Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Elmore's New One, DJIBOUTI

From Elmore's own website: Dara Barr, documentary filmmaker, is at the top of her game. She's covered the rape of Bosnian women, neo-Nazi white supremacists, and post-Katrina New Orleans, and has won awards for all three. Now, looking for a bigger challenge, Dara and her right-hand-man, Xavier LeBo, a six-foot-six, seventy-two-year-old African American seafarer, head to Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa, to film modern-day pirates hijacking merchant ships.

They learn soon enough that almost no one in the Middle East is who he seems to be. The most successful pirate, driving his Mercedes around Djibouti, appears to be a good guy, but his pal, a cultured Saudi diplomat, has dubious connections. Billy Wynn, a Texas billionaire, plays mysterious roles as the mood strikes him. He's promised his girlfriend, Helene, a nifty fashion model, that he'll marry her if she doesn't become seasick or bored while circling the world on his yacht. And there's Jama Raisuli, a black al Qaeda terrorist from Miami, who's vowed to blow up something big.

What Dara and Xavier have to decide, besides the best way to stay alive: Should they shoot the action as a documentary or turn it into a Hollywood feature film?

October 12 is the drop date.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What's The Matter With Him?

"When you meet someone and you immediately dislike them, always remember you are seeing a reflection of yourself -- there is something you don't like about yourself that you're not owning up to. When you see it in someone else, then you don't like that person, but in reality you are being displeased with yourself. Always remember that."

-- Bear Heart, aka Marcellus Williams

Monday, September 20, 2010

Redhead of the Week Top-Heavy with Talent

Christina Hendricks, 35, is the Tennessee born actress best known for her role as Joan Holloway in the AMC cable television series Mad Men, and as Saffron in Fox's short-lived series Firefly. Hendricks was named "the sexiest woman in the world" in 2010 in a poll of female readers taken by Esquire magazine. According to Wikipedia, Christina is known for her "distinctive acting, sometimes bawdy humor, and voluptuous figure."

Hendricks was born in Knoxville and raised in Twin Falls, Idaho, where she began her acting career with Junior Musical Playhouse Company. In 1989 her family moved to Fairfax, Virginia, where Hendricks appeared in several Fairfax High School plays and local community theater.

In her best-known role -- Joan Holloway on the award winning Mad Men -- Hendricks' character is the office manager of advertising agency, providing mentoring to a group of women who must deal with the come-ons and callousness of professional advertising executives.

She is set to appear in a new action-thriller called Drive. She will star alongside Carey Mulligan and Ryan Gosling.

In July 2010 Hendricks' hourglass figure was highlighted as a positive influence for women by UK Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone who said "Christina Hendricks is absolutely fabulous...We need more of these role models.

Hendricks commented in September 2010 that the media is too focused on women's bodies and not their actual talents. "I was working my butt off on the show (Mad Men) and then all anyone was talking about was my body."

Sorry, Christina. We can't help it. It's in the genes.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

We Need a David Thompson Writing Prize

From two years ago, an "On the Road" piece TFA did for Liz Clifford.

HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Beside me is a friend, a writing chum, but I’m still nervous, apprehensive. Murder by the Book on Bissonnet Street here is rated one of America’s top mystery book stores. EVERYbody comes here. Michael Connelly, Carolyn Hart, Janet Evanovich, James Patterson, Anne Perry, and--today only--Jack Getze. Gulp.

Thanks to some fancy gab by PJ my PR Lady, I am talking today about my new novel at the center of American Mystery Fiction. Well...it’s a big, famous store, anyway. And The Big Stage is certainly what it feels like, shaking hands with storeowner David Thompson, and my co-author at today’s event, Baron Birtcher.

“Tell me you had Chinese for lunch,” Baron says. “Because if that’s not a noodle on your beard, I don’t want to know.”

My gaze finds an intimidatingly large stack of books David has pre-ordered for this event. A fine sheen of moisture dampens my collar. Hopefully, I’ll sell a few books for the store, get a few new readers for myself. My business plan calls for early round losses. I’m not worried about making money yet.

Good thing.

I wander toward the table where Baron and I will blab about our new releases. First time ever, there are more than 10 people gathered. Baron must be a hit.

“I loved your first book, Big Numbers,” a man in the front row says to me. Baron and I aren’t even seated. “I can’t wait to read this new one. Big Money. It’s a great series.”

I swoon. The store’s floor-to-ceiling racks of multicolored books swirl in a blurred jumble. The floor rolls like a Jersey Shore amusement ride. Baron has to grab my shoulder.

“It’s a fan, dude,” Baron says.

When it’s over, I’ve sold and signed more books than I’ve ever sold in a bookstore. Ever sold anywhere, really, except for the kickoff I threw, where purchase of the book was the price of admission to a cruise ship, with steak and lobster dinner, all-you-can-drink open bar, and a live concert by Madonna.

I did well at Murder by the Book, but I didn’t entirely deplete that stack of pre-ordered books.

“Sign what’s left and send me some bookmarks,” David says. “Why don’t you have bookmarks?”

“I thought they were like, for collectors. Not much good, really, there being so many other bookmarks around.”

He hands me the book I’ve just purchased, Megan Abbott’s Edgar winner, QUEENPIN. “Look inside,” he says.

Oops. Now I get it. Bookmarks with enticing blurbs about Megan Abbott’s other two books are stuffed between the pages. Duh! Bookmarks are a great form of one-on-one advertising--for the bookstore, AND the author.

“When a customer buys a book by another funny mystery author, I’ll stick one of your bookmarks inside,” David says.

My knees tremble. I almost pass out for the second time in an hour. “Expect a box next week.”

David Thompson was the nicest book store owner we ever met. Our whole genre suffers with his passing.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Author Revealed as Betrayer!

No, no, no, not that. He's too old and ugly to be unfaithful to his wife. I'm talking about ME! I know for a fact The Famous Author spent the last few days previewing a new novel to a large room full of college-educated, middle-aged women -- that's right, folks, the people who buy at least two-thirds of all fiction.

But was this novel about me, Austin Carr, Branchtown stockbroker and hero of my own mystery series?

No, it was not. TFA obviously has betrayed me and is considering some new project. The little bitch. A spy within the room says I wasn't even a character in his new manuscript! Oh, gads, my life spins before me!

The spy also sent me two pictures. Nataska the Black Ogre and Three Very Smart Writer-Ladies. More later on where he was and what he did. I'm going to pin him down when he stops writing.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New Fiction from TFA

Check out The Famous Author's short story over at A TWIST OF NOIR. If you can figure out what's in this picture, you'll have a great clue to the ending.

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Big One for Cee Lo Green

The eternal message of Cee Lo's hot number may go unnoticed by some -- people offended by four-letter words, for instance -- but we think Cee Lo packs a punch with this story/song, F*** Y**

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Screw You, Vince

Careful and/or long-time TCOAC readers will note a significant change today. Our three-and-a-half-year effort to drag a certain actor into the fold comes to an end. Like our President with Iraq, however, we will leave a few hardened troops behind, just in case the bozo who wasn't interested in playing me in the movies changes his mind. You never know with actors.

Meanwhile, a new actor adorns our blog today, and perhaps forever more. The redhead I met at the beach yesterday says this guy is even more popular with women than the last one. But does he read mystery blogs on the internet? I doubt it. Still, I'm betting it's a good kharma thing. Plant the idea in someone's cloud computer and maybe it will grow into a six-month option. TFA could use the cash, and I need some publicity.

The weird thing will be getting used to this new face in the mirror.