Why I love e-books

I got fan mail this morning.

Fan mail, in case you don't already know this, is one of the best things about being an author. Praise from people you know is always nice and a good review always puts a big smile on my face, but for someone to take the time to write you––right out of the blue––for no other reason than to tell you that she loves your books and when will the next one be out...well, wow. Does it get any better than that?

But, I digress...

There's a reason why this post is titled 'why I love e-books' rather than 'why I love fan mail' after all. The letter this morning (okay, it was an email post) came from a woman in Norway (where, as my daughter very helpfully pointed out, they speak another language––lol!). If it weren't for ebooks, this woman would never have found my books.

In fact, if it weren't for e-publishing and the internet I wouldn't have readers in Australia or Singapore either, not to mention my favorite reviewer in London!

I really don't understand why more people aren't enthusiastic about ebooks. You can buy them almost instantaneously, from the comfort of your home--or anwhere else you happen to be. They take up no space at all AND if you happen to lose them all due to a computer crash, many publishers will replace them for you––try that with a print publisher! You can load who-knows-how-many of them onto an ebook reader (ebookwise has a nice one) and carry around ONE paperback-sized reader instead of a small library. And a lot of e-book stores and sites routinely offer GREAT deals, like Fictionwise's 15% off for all newly released books or ebooklove's buy-two-get-one-free special.

Even without the deals, new ebooks are cheaper to buy than new print books (especially big ol' books like mine) which means you can afford to buy even MORE books. And the technology is getting better and more readily accessible all the time. Last week, the New York Times even published an article about the possibility of e-paper subscriptions becoming available later this year! Yes, daily newspapers that you can read on a flexible, foldable, re-usable reader.

Where's the bad, unless you're looking for something to line a birdcage? Besides, think of all the trees we'll save (just printing book eight alone would be enough to deforest a small state)

Sure, ebooks have taken a lot longer to hit the mainstream than many of us thought (or hoped) would be the case. I know a lot of people who are still waiting for my books to make it into print before they read them. Certainly I would have sold more books by now if they were readily available in brick-and-mortar bookstores and I would have made more money if I had a NY publisher handing out big advances, too. But could you buy them in Norway or Singapore? I doubt it. Which means I would never have received the lovely note this morning that totally made my day.

So, now, in honor of my new friend, here's a brief excerpt from And Shadows have Their Ending (aka Oberon: Book 9) which will be available soon.

This is the second scene in the book. To read what comes before check out the excerpt on my website: oberoncalifornia.us

Deirdre pushed blindly through the crowd with no clear idea where she was headed, just wanting to put as much distance between Seth and herself as she could. She knew they’d run into each other sometime. With so much unfinished business between them, how could they not? But she hadn’t been expecting it today, and she definitely hadn’t been expecting something like this.

What had happened to him? The Seth she remembered would never have acted like that. But, they’d known each other for so short a time, maybe she was stupid for having any expectations, for trusting in her memory or her heart. For thinking she knew him.

Her stomach roiled. She felt sick. Hurt. Angry. Confused. Betrayed. And vaguely disgusted by the detached, journalistic part of her mind that continued to observe her reactions, to catalogue her feelings, and which now, apparently, had decided that lonely was a good addition to the list of words by which she might be described.

A sob nearly broke from her throat then, and the tears she would not shed threatened to overwhelm her; tears born of anger and outrage, much more than sadness. So what if she was lonely? She had known when she’d left for Oberon three weeks ago, right after her high school graduation, that she’d be on her own for a while. It had been her choice.

Her friends had declared the gap between high school and college a ten-week-long party, but Deirdre hadn’t been interested in partying. Some inner voice had been whispering to her for some time, warning that she was running out of time; that she needed to start living now. Right now. Today.

Her parents may have been dismayed, initially, by her decision, but they’d recovered quick enough. And then, perhaps feeling that someone in the family should be taking the summer after graduation off, perhaps intent on re-living one of the pivotal events of their own youth, they’d gone to Europe in her stead.

