Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Done Right

I've made no secret how much I've just loved J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I count Dark Lover and Lover Eternal among my favorite keepers, and Lover Awakened is even better than both of those (I'll do a review soon, since it appears I never did one back when I read LA in less than 24 hours). I'm not anticipating Lover Revealed (Butch's story) as much as I am the one that follows - Vishous' story - but believe me, I'll be there the day it's released to pick up my copy.

One of the things J.R. Ward has done right, besides write these amazing books, is put out a website that totally rocks. Today I registered for the Black Dagger Brotherhood message boards because I'd read that fans can find a lot of fun tidbits about both the characters and the upcoming stories.

Man, no kidding.

I spent hours trolling through the threads because on several, the brothers make appearances and little stories are told. Characters that already seem real based on how they are written in the novels come even further to life by their presence online. Not to mention how funny their interactions with each other are. Ward has created a way to let readers get to know her characters outside of the tight parameters in a book. I want to hang with these guys!

And I want to know more of their stories.

This is the kind of marketing writers can do for and by themselves that can't be topped by any publishing firm's marketing gurus. Not to mention what a kick in the pants fun it would be to let characters that take up so much head room come out to play! And what a way to stretch your writing muscles while getting to know your characters on a whole new level.

Only bad thing...dang, I knew there were fangirls out there, but I'm gobsmacked at how totally out there some people can be. Don't want to dis anyone's passion, but I can't believe how deeply into these stories and characters some readers have gotten. Avatars and fanart, discussions about and with the characters, and outloud squeeing when Ward-As-Character actually responds. I kept wondering how old these posters must be. As real as the members of the brotherhood seem to be, I kept wanting to post to ask the question, "You guys do know this is fiction, right?" As in, get a grip.

Spending time on Ward's sight only made me sigh with sadness when I compare it to my other favorite author's website. Oh, Suzanne, can we please talk...

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