- Why is the writer of detective fiction put under such pressure to deal out just desserts to wrongdoers? The truth is that for many of us fiction is in some sense real and that what happens to fictional people is, in a curious way, happening in the real world.
I'm not sure how much notice writers normally take of their critics and readers, but certainly McCall Smith has made himself available and approachable in a number of ways. In the case of both 44 SCOTLAND STREET and CORDUROY MANSIONS, both published as serials in daily newspapers, he made a point of suggesting that readers could give him feedback and suggestions about characters and plot points.
Do you know of other authors who welcome this sort of reader participation?
I read a comment by an author recently when he said that a negative review had "scarred him for life".
Would you be game to tell an author face to face what he or she had got wrong? At a book signing?