Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I thought I Was a Smooth Talker

You have to love The Famous Author. The man will say or do ANYthing to gain publicity for the rebirth of our series. I know this is a good thing for me, Austin Carr, as being TFA's fictional character, protagonist of the Austin Carr Mystery Series, my life rests on his eventual success. It's just that sometimes he cracks me up going overboard.

Making the local hair stylist rich (see two posts ago) and spamming his AOL account to earn a MailChimp suspension, for instance, seemed definitely over the top. But this latest truth-stretching adventure tops all previous.

TFA convinced the famed cozy-fiction blogger Dru Love that BIG NUMBERS -- my first screwball mystery adventure, in which at least five people die and the sexy redheaded widow asks Austin to tie her up -- was worthy of a guest spot on her well-read blog. Over 1300 followers. TFA must have hypnotized the lovely Ms. Love during a chance encounter at Deadly Ink earlier this month.

He told Dru and her audience BIG NUMBERS was "almost a cozy." Almost a cozy? The above picture shows TFA reading Austin Carr at Noir at the Bar in New York City last week. I guarantee you TFA was not talking about his series being almost a cozy. And yet TFA tells Dru's audience the sex scenes in BIG NUMBERS "are played for laughs -- and short, like my life."

But I pretty much nailed him during the interview at Dru's. All I had to do was recite the opening line of his Amazon and Nook promotional copy: "Root for divorced dad Austin Carr, a funny, oversexed scamp who'll use anything and everything to get his kids back. Think Bugs Bunny with guns and a penis."

You think TFA's desperate flailings will keep us from drowning?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Take Your Hooptedoodle and Shelve It

The Famous Author is still in mourning, unable to write or even talk much about the death of Elmore Leonard. He never met the man, but I know TFA is seriously upset he'll never get to read another of his favorite author's tales. Elmore should have been nearly done with his latest -- rumored to be titled BLUE DREAMS -- so maybe the boss has one left.

TFA might not know it, but another reason he loved EL was because Elmore Leonard's body of work helped my boss understand that characters tell the story, not authors. Authors -- Elmore explained through his novels and his own stated "rules" of craft -- are strictly banned from appearing in fiction.

Leonard also liked to warn about dialogue tags -- nothing but said -- and cautioned about detailed descriptions -- most readers skip them. But from my point of view -- Austin Carr's take on this -- I'd have to say my favorite Leonard rule is this: If it sounded like writing, Elmore rewrote it.

The literary school probably hates that quote. I'm not sure, I don't know many writers who think fiction is all about the words, the "hooptedoodle," as Leonard called it. But I don't have to deal with those people anyway, as humor REALLY sucks to them. I'm glad it's TFA who must run around in the diverse world of writers, some of whom believe Elmore's a hack crime writer. (Those turkeys need a punch in the nose.) But mostly, I'm pleased, glad and grateful TFA understands enough of Elmore's craft to let me tell the tale.

Thanks, Elmore. Bet you're making up a story right now.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Famous Author Exposed!

Maybe the main character in a man's work of fiction shouldn't be taking potshots at the boss -- biting the hand that feeds, etc. -- but don't you think it's time The Famous Author (TFA) got himself a new promotional photo? Recent photographs taken in New Brunswick, by none other than Rosemary Harris, make the photo TFA uses now look like they were taken of his son.

TFA's seven-year-old photograph adorns the wall here somewhere, I'm sure, but just in case you missed it: Here's what TFA thinks he looks like up there on the right --

Okay, are you ready? Here's the shot (left) taken earlier this month at a party prior to Deadly Ink, New Jersey's own mystery conference for fans and local authors. This is how the old geezer really appears -- oh, and notice the relaxed dress, the way he really outfits in summer.

I'm trying not to laugh, boss, honest. But are you kidding with this? It's time to stop visiting the beauty parlor before every convention and personal appearance. You're old. Be proud you made it this far. And be happy that I -- your own creation -- have exposed your true self to the world. You need this new photo.

And dude, where is your hair?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Luckily, Hank Phillippi Ryan is Not a Redhead

So The Famous Author (TFA) took me to that Deadly Ink Mystery Conference this weekend. I'm sure TFA had a great time meeting all the authors, listening to the exciting panels and speakers. Me, a stockbroker, I didn't do much but listen to Hank Phillippi Ryan.

If you don't know Hank (She told me her real name is Harriet), you are definitely NOT a big mystery fan. An investigative reporter for Boston's NBC affiliate by day, Hank is one of Mysterydom's biggest stars, the best-selling author of five mystery novels, winner of the Agatha, Anthony, Macavity, and Mary Higgins Clark awards.

TFA bought me a paperback of last year's best seller by Hank, THE OTHER WOMAN, and I'm going to get started as soon as I finish writing this blog. The new one, THE WRONG GIRL comes out next month, but you can put your name on the list for one now. You can read more about these two books, Hank's other novels, and her career on Hank's website.

Skip the literature. I'd rather talk about Hank. She is very pretty. She's also smart, elegant, stylish, and undeniably in charge of us assembled masses. She saw me listening, peeking out of TFA's briefcase at her, so she came over later to shake my hand, tell me I was a funny guy. Luckily, Hank is not a redhead. I did not fall in love.