When Life Imitates Art…or Vice Versa

I received an email out of the blue yesterday titled quite simply ‘Thank you.’  The return email address didn’t appear to be from a Nigerian asking me to transfer vast sums of money into my bank account or an  advert for Viagra, Nude Live Girl photos, or ‘great replica watches,’ so I opened it instead of consigning it to Spam or the trash bucket.  I am so glad I did because the ensuing correspondence made my day.

“Dear Dana.  Thank you for making me famous in your new novel.”



I scanned down and read his email signature, which included his last name.  I am withholding the last name here for the time being, but if you’ve read Murder for Hire and remember the character of Grant, Connie’s boyfriend, you’ll know what it is.  Or you can refer to the book quickly and do your own Google search.

I can’t tell you precisely what else was said in the correspondence for fear of giving away some relatively important plot and character points if you haven’t read the book, but the gist of it is that my character’s inadvertent namesake is a college professor and one of his ex-students read my book, noted the character name and contacted Grant, telling him about my book and that my character reminded her of him (her professor). I did a Google search and found out that this real life Grant rates very high on his students’ ‘hot’ scale.  Five out of five, in fact.  My Grant would be pleased.

I am sending Prof.  Grant a copy of MFH so he can see for himself whether or not her comparison is flattering.  His sense of humor appears to be up for it, at least if his emails are any indication.  We shall see.

My only regret is his ex-student contacted him anonymously because I really would love to talk to her about both her reaction to this specific character and to find out what, exactly, about her ex-professor is reminiscent of him.  The character in my book is based on several ex-boyfriends and an annoying actor I worked with.  Enquiring minds really want to know here!  And I’d also just to love to know who all is reading my book out there.  I’m still a geek about the whole ‘people reading my book’ thing, y’know.