Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Famous Author Thinks He's Hot

The Famous Author got invited to a big deal today, and he's strutting around the office like a peacock. Seriously. He's wearing a shiny blue and red Hawaiian shirt.


One of the internet's most popular crime fiction sites is Mysterious Matters, the anonymous blog of Agatho, an editor for a small independent publisher. Agatho regularly writes about crime and mystery fiction of all types, his views are an insider's, and writers of all kinds visit in scads. We've been a fan for years, TFA too, so when Agatho asked for panelists for a new idea he had, TFA threw his hat in the ring.

Joining TFA today at 3 p.m. for a live chat with Agatho are VICKI DELANY, LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN, WENDY HORNSBY, NANCY MEANS WRIGHT, and EARL STAGGS. (Lot of award winners here. What"s TFA doing on the list?)

Agatho is recording the chat "Originality in Crime Fiction" and will post it on his blog in the near future. Tune in to see how TFA makes a fool of himself this time. He always does.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

An Editor's Editor

The Famous Author first met poet, writer, and teacher Lorin Oberweger in 1998 at The Writer's Retreat Workshop. TFA didn't bring me along for several years, even though I was hiding and waiting in the closet for my big chance, but whatever Lorin taught him, TFA brought me out hot.

An agent and a small press contract quickly followed. More than anything, I think Ms. Oberweger taught TFA how to write in scenes, how to find the conflict in everything, and that without emotion, there's no story. Thanks, Ms. O. I think I owe you my life.

TFA recently heard from Ms. O about her new business -- meeting personally with writers trying to improve their fiction craft. She'll be there to work on YOUR novel, look at YOUR manuscript, and the price is amazingly low for the jump in knowledge.

As someone who has used and benefitted from Ms. O's work over and over again, and still attends Ms. O's Donald Maass Workshops, consider this a personal recommendation from TFA. Looks like Lorin's currently in Texas.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Famous Author Considers Murder

On Thursday, February 4 -- I'll never forget THAT day, huh? -- The Famous Author admitted he hadn't really been missing, he'd just been hiding from me, filling my fourth adventure with scads of info and action involving Mama Bones Bonacelli, my business partner's mob-connected mother. Scroll down just a bit if you missed it.

If you read my mission statement on the right, you'll see "staying alive in the crowded world of crime fiction" is one of my prime objectives with this blog. You'll also know why TFA's revelation has raised my blood pressure. The doc has me on medication. Seems there's a chance I am about to die.

TFA wouldn't even talk to me. He's writing short stories in a dither of activity. I took his cell phone and snuck into the bathroom. I found his agent Trixie in the contact list.

"What's up?" she answered. Boy did Trixie sound young. Like a teenager.

"Hey, Honey. This is Austin Carr. Do you have a minute for me?"

"TFA's protagonist is calling me on the telephone? Cool. But how did you do that?"

"Don't ask. It's too technical. Besides, I only have one question. When are you going to get BIG MOJO published? This blog is starting to feel cramped. I want to get out in the world again."

"I'm trying, babe. Honest. A big New York house has had your third adventure tied up for months and months. They can't make a decision."

"How many NOs have we had before that?"

"Five."

"What's the problem?"

"Stockbrokers. Every editor's 401K tanked and they all blame their stockbrokers."

Gulp. Even worse for my future, Trixie asked me the question I'd been dreading.

"So tell me, Austin, what do you think about Mama Bones doing a guest column for your blog?"

AAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Redhead of the Week Not on Dean's List

Our Redhead of the Week and recent winner of the fifteen minutes of fame experience is Loretta Zilinger.

Stephanie Chen reported on CNN yesterday that "In 1994, Loretta Zilinger, 15, was sexually assaulted by a man in Chicago. Her testimony landed Dean Cage, then 26, in prison for a crime he didn't commit. DNA evidence helped prove Cage's innocence in May 2008 and he was released. Zilinger and Cage have become friends and plan on speaking to the public about their experience."

Nice reporting there, Stephanie. I think I just heard four headlines in a row. Now THAT'S a lede!

To read Ms. Chen's complete online story, click here.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bewitched, Betrayed, and Abandoned

The Famous Author has been missing from the office, what? Three or four months? Since October, when he ran off to Rome for the World Financial Crisis Conference.

Then we got an email and a photo from North Carolina, another from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in which The Famous Author was clearly intoxicated. All this time, he said he ran away because he needed a break. He needed to think (drink?) through his problems with our fourth adventure. Guess what?

It was all a lie! Look what I found on Facebook today. Here's the quote from his Status post:

"I just finished #4 in the mystery series, even though my agent has yet to sell #3. Like a man who marries for the third time, I symbolize the triumph of hope over experience."

When I saw that today, I flipped. What a bastard! And then I started wondering, worrying ... why was TFA afraid to tell me he was still working on the book? On the previous three, I worked with him in the office on all aspects of the novel. In #3, TFA worked with Mama Bones at her house for a few weeks, but he always came back to the office to finish up her sections. He liked to show them to me. I've never been worried about Mama Bones stealing the show.

Until tonight. After I saw that Facebook post, I worked the phones for three hours to get TFA on the line. Mexico. Florida. New York City. I found him at home in New Jersey, the son-of-a-bitch. It was just after midnight. I got lucky. He made a mistake and picked up the phone.

"You bastard!" I said. "You've been home all this time, haven't you? And you finished the book without me? You left me here in this cold office and told me you were screwing off?"

"Take it easy, Austin."

"What the hell happened?"

"There's no easy way to say this -- I decided to give Mama Bones a much bigger role. This one's almost as much her story as yours."

My heartbeat ticked two notches higher. "What? This is MY series, you genre hack! You can't do that."

"Keep calling me names, I'll drop you from the series entirely. Male protags don't sell that well anyway."

I gagged and had to hang up. I couldn't even talk. I went into my condo kitchen and poured three fingers of Wild Turkey. I had half of it down when the phone rang. It was TFA.

"Listen, Austin, try not to be upset. I'll be in tomorrow, we can talk. I'll make sure the thermostat gets turned up, too."

"Thanks," I said. "I feel so much better."