letters from Mr. Rodkey

 Yesterday I received this email:

Hello! I notice that in your latest blog post (, the list of recent books you've read includes The Chronicles of Egg: Deadweather and Sunrise, by Geraldine McCaughrean. 

Are you quite certain Geraldine wrote that book? Because I believe I did. 

Unless Geraldine ALSO wrote a book called The Chronicles of Egg: Deadweather and Sunrise. Which would be a rather extraordinary coincidence -- and in which case, could you please let me know how I could get a copy? I would be fascinated to read it, and a perfunctory Google search only yields editions of Deadweather which were written by me.

In the event that this was a mistake of attribution, and you did in fact read the Deadweather and Sunrise that I wrote, I'd suggest (per your stated request for good book recommendations) checking out its sequel, New Lands. It is quite a good book! 

Although to be honest, I'm not only biased on the subject, but I have a financial interest in making such a recommendation. So take it with a grain of salt. 

If, again, this was not a mistake of attribution, please let me know if Geraldine is planning any sequels, and whether any of them are also called New Lands.

Have a great day!

Best wishes,

geoff rodkey

I went and checked out my reading list post and, yes indeedy, I did have it all wrong.  Awkward.  Here is my response to  Mr. Rodkey:


You are quite right, of course, I apologize.   In the little journal where I record what I am reading I have you listed correctly as well as Geraldine McCaughrean's The Death Defying Pepper Roux.  Obviously, I accidentally squished the two of you together.  I was in a hurry to get my list out so I could go read something.  Also, I have atrocious handwriting.

Thank you for taking the time to point out my error.  It would also be unfortunate to completely leave out the name of McCaughrean's book.  I have corrected the list on Indietutes.  

I do already have your second book, New Lands, sitting on my desk here beside me but as it is a library book I'm not sure it will benefit your financially.  I will, however, most likely recommend your work again to people who do purchase books. I can almost guarantee that I will attribute your name correctly in the future.

Since I do have your attention, I would like to tell you how much I enjoyed Deadweather and Sunrise, particularly the character of Guts.  I hope he bites somebody in New Lands.

Best wishes,
Charity Beasley

P.S., You've given me the rather naughty idea to purposely mess up other author's names to see how many I can get to contact me.  Just for sport.

 photo 2246c4bc-ad2b-4502-9b1b-a4f0f7c68ad2.jpg
Evidence (artfully arranged) - Mr. Rodkey's second book sitting on my side table.

If you read my post yesterday, you'll see what inspired it.  Actually having to tell an author, uh, I didn't pay to read your book, but it was great, thanks!  More awkward.

From Mr. Rodkey:

No need to apologize! I should actually be thanking you, because you gave me fodder for a blog post:

Which is actually obsolete if you've changed your post to the correct attribution. Any chance you could leave it incorrect? No? I thought not.

Glad you liked book 1! Not to spoil anything, but Guts doesn't bite anybody in book 2. Although he does learn to swear in a foreign language. And is revealed to have a previously unknown skill. And some other stuff. 

No sweat about getting the book from the library. They had to buy their copy from somewhere.

Good luck getting other authors to bite! In the unlikely event that you go through with your plan, let me know how it goes -- I'd be curious to know if other writers monitor their title mentions online as NSA-level obsessively as I do.



So, what did I learn from all of this?

First, don't bother worrying about editing too much because if it's wrong, someone else will tell and then you can go back and correct specific items rather than having to read the whole thing again.

Second, I have a power to make people pay attention to me by buggering things up.  To date, this is the most famous and successful person to have pointed out my mistake.  I feel like this could be a starting point for something bigger.

Third, Geraldine McCaughrean probably doesn't Google herself as often as Geoff Rodkey does and as strange as it seems, everyone should have a little self-Google every once in awhile, just to see how everyone else is screwing it all up for you.


  1. Hilarious! Now I want to go purchase his book simply because he has a great sense of humor! Mission Accomplished :)

  2. Sweet, thanks! I consider my job done :D

    They are great books though, really funny. Especially Guts - I think I've mentioned that I like him.

  3. In my own (partial) defense, I'd like to point out that I was not googling myself -- which, since Charity neglected to mention me in her initial post, never would have led me to this site -- but was actually googling my book title.

    Which is more second-degree narcissistic behavior than first-degree.

    And I agree that it's probably not the sort of thing Geraldine McCaughrean does, as she's published 150 books, and googling that many titles would be prohibitively time-consuming. I only have two, both of which contain the phrase "chronicles of egg," so obsessively searching the web for mentions is actually...

    I'm sorry. I need to stop now. I've just realized I have 148 books to write, and it's already after lunch.

  4. This might have been the coolest blog post ever written, on many levels. First of all, an actual, honest-to-goodness published author noticed your blog and emailed you. The email exchanges were very quite entertaining. Secondly, I just happened to notice that the famous author himself commented right before me, which makes me feel like I might be a little famous too now.

  5. Mr Rodkey, in the chance that you are still reading this, I would like to mention that taking the time to 'obsessively google yourself (or your book in this case) and send your letter has at the very least gotten you one more reader. I love books but it takes a lot than just a passing recommendation to get me to look for one. However because of this blog post and your response I will now be having a look for your book and you will most likely be getting at least a small part of financial reward from my end. Should I like it I will also be sharing with my family who are also lovers of good books (my cousin is a teacher and a librarian) so there is potential for even greater financial reward there. Good Luck with your 148 books, though in my humble opinion, the worth of an author and his books isn't measured by how many he/she has written but by the content.

    To Charity, thank you for your post, I love it and it caught my eye immediately in my list of blog posts to read. It definitely made me smile first thing in the morning! I shall enjoy reading again with this new book recommendation (3 kids at home, not often a chance of that!). Thank you!


  6. Thanks for the laugh, this series of posts and comments have completely cracked me up. & I am definitely looking up geoff rodkey's books now.

  7. Awesome! Another person who will be looking for those books, though I am pretty cheap and will check the library.
    Also, I hate proof-reading my posts. I will, only so I don't look totally ignorant, but as I write most of my posts right before I got to bed. Lucky for me, not very many people read them (I have to actually e-mail each and every one to my family to get them to remember to read them) so I don't really stress myself over it.

    Mr. Rodkey (and Charity), thanks for the laughs, I read the e-mails out loud to my hubby and he thought it was pretty funny as well. Thanks for keeping life from being to serious!

  8. So, so funny! I just got on our local library website and requested the book. Mr. Rodkey, you're a riot. Looking forward to reading your books. Thanks Charity, for the error and the good laugh.

  9. This is too funny. I love it. Definitely going to go check out his books now. :)

  10. I absolutely loved reading about this! It felt really good to have something to laugh about tonight when earlier I felt so frustrated and overwhelmed. Thanks for sharing your lists of books and thanks for sharing this story!