Monday, January 14, 2013

I See You, But You Don't See Me

By accident I discovered I can look out my dining room window, see two blocks away, yet no one can see me looking. I know this, because I've checked outside from that distance and can't see into that window. I'm not an expert, but the reason appears to be a combination of the shrub blocking over 50% of the window, plus the way the light hits the glass.

It's kind of fun watching people walk down the street, some with their dogs, some on their way to work, some to other destinations.

This scenario fits well into mystery books in various instances. Here are some:

A person witnesses a crime, yet the criminal can't see the witness. Perhaps it was a case of looking out a window like mine, or inattentiveness by the criminal in not casing the area for bystanders, or various other factors.

Or, the reverse. A victim doesn't see the criminal, perhaps a stalker, who hides behind doorways, or hides behind cars in traffic lanes, sneaks into a house while the door is open, or uses other methods. Or, perhaps the victim is so engrossed in some other problem or event the criminal goes unnoticed.

Carrying this scenario to a different level, here are some instances between authors and readers:

An author creates a book and puts it online, or it's carried in a bookstore. Readers don't see it. Why? Perhaps an author gets caught up in having the book published and expects the literary world to rush out and get it. However, that author hasn't set up any publicity, or hired someone to do so, either through social media or other methods. Unless readers know a book is available by seeing the cover or description somewhere, or hearing about it, the author can see the book, but no one else does.

Or, in another case, a reader notices an author, purchases a book, yet no one, including the author, knows whether or not that reader enjoyed the read. The only person who knows this is the reader. If only the reader had shared the experience, either through word-of-mouth, a comment somewhere on social media, or even by going so far as to write a review, that would have made the difference. Then, the author would know the effect of the book on that reader.

Can you think of other instances? Or, perhaps you just want to agree or expand on one of mine.

Morgan's current thriller is
Forever Young: Blessing or Curse.
A 55 year old widow takes a pill to be 24 forever, but
learns that being old might not be the only way to die.

Soon, the villains and the law are after her.

In the works is a sequel to Forever Young: Blessing or Curse,
called Blessing or Curse.

Consuela's husband has Parkinson's. Would the pills help him?

Ezekial suffers from E.D. Will the pills cure his curse?

Police officer, Mike, has let himself go. His physical is coming up. Maybe the pill will help.

Dee Dee wonders if her husband is cheating. Will the pill make her more attractive? 

Sherri's washed out as a model. Can the pill reignite her career?

If you like romantic comedy, check out Her Handyman,
and be amused by the adventures of Jake, the handyman, who answers a frantic call by Zoe, the rich artist, to stop a bathroom flood in her penthouse.

Find all of Morgan Mandel's mysteries, thrillers and romances at:

Amazon Author Page:

Twitter: @MorganMandel


marja said...

Very interesting post, and you made some good points. I love the idea of seeing but not being seen. Also, I need to order the first book because it sounds fascinating. Thanks for sharing, and if I'm ever in your neighborhood I'll be on my best behavior. :)
Marja McGraw

Morgan Mandel said...

Hi Marja,
I'm glad you like my book description.
Also, as long as you're wearing all your clothes, and not doing something illegal, you'll be okay around here,Marja!

Morgan Mandel

Helen Ginger said...

Great points Morgan! It's not easy promoting your book, but if you don't, how will anyone find it or know about it?

Maggie Toussaint said...

Cops and safety experts will tell you to make sure your windows aren't hidden behind shrubs - that's a perfect scenario for a burglar to access your home in broad daylight.

The same can be said for book visibility. If something's keeping the lid on publicity or marketing, it won't get seen.

Windows and books should be visible!

The new book sounds intriguing.


Morgan Mandel said...

I'd see any burglar trying to get into that window. The joke would be on them. (g)

Glad you like the info on the new book, Maggie!

Morgan Mandel

~Sia McKye~ said...

If you go to all the trouble to write a story it only stands to reason you would spend time promoting it.

I do try to let people know I enjoyed a book even if it's only rating stars to it on Goodreads. It depends upon my time as to whether I do a review. Reviews are work for me, not a pleasure.

Morgan Mandel said...

Yes, reviews doing a thoughtful review does take time. Sometimes I don't get to one right away after reading a book, but if I liked the book I will eventually write a review. I know how valuable they are to authors.

Morgan Mandel

Marilyn Levinson said...

Thought-provoking post, Morgan. Reminded me of "Rear Window."
Gave me another thought--some of us writing an anthology of short stories based on the premise of your blog: someone observing someone committing a crime or doing something suspicious from a window.

Earl Staggs said...

I agree with everything you said, Morgan. It's like when a tree falls in the woods. Does anyone know? Not unless someone runs out of the woods shouting "A tree fell!" Good post.

Morgan Mandel said...

I'm still amazed that it took me so long to figure out about that window!

Morgan Mandel

Terry said...

"The eyes are the windows of the soul." That quote has always been present in my thoughts. I named my website (years ago) after a newspaper column that I wrote seasonally for our local paper: I called it then (and the website now) Beyond Old Windows. When I wrote it for the newspaper, it was focused on the elders in our community, and how they saw us. Now titling my website, it is a reflection of how I look back, and forward. Come visit me sometime at There are many, varied pages there.

Morgan Mandel said...

Goes to show that windows have many uses and meanings, Terry!

Morgan Mandel

Kevin R. Tipple said...

And sometimes folks think you can see when you can't. The back of our apartment faces south across a small creek where there is another apartment building facing us. I sit outside and read---a lot.

One of the neighbors over there used to go in the office and claim I was sitting there watching her through her open windows. After several discussions with various apartment management folks I finally convinced one of them to come sit on my porch and see if she could see anything. Of course, she couldn't.

She then went over and explained reality to the neighbor who had refused to take my word for anything. Things calmed down for awhile and now we have heard that the neighbor thinks I use my laptop on the porch to intercept whatever she is doing on the computer.

I'm not.

By the way--you can know if a tree fell in the woods if the seismic sensors recorded it. The ground sensors at Yellowstone National Park had to be adjusted when they were first brought on line as they were recording tree falls as seismic events. Same thing happened at Lassen Peak and at Mount Saint Helens. When the monitors are set super sensitive to catch teh slightest seismic deal, they can and do record tree falls. Also certain sensors at HALF DOME in Yosemite are used to measure tree falls and land slippage.

This has been your creepy neighbor/science minute. :)))


Morgan Mandel said...

Sounds like you have a very paranoid neighbor, Kevin!

We can't always pick our neighbors. We have one very nice one and another I wish we could transfer to another planet.

Morgan Mandel