Sunday, April 21, 2013

Pull Up A Chair To Owen McKenna's Kitchen Table...

The single best thing about being an author is getting up in the morning and reading fan mail. People write to say what they liked about my books. And occasionally they point out glitches and mistakes and other things I've overlooked!
A couple of days ago, I got a really fun email from a reader named Debbie. In addition to complementing my books, she pointed out some discrepancies about Owen McKenna's kitchen table in my various books. This was interesting because I haven't thought much about Owen's culinary environment. I guess I should pay better attention!
I've put Debbie's letter below, followed by her notations of my table descriptions.
My return note to Debbie is below that.

Here is Debbie's letter:

Firstly---let me say I LOVE your 10 books!  I just finished #9, since I started w/#10....then went in chronological order---I now have my sweetie reading them.  Your Owen McKenna series is as exciting as the Lee Child's Jack Reacher series.
I am an avid reader, and noticed spelling mistakes...but, the mistake that bothered me the most---was---does Owen have a kitchen table or not?  I didn't cut & paste all the references---but, I do want to know!
Thank you!

Another reference to "Owen"  having a kitchen table:
as I carried it to my little kitchen table
Borg, Todd (2011-07-15). Tahoe Hijack (An Owen McKenna Mystery Thriller) (Kindle Location 1780). Thriller Press. Kindle Edition.

and again!
Diamond sat with me at my little kitchen table.
Borg, Todd (2008-08-01). Tahoe Avalanche (An Owen McKenna Mystery Thriller) (Kindle Location 1268). Thriller Press. Kindle Edition.
add this:   entrance to my kitchen nook. Her eyes were wild, ransacking my homemade butcher block table and Shaker chairs,
Borg, Todd (2007-08-01). Tahoe Silence (An Owen McKenna Mystery Thriller) (Kindle Locations 111-112). Thriller Press. Kindle Edition.

Dear Debbie,

Thanks so much for writing. I'm glad you are enjoying the adventures of Owen and Spot!
I believe you've set a new bar for astute kitchen-table observation! I'm impressed! Of all the letters I get about writing details, you are the first to notice my discrepancies regarding McKenna's kitchen table.
To bring you up to date:  
McKenna used to have a crude, home-made butcher block table.

But one day, Spot, in his excitement about going for a walk, spun around, hit the table, and broke off one of the table legs. The table top fell to the floor and cracked in half. McKenna used his splitting maul to turn the butcher block table into firewood for his wood stove, and the heavy pieces heated his cabin for two weeks.
McKenna ate standing at the kitchen sink for a few days and then found a cracked vinyl table top for free at a garage sale (no one was willing to pay the $4 price), and with some hinges from Scotty's Hardware in South Lake Tahoe, he attached it to the wall of his kitchen nook.

The laminated table is homely, but the hinges work great. When it's folded out of the way, Spot can now push his food bowl around the area without bumping so many obstructions.
As for the spelling mistakes you've noticed, I claim no excuse. Were I to attempt an explanation, I'd venture to say that most are of the homophone kind: altar/alter, rein/reign, peek/peak etc. I clearly have a neural dysfunction that permits me few graces in the spelling department.
Fortunately, many readers point out the spelling errors to me, and they gradually get corrected in reprints. 
Thanks again for your thoughtful culinary comments, although I must now confess to a bit of trepidation about my new book, which is due out in August. Does Owen eat at the counter? The table? Is it still made of vinyl? We'll know in a few months!
Sincerely and earnestly (Really!),


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