A few friends are now reading the manuscript of Saint Mark's Body. One wrote,
"I don't normally get to confront an author... but you're going to kill the captain, aren't you? He's too wise, too respected... every character like that in a book or a movie always dies."
That's some of the best feedback I've recieved about the book! It means this reader has invested some emotion in that character, and cares enough about him to confront me BEFORE anything even happens to him.
Regarding killing characters, it IS a violent book. It's set in a violent time. I killed off a few characters I really liked, and I let one live who I originally decided would die at a certain point. That thought process was an interesting one. A character needs to live if the story can't go on without him, and he has to die if his death advances the story.
I can't wait to see what this reader says when Buono's fate is revealed... and when some other characters "advance the story" in various ways.