Last weekend I was at a Borders in Aurora, Colorado signing books. One of my 14 sales was to a terrfiic, upbeat male reader named Eli. He was a friendly customer -- completely open to the idea of Antler Dust. Two days later, he sent me this e-mail message:

"I'm a few chapters in and so far love it. The prose is fresh and the story moves along well; your style is great. There were a few parts that seemed a bit too heavy on description but that's probably more a personal taste issue for me. You even managed to keep the info dumps interesting :) You've got a fun and quirky style that reminds me of Bill Fitzhugh or maybe a more serious Tim Dorsey."

Hey, I'll take e-mails like that anytime. What I loved most was that phrase "info dumps." I'm pretty sure Eli meant the back-story stuff that every crime writer needs to at some point reveal character. I'd love to know the opinion of other writers on the info dump.

Do you carefully manage how you "do" the info dump? Do you parse it out in bits and pieces? Any terrific techniques for this? Any writers who you think do it extremely well?

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