Posts Tagged ‘reader mail’

SATs and US


January 21st, 2022 Posted 8:08 am

Recently we got an email from a puzzled reader not knowing what the following exchange from Tender Is The Bite (between Bernie and a school janitor) was about. A few pages earlier, when he and Chet crossed the state line, Bernie seemed to be musing about the differences between the two states. And so now:

Hector came back outside. “She runs a little place outside of town.” He handed Bernie a scrap of paper. “One other thing. That possible cop fellow? Might have been a redhead. Hard to tell with the cap and all.”

            “You’re an excellent observer,” Bernie said.

            Hector shrugged. “Had nothing else to do for a spell. Eighteen years, seven months, eight days, to put it in numbers. Took the time to educate myself a little bit.”

            Bernie’s eyes got bright. “Then maybe you can help me,” he said. He cleared his throat. “Arizona is to New Mexico as … “

            “Donald Duck is to Daffy Duck,” Hector said, without the slightest pause. He went inside and got back to mopping the floor.

I wrote back saying remember those SAT analogies? Music : Love :: and then would come 5 choices like River : Thirst and Rice : Take-out … etc. But no! The SAT had no meaning for her. She was Australian! Something else I now need to factor into my work. And now I find out the analogies are no longer part of the test. I remember kind of liking them – wacky fun, a bit like Jeopardy.


Psychopomp (More)


December 8th, 2020 Posted 7:40 am

Yesterday’s psychopomp post was prompted by this email that came in the day before. I’ve redacted a name, but it’s otherwise unchanged.

When the pandemic was declared and we Montrealers went into lockdown, I became my friend [redacted]’s carer. She was 87 years old and her children all live in other cities, so I began to do her grocery shopping and laundry. I also supplied her with books, for she was a keen reader and the library had suspended its delivery services. I introduced her to the Chet and Bernie books, which she adored. One thing that always moved her was the great love that Chet feels for Bernie. I took the opportunity to reread the entire series, and it was wonderful to escape the current dire situation and plunge into the enchanting, hilarious, exciting and heart-warming world you have created. I recently bought Heart of Barkness to give her, as it was the next in the series for her and she was on tenterhooks to find out how Bernie recovers from the injuries he suffers at the end of the previous book. Unfortunately, she suffered a fall and was hospitalized and I was not able to give it to her (the hospital would not have let me visit). I planned to entrust it to one of her children to give to her, but fate decided otherwise. [Redacted] died two days ago. I just wanted you to know how much delight you gave my friend in her last months.


A Tough Guy


October 21st, 2020 Posted 8:26 am

Yesterday over on the FB page we got this:

“My little three- legged Jack Russell mix grabbed a man by the pant leg the other morning. It was dark and I’m sure he thought the guy was a perp. My husband and I are so proud of him and laughed for days.”


Posted in Chet The Dog

Reader Mail


September 22nd, 2020 Posted 9:09 am

Here’s a very recent email:

“Love this series. Just starting Heart of Barkness. As a dog lover/guardian I wanted to express my hope that the series won’t end with Chet’s death. Please let them retire somewhere after a successful investment payout. I would be heartbroken if Chet dies and could never reread the series. Anyone who has ever loved and lost a dog would surely agree. Here’s hoping!”

We get similar messages quite often. How can a writer answer without giving too much away and thus undermining his own suspense? I’ll take a swing at it:

  1. I don’t mind eliciting tears from the reader, but I won’t do it in cheap and easy ways.
  2. Chet is the narrator and sole voice of an ongoing series I love writing.
  3. I myself have no intention of retiring.

Tags: ,
Posted in Chet The Dog

The Books

powered by wordpress | site by michael baker digital