It’s a simply gorgeous first day of summer here in Ohio, so Jodi and I went on a lunchtime walk to the grocery store. I didn’t realize Friday around 11:30AM was such a busy time at our local IGA. The store was packed, so of course we saw some people we know. We ran into a couple that I used to attend church with when I was growing up. It’s been so long since I’ve seen them that they were surprised to see me with a baby of my own. We chatted for a few seconds and then the lady, Malinda, knelt down to say hi to Jodi in her stroller—not to touch her or pinch her cheeks or even say boo, just to offer a friendly hello. Did my daughter respond with the sweet little “Hi!” she has recently learned to say? Um, no. She started screaming. Red-faced, tear-soaked SCREAMING like I have never heard before. You’d have thought Malinda yanked on Jodi’s overabundance of hair! Of course, Malinda felt awful for making Jodi scream, and I felt terrible that Jodi made Malinda feel bad for no apparent reason. We quickly exchanged apologies—midst the screaming—and I raced Jodi down the next aisle hoping to get her distracted. In seconds she was fine and back to her regularly scheduled happy day. Goodness, what a bad reaction! Future unexplainable behavior like that will require some discipline! :)
Do you ever hear from readers who have had bad reactions to your books? Usually readers send fan mail, but I occasionally see some that I’d consider “not-so-much-a-fan” mail. :) If the reader offers constructive criticism, I forward the mail on, but occasionally the comments seem just downright mean and uncalled for and get put in the trash. Very rarely does this happen, but it makes me wonder, do any of you authors ever get really bad responses to your books by email or blog/website comments? Do you ignore them or respond? If you do respond, how? Hopefully you don’t have many, but if you don’t mind sharing, post a comment and tell us (tactfully, of course) about a “not-so-much-a-fan” mail experience.