Before you email

I am still trying to answer most of nuraddin's emails but I admit my percentages are dropping. Especially since I started the blog. The blog is the toothiest, most enormous time-eater the universe has thus far invented. I'm still trying to answer (most) comments there too and if you have an actual question that can be briefly answered your chances of getting an answer are maybe slightly better there. But don't count on it. However, permit me to say, if perhaps a trifle sheepishly, that I love mail that merely tells me how much readers like my books, and it makes my day, whether I answer it or not. The stupid reason I don't always answer at least with 'thank you' is because 'thank you' sounds so feeble. I always mean to take five minutes and add a few individual words to my answer, but at the end of every day there's a queue of five minuteses not yet taken stretching around the block . . . not to mention the hourses and the half dayses not taken, and the three months not taken at one of those writers' colonies where you have a room with a bed, bathroom, desk, and internet connection, and they bring you your meals on a tray and you don't have to do ANYTHING but bang on your laptop. Unfortunately I don't know any writers' colonies that allow hellhounds. And Peter would be failing to stay at his desk and taking over the kitchens instead, and probably getting us both banned for life.

There are also permanent gremlins on the phone lines of my little real-life cul de sac, so there's always the possibility I never saw a given email. And I already know the blog eats comments occasionally because I've written ones that never appear.

If you have a question I've seen a lot, I may post it (anonymously) either here or the blog and answer it publicly. If I put it on the blog, I'll try to remember to email you I have done so . . . but don't count on that either. The days are (still) only twenty four hours long and I don't have staff, there's only me. I have barely managed to teach hellhounds to raise their front feet (serially) to have their harnesses put on. I think teaching them any secretarial functions, however basic, is doomed to failure.

Please send your email as plain text if you can, and do not send attachments. My computer and various security software deletes most dubious stuff without my ever knowing it was there—with I'm afraid a certain amount of perfectly genuine stuff, too—but anything that gets through and has any funny formatting or anything else that pops up with a warning label, I delete without opening. A lot of simple basic design—letterheads and so on, or icons or any fancy bits in your signature line—fall in this category. I open nothing but plainest plain plainness from someone I don't know.

STOP RIGHT THERE

WILL YOU PLEASE READ WHAT YOU'VE JUST WHIZZED THROUGH LOOKING FOR THE 'SEND EMAIL' BUTTON??

THIS MEANS YOU.

I'm still getting about one email in ten with some kind of graphics or some kind of attachment—and this doesn't even reckon the ones my computer deletes without my knowing they existed—which I WILL NOT OPEN for all the obvious security reasons. I am also still getting, again about one in ten, emails from people who obviously haven't made even the most cursory scan of the FAQ, let alone browsed the rest of the site. PLEASE LOOK AT THE FAQ BEFORE YOU EMAIL ME YOUR QUESTIONS.

If you have read the FAQ and the email instructions and looked through the blog tags and cannot find the answer to your question, then fire away. And who knows, I may answer.

You will find my current address on the Contact page.