I will keep you updated with my latest progress (I have four projects going at this point: Isis Rising, Mermaid Steel, Snow White and the Mirror’s Revenge, and a new book called Insane).

I thought I knew where the Shine, Canada Facebook page was, but it seems to have been disabled. Facebook has proved to be hugely unreliable for getting messages out to you. I fully expect no more than 10% of my friends will see this post. So please share it around. Therefore I am going to try a different approach. I am starting a newsletter. For that I need a mailing list. If you live in Shine, or would like to, please PM me an email address where I can send a monthly newsletter. I will always hold you dear as my original fan base, and I will show my appreciation with giveaways and extras that no one else will get.

We can’t really say I have visited you in Shine unless I hear from you once in a while. While I am trying new ways to reach you, I would really appreciate hearing from you. That statue still hasn’t seen its dedication day because no one has told me where your town is. I would love to come visit.

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