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Back when Strangeness in the Proportion was being serialized on White Wolf’s website, we received feedback from readers, even as we were still editing sections to be released (and further polishing for its upcoming ebook and print incarnations). That was the coolest thing about serializing and the immediacy of interaction on the web — being able to get feedback while the clay was still a little damp. One World of Darkness denizen in particular, Marshall Finch, gave back a lot of copy-edit input that went into improving the book (you can find him in the Acknowledgements).

Marshal recently sent me an immensely nice letter. I think it’s my first fan letter. I’ve communicated electronically with a lot of people, but I do believe this is the first physical missive sent to me by someone who knows me primarily through my writing. I’m several hundreds miles away from my parents’ fridge. So I’m posting this here. Enjoy. Or don’t. This is for me.

Dear Joshua:

Thank you so much for signing this (and for writing it)! It was a pleasure to be one of the first to read it during proofreading. I have several favorite books, between which I cannot choose because they fall into different genres and do not compete with one another for the niches they occupy in my heart. Strangeness is among those favorites, establishing its superiority in the ranks of those works that populate the peculiar realm at once morbid and humorous.

There are few perfect characters in fiction. It’s the rare author who ever creates a character perfectly. most characters are flawed by design, too passive, uninteresting, or unrelatably without error, Even those characters designed perfectly usually come with some error in their execution, a scene in which they deviate, a page which doesn’t seem to fit with the rest. Simon is without such error. Simon is one of those rare perfect characters.

You deserve all the praise you’ve been given by your fans, and more attention. You’re handicapped by the strange void that your work fills — unfortunately the romance genre is more popular. Notwithstanding, yours is the better novel, better than any I’ve read in a very long time. Thank you for making it a part of my life.

In Christ,

Marshall Finch


A big…proportion (see what I did there?) of credit, for Simon turning out the way he did, should go to my editor, James Lowder. I had a very raw idea, and Jim helped me hammer it. Simon had quite a few changes from the first draft on, both in conception and execution. Jim helped me make the most of him.

Good Lord! You should see some of the offshoot ideas I had in the re-outlining phase, that Jim killed with expert scythe swings. Simon just may owe him his life. Once a year, he leaves small, gory sacrifices on the mantle and raises an absinthe toast to the force known as the Lowder.