At the end of May this year, I responded to a suspect question via e-mail as if it were legitimate instead of snarky: A potential reader called into question a synopsis of my novel, and asked how a plot point could be possible, given the circumstances.
Well, read the book, was my first thought, but — to be fair — that particular part of the story is actually central to the second book, so it’s not broadly explained in the current novel.*
On the other hand, there was a distinct tang of antagonism to the question, and it made me not want to respond at all.
However, giving the inquirer the benefit of the doubt, I answered honestly and unemotionally.
I won’t reveal either the question or the answer, because they don’t really matter. The problem was the attitude underlying the question, and with the confrontational way in which the question was posed.
One would think that — with all this proliferation of faceless, voiceless communication that has the potential to inspire online disputes and conflagrations over even the pettiest of misunderstandings or disagreements — folks would take care with their words so their intentions are not misconstrued.
Or perhaps, sporting a nifty avatar, they think themselves immune or powerful. As a friend says, “People are brave behind that perception of anonymity.”
* The Lost Sword duology consists of Dragon’s Rook (January 2015) and Dragon’s Bane (coming in 2016).