Don’t Make Me Call You Out! By Diana Flegal
July 20, 2016
No Solo Acts
July 26, 2016
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(Based on a blog post from February 11, 2012)

Anyone remember Kathy Bates screaming in the movie Misery about how the writer cheated her? And let’s face it, she fixed that author but good.

Well….I’ve read three romantic suspense books because I liked the idea of the actual story, but I can’t stand the nonsense the author allows to happen in her books.

In one instance, a piece of equipment which gives away the evidence of the murder, sees down a hallway, around corners, through walls into a bedroom. There, it witnesses a murder, without ever moving. Now, I wasn’t a physics major, but ‘taint possible, folks. Wonderful idea, not such good plotting.

In another book, a PI in a VERY small town, is asked by the chief of police if the PI has a permit for his gun. Anybody want to venture a guess who signs the permits for weapons in that town? And the two knew each other well enough that the sheriff would have known. That’s right. The sheriff is the one who signed that permit.

Now, I hope you realize, I didn’t really go postal over this, but these books all received 5-star reviews. And, again, I liked the stories. Not a big fan of alpha males who talk rather flamboyantly, but I can even get over that. But don’t cheat me as a reader by not doing your homework. I had made up my mind not to do this post a couple weeks ago, but after book three it stuck in my “craw” if you don’t mind me dating myself.

Readers plunk down hard cash, and I would, as an agent, turn these submissions down if an author didn’t fix these problems; instead they went from author, to editors, and into print without anyone noticing. Or caring.

Some things are preferences, others are the laws of physics. C’mon now…



  1. That’s not surprising. I’ve seen numerous books where the author didn’t bother to research his/her scene to make it credible. With the internet, there is no excuse for not attempting to do at least minimal research if you can’t chat directly with an expert. One book detail that annoyed me was noting that Jack Ruby killed Oswald the same day Kennedy was shot. Really? He couldn’t fact check that online in 5 seconds?

    I’ve written a number of scenes that occur in hospitals and wouldn’t even think about putting my ideas down on paper without talking to someone who works in an emergency room or is an EMT to make sure I have the protocol down right. My current book takes place in the 1950’s and I’ve reviewed old photos, magazines, chatted with people who lived in that time and done research on idioms. I don”t want a reader writing a negative review because my facts are wrong.

  2. Linda Glaz says:

    I hear you, Christine. It annoys me like crazy. I read an Old West romance with the ladies in it baking chocolate chip cookies. UGH A few seconds of research would have pointed out no chocolate chip cookies in that era. Oh, I totally agree! Don’t cheat your reader…

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