by Mike Markel
In my life as a college teacher (yes, I’m not ashamed to admit that I don’t earn enough from writing detective novels to just write detective novels) we have this thing called course evaluations. You remember them: before grades are entered, students evaluate their courses and instructors.
Occasionally I get a bad review from the poor student. I understand the psychology at work: if a student is doing poorly in a course and is likely to get a D or an F, it’s unlikely he or she is going to say, “Well, I was a poor student. I didn’t study, didn’t come to class, didn’t write the papers. But I realize that the instructor seemed prepared, seemed to know what he was talking about, seemed to be fair in grading the papers. I can see now that it wasn’t on him. It was all on me.” No, I don’t expect that kind of insight. A sinking student is not going down alone.
Which brings me to book reviews. All in all, my two detective books have gotten very positive reviews. (You’re thinking, “Oh, my God, he isn’t going to criticize his readers, is he? He can’t be that stupid, can he?” My answers: “yes” and “apparently.”) Continue reading “What Does a Reader Owe a Writer?”