“Reply to Reader Comments”

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I’ve received some feedback suggesting that a few readers of my book found some of the dialogue “unrealistic” or “unbelievable.” In attempting to understand why, I got suggestions that

(1) those readers are well under the age of 40, whereas nearly all of my characters are 40 or older;

(2) those readers have spent all (or nearly all) of their lives in the northeastern US, but my characters live in the Pacific northwest;

(3) I the author am older than most of my readers and I’ve lived the last twenty of my 75 years in Washington state; and/or

(4) I’ve also lived and worked in Japan (four years), China (seven months), and Thailand (two months) and traveled for shorter periods well outside the four-star hotels in Barbados, Brazil, Canada, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mexico, and the Philippines, which gives me a perspective that probably differs significantly from that of the typical US citizen. (Statistics can be misleading, but only a third of US citizens have passports, and most of our international travel is to Canada or Mexico. The fact that I’ve put in this much time in non-European countries may mark me as some kind of weirdo.)

So what if I am a weirdo? I have found that my atypical experiences — items (3) and (4) above — have given me a valuable perspective, and that is what I want to share with my readers. My hope is that it will help them be a little more tolerant, a little more understanding of people with different accents or skin color, and that is one reason I wrote the book. I hope that readers will find that valuable, precisely because it is sometimes discomforting.

So, if my prose stretches your vocabulary or your understanding or your credibility or even your faith, relax. That’s what it’s intended to do. Enjoy!

— George Lindamood

24 August 2013