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Cliffhanger Caution

A short note:

Now that Advanced Reading Copies of Line of Fire are out there, I think I should say a little something about having written a, well, cliffhanger.

For those of you who don't know, Advanced Reading Copies (also called bound galleys) are production versions of an unpublished book that are distributed before pub date to selected booksellers and reviewers for marketing purposes. Inevitably, some ARCs end up in private hands. Inevitably, some of those are resold online. (No, sorry, we don't have any to give away right now.)
First though, a caution: If you like to be surprised by the books you read, please heed all warnings about spoilers regarding the new book. A lot happens in Line of Fire to many different familiar characters. If I were in your shoes (actually, I hope you kick them off before you curl up with a good book) I would not want to know how this one ends before I begin to read.

In the past, I have not written stories that intentionally leave developments unclear so that I will have an opportunity to exploit the narrative ambiguity in the next story.
Please know that I do exactly that in Line of Fire. I go out of my way to set up story arcs and character arcs in this book that will not be resolved until the next book (which by now I hope you know will be the last book in the Alan Gregory series.)

Also, based on personal feedback I have already received from some early readers, I would caution readers to be skeptical about what other people think they have read in the bound galleys of Line of Fire. There are two reasons for my caution. Number one, the ARC of Line of Fire was printed from the uncorrected First Pass Pages. Small but crucial changes to the narrative were made as I corrected that First Pass. Those changes are not reflected in the ARC. Number two, I learned twenty years ago that people don't necessarily read books the way I write them. I put the words on the page but readers, bless them, are idiosyncratic. Each reader reads in his or her own unique way.

That fact once frightened me. Now I consider it a marvelous part of this writer/reader collaboration.

Jane and I plan to be vigilant about spoilers regarding Line of Fire on Facebook and on the website. If you see any spoilers based on an early reading of the ARC that we might have missed, please let us know.



Line of Fire by Stephen White


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