In general, Deirdre didn’t mind being on her own. A lot of the time she actually preferred it. But there were other times, times like now, when she really wouldn’t mind seeing a friendly face.

"Whoops. Careful, now," a voice boomed out, right in front of her, just as she barreled into someone she would have sworn had not been there a moment before. "It doesn’t always hurt to look where you’re going, you know."

Startled, Deirdre looked up into a familiar face––a familiar, friendly face. "Rafe?"

Two years ago, when she’d run away to Oberon, she’d been befriended by a group of surfers who were camping out near the beach––Rafe among them. They took her in, fed her, gave her a place to stay. She never got the chance to thank them, or even say good-bye. As the memories crowded back, Deirdre surprised herself by throwing her arms around Rafe’s neck and hugging him fiercely. The loneliness, the sadness and much of the confusion she’d been feeling receded.

Rafe chuckled softly. "Hey, there, Dee. It’s good to see you, too."

She pulled back to look at him. "What are you doing here?" From his sandaled feet to the gold-and-copper curls on his head, he looked just as she remembered. Even his outfit, surfer shorts and a Hawaiian shirt, was reassuringly familiar. "Where are the others?" She glanced around, half-expecting that Ana and Gabby and the rest of the crew would materialize from out of the crowd.

"Oh, they’re all busy elsewhere." Rafe lowered his voice conspiratorially. "I’m flying solo this mission."

Mission? Deirdre eyed him curiously. "So, you don’t live here now?"

"Heavens, no." He appeared vaguely scandalized by the thought. "No fixed abode for me. I’m just visiting." He cocked his head to the side, eyes twinkling as he added, "Same as you, hmm?"

Deirdre shook her head. "No, actually, I moved down here a couple of weeks ago. I’m over in Abraxas."

Rafe’s smile held a hint of challenge. "Yeah? Think that’ll last?"

"I hope so." Deirdre stared at him in dismay as doubts assailed her. "I-I think so." All her life had been leading her here. For as far back as she could remember, she’d dreamed of moving to Oberon, of following in her birth mother’s footsteps.

But had that been her dream, or Paige’s dream for her? She was no longer certain.

She’d been learning a lot about her mother lately, and there were a few steps along Paige’s path she’d just as soon skip. Giving birth to a child she couldn’t raise was one such step. Being murdered was another.

But they weren’t the only ones.

She now knew that a big part of the reason Paige had stayed in Oberon was because she was in love with a man who didn’t love her back, who’d broken her heart. Seth’s father, in fact. Bile rose in her throat as she remembered Seth’s sneer, the coldness in his eyes. Could two years really make that much of a difference? Wasn’t it more likely she’d been wrong about him from the start? Just as Paige had been wrong about Dan.

It wasn’t too late to learn from her mother’s mistakes; to avoid repeating Paige’s pattern of wasting her life and her love on some man who couldn’t care less. Seth Cavanaugh could go to hell.

"Careful what you wish for," Rafe murmured. He smiled at her sadly. "Don’t be so quick to judge, Dee. Remember, things aren’t always what they seem at first glance. Most people aren’t bad, you know. They’re just lost."

Deirdre shrugged. "Maybe." Not that it mattered. If Seth was lost, he could damn well stay that way. And all the dreams she’d had for the two of them, her visions of the future they might someday share, could damn well die. How many times in the past had she cried over Seth, or wished for the power to magically transport herself back here, just so she could be with him? So many, she’d lost count. Even once was too much.

Rafe sighed. "Don’t look so sad. Keep the faith. Eventually, you know, things do work out according to plan."

Not for me they don’t. Deirdre shook her head. Never the way I want them to. "I don’t have a plan." Not anymore.

Rafe smiled. "Well, that’s the beauty of it all, isn’t it? You don’t need one. The plan has you."
©PG Forte 2006, All Rights Reserved.

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1 comment:

PG Forte said...

Oh, you're so sweet to say that. Thank you!

And, ah-ha! That explains why the Walk the blog server was acting all funky. I'll have to go in and change the link. Thanks!