Monday, May 19, 2008

Who Won the Contest?

The Famous Author guest blogs today with the winners of his latest book-giveaway contest:

‘THE KNIFE’ CONTEST WINNERS are Karen T, Diane L, munwell, Louis M, Neville from South Africa, Arlene F, Pearblossom Herself, Stephen 633, Madame La Farge, Joyce K, Margaret P, Ann B, and our Grand Prize Winner, Christina from Wisconsin. Each and all will receive a signed hardcover copy of BIG MONEY, and a “Big Money World Tour, Official Staff” T-shirt. Christina’s answer was so good, however, she also gets a $50 check for inspirational consulting. Who knew that knife was so literary?

Okay, here’s the question: In my debut novel, BIG NUMBERS, what is the thing Austin first finds for Luis, and Luis later gives to Austin? Symbolically, what do you think the thing represents? Why?

All thirteen winners correctly identified the thing as a knife, representing manhood. It’s the “why” where divergence set in: Karen thought it signified boys can’t become men until they endure hurt. Diane said it was a “guy clean under your toenails with.” Munwell said it was about pride. Louis said blades aren’t to be messed with. Neville said it was about never having a father.

A lot of people mentioned sex. Arlene said the knife is “the most phallic symbol there is...” Pearblossom said the knife was like manhood “because it’s hard, you keep it in your pocket, and it springs out when needed.”

Oh, my.

Stephen mentioned Jack and Lorena Bobbit. But nobody got into the sex aspect more than Madame La Farge. Check this out, straight from her entry:

“Think about a large hunting knife. Imagine the size and shape...wielded by a strong, alpha male. The force of the thrusts, the strength of the body driving in and out...”


Joyce is a winner because she really wants to read my book. Margaret picked the right answer, but it helped she’s my cousin. Ann came close to winning, as she touched on the real theme when she said, “Men use knives as a choice...” And Pearblossom also mentioned “power and authority,” but was tossed from the final judging for picking two themes in one entry. No cheating, Sweetcakes.

Here’s the answer we got from Christina, our giant Grand Prize Winner and new inspirational coach:

“No random act of violence was ever committed with a knife. Because sinking a steel blade into flesh requires personal contact and intention to harm, there is nothing ambiguous about wielding a knife. A knife is a tool of choice and a weapon of intention. More than a phallic symbol a knife represents manhood.
Right or wrong, true men make their own decisions and commitments, then act upon the choices they make. At the time of the parking lot melee in BIG NUMBERS, (when Austin first found and returned the knife to Luis) Austin Carr was not living a life of choice. His life was living him and Austin was along for the ride.
As Austin’s ‘ride’ was about to end in violence, Luis gave him a knife. Luis did not save him, but did gave him back his manhood, by giving Austin Carr a weapon and a tool to use - to choose - to save his own life. Manhood is all about choice.”

And all this time I thought I was just writing genre stuff.

Thanks Christina, and thanks to everyone who entered the contest. If you didn’t have time or the inclination, you can still get a T-shirt by showing up at any of my book store appearances and mentioning the knife and manhood. In May and June, I’ll be in Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Eastern Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and New York City’s Mysterious Bookshop. For details and a complete listing, click on

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