Janice Bane cranked it up.  Neil Diamond.  The Solitary Man.  Anybody who had a problem with that could go fuck themselves.

“I’ve had it to here, being where love’s a small word.”  Janice gripped the steering wheel and belted out the lyrics. “Part time thing.” She hit the gas and passed the Range Rover. “Paper ring.”   L.A. traffic was getting to be unbearable.

“I know it’s been done having one girl who loves you.”  She swerved around a man puttering along on a powder blue Vespa Scooter.   “Right or wrong.”   HONKKKK.  What kind of man would chose to drive a Vespa?  “Weak or strong.”

She picked up some speed on the straightaway.

Last week I got my first true hate letter.It was anonymous and opened with: “You are a self-involved ass fuck.”The writer loathed my new book Point Dume.Hated my characters.Mocked my writing and intelligence.Despised me, really despised me. It was bad.Of course I know that one shouldn’t take these kinds of attacks seriously—this person is clearly deranged.But I found it very hard to ignore the enormity of his/her venomous rage.

Here’s the truth: if your characters engage in any type of sexual activity, if they even have a vaguely sexual thought, your readers are going to think it all comes directly from your own personal experience.  And there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

When I finished my new novel POINT DUME I asked all my characters to collect their things and head to the guest quarters in the back of my mind where they’d be living for the rest of their lives.There isn’t room for them in the main house anymore.Luckily, my people were very cooperative.We hugged and kissed and said our goodbyes.I won’t lie, there were tears but I’d warned them, right from the start, that our time together was limited.They knew that once I told their story they would have to move out to make room for my next group.