A friend of mine told me she’d read one of my books (which is, of course, always a delight to hear) and then she mentioned the unexpected pleasure she got from ‘working out which bits all those questions referred to.’ Because I have a habit of posting questions on Facebook when I’m not sure of something, such as a correct job title, or the year in which a particular innovation came into being, and she, being a Facebook friend as well as a real-world one, had been following my various yelps for assistance.
Someone else advised me, during the process of writing the last book, that I could also count my research as book promo, because ‘it gets people talking about the book.’ All good, as well, but it also makes me wonder how on earth I or anyone else managed to cope before we had the Web to bail us out of all those maddening temporary halts when we can’t proceed at all until we can find out the difference between the day time and night time Number Nine bus route or some such bit of trivia.
Having been roundly teased for over a decade about a classic cockup I made in a very early novel (getting confused between two different types of computer game console) I’m possibly a little oversensitive to the possibility of making little errors here and there, but I know how much it annoys me when someone else puts something in a book that’s just… wrong. And I do prefer asking my mates rather than Just Fucking Googling It, as you never quite know what you might be getting with a Google, given the number of pranksters online. (Bernard Matthews did NOT play the saxophone solo on Baker Street and giant green lizards do NOT rule the world and Prince Philip isn’t one.)
(pic from newsbiscuit.com)
Mind you, given the number of pranksters among my friends, perhaps I should tread more carefully when asking them, as well. Catch you later, everyone, I’ve got to rush off and fact check something about Morris dancers…