Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
As authors, we’re often boxed into a damned if we do, damned if we don’t situation. Too much promo turns readers off; not enough promo doesn’t get the word out about our books and thus adversely impacts sales. And when books don’t sell well, authors don’t get offered new contracts.
Many people outside of publishing have the mistaken impression that by virtue of being published, we authors are rolling in Franklins. If only that were the case! The outside world only reads about the publishing deals scored by celebrities and the occasional really, really big name authors. They think a book contract means an automatic bloated bank account, no matter who you are or what you write. That’s why friends and family are always asking for free books. They believe we wealthy authors can well afford to give away truckloads of our books.
Some writers claim they write for the pure enjoyment of writing. If they didn’t get paid for their writing, they’d still write. This may be true, but if they weren’t getting paid for their writing, they wouldn’t be killing themselves to meet deadlines. They’d write at their own pace.
Others admit that their writing is a business, and they expect to make a decent living at it. Unfortunately, most don’t. I’m juggling three full-time jobs. I have friends who consistently make the NY Times lists and still can’t afford to quit their day jobs. And yet we all continue to write. To meet our deadlines. To angst over our reviews, our print runs, and our sell-thru numbers. To hope and pray for that next contract.
Are we crazy? No. We’re writers.
So here it is the end of November, and in five weeks DEATH BY KILLER MOP DOLL, the second book of my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries, will be released. As part of my promotional efforts for the release of the book, I’ve scheduled a series of guest blogs throughout January. I hope readers find them entertaining rather than hard sell, but I also hope they’ll buy the book. Is that really too much to ask? I hope not.
Lois Winston writes the critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries series. The first book, Assault With A Deadly Glue Gun, was a January 2011 release and received starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Death by Killer Mop Doll will be a January 2012 release. Visit Lois at http://www.loiswinston.com and Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog, http://anastasiapollack.blogspot.com.
Monday, November 28, 2011
By Deborah Sharp
Like so many other missteps, my self-delusion involved alcohol.
It was a warm night in my hometown of Fort Lauderdale. The waiter at a waterfront restaurant placed a second draft beer on my table.
''It’s on the bartender.''
I stared at the glass in disbelief. I thought maybe a sweat droplet or a stray mosquito had lodged itself in my ear. I must not have heard him right. The first George Bush was in office the last time a man bought me a drink.
It wasn't always so. In my day, I was a looker. Not “Get-This-Gal-A-Vogue-Cover!’’ gorgeous, but pretty enough that construction workers hung off scaffolding and yelled stuff as I passed by.
It's been a long time, though, since I've heard anyone shout, ''Ooooooh, baby, how'd you like to hold my hammer?’’
I peered at the free drink like it was a terrorist's cocktail. ''Do I know the bartender?''
''He's new,'' said the waiter, oddly evasive.
Dim memories surfaced of clubbing with my girlfriends when all of us were single. Free drinks would stack up, like planes trying to land in Atlanta. I'd often take a sip, nod thanks at the guy who bought it, and leave the remainder sitting on the bar. I took the attention for granted; never thought about the day it would stop.
But it did. And I don’t miss it, for the most part.
Yet, all those memories came rushing back when the waiter delivered that beer, on the house. I was flattered. I felt twenty-nine again.
''Tell me the bartender’s name.'' I'm pretty sure I batted my lashes. ''I want to be sure to thank him.''
Long pause. ''Actually,'' the waiter looked embarrassed, ''the free beer was a mistake.''
Everyone in the bar must have heard the crash of my ego plummeting back to earth. Turned out the new bartender mistakenly poured a second beer I hadn’t ordered. Instead of tossing it, the waiter brought it over. On the house. In a way.
So, I'm still fifty-plus and invisible after all, merely the beneficiary of a new bartender’s learning curve. I drank every drop.
And as I did, I wondered: Why can't we spread those free drinks around? Take a cocktail from the line in front of some young, nubile thing, and pay it forward to someone old enough to be her grandma. One more free drink means nothing to a gorgeous girl in her twenties. But to the formerly pretty, now middle-aged and dowdy?
Well, let's just say that one draft beer on the house – briefly – made me believe I've still got it.
How about you? Any ego-deflating moments you'd care to share? Look at it this way: It's all material.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Today is the day before Thanksgiving, and my refrigerator is crammed to capacity. Some of the food is already prepared, some of it is still gobbling. By 8:00 tomorrow night, much of it will be gone, but if this year is like most years, there will be plenty of leftovers (cooking a 22 pound turkey for only 11 people might be a contributing factor).
In keeping with that spirit, today’s pre-feast blog will be another feast of sorts, a smorgasbord of random tidbits and writing leftovers. (Oh, don’t make that face, not without trying it. And keep an open mind, there might just be something here that won’t turn your stomach. Don’t worry, I’ve got an unopened bottle of Pepto-Bismol at the ready.)
I’d like to pass along three writing tips. Number one, put your butt in your chair and your fingers on the keyboard. And type! Number two, finish your first draft completely; this will prevent you from wasting too much time revising a section you’re going to cut anyway. And number three…well, number three is…um, let’s see…something to do with the EPA? No, no, um…Ooops. (And don’t even get me started on Libya. Or is that Liberia? Or Libania? Well, the Taliban are bad, wherever they are…)
Actually, it doesn’t take that long to amass 80,000 words in a manuscript, maybe a week or two. Of course, it takes another six months to arrange them all in the right order. Ba da bing.
And speaking of writing, my hat goes off to all the NaNoWriMo participants. Well done, even if you don’t hit your targets. Sometimes it’s the effort that counts. Besides, the real book will be written in NaDecEdMo (and NaJanEdMo, and NaFebEdMo and…).
Tis the season to give thanks, and I’m thankful for many things. One of the writing-related things I’m thankful for is the nice Library Journal review DEADLY CAMPAIGN received. The pullquote: “Orloff has put together another winning routine, and mystery buffs will enjoy the fresh venue of a comedy club, not to mention a soft-boiled amateur sleuth case.”
And since we started this blog talking about leftovers, let’s bring this
disaster train wreck post full circle. I have a “leftover” ARC of DEADLY CAMPAIGN I’d like to give away. Its official release date is January 8, but one lucky commenter (between now and 6 pm Sunday night) will get his or her very own copy weeks before that!
To enter, just leave a comment describing your best use of leftover turkey. I’ll pick one winner at random (US residents only and, no offense to my fellow MInkers, but I think I’ll limit the giveway to non-InkSpot bloggers, However MInkers, please feel free to leave your leftover turkey ideas—I have a feeling I’m going to need all the help I can get!).
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
In office President Kennedy stood for culture, for civil rights. He was a family man and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, a student of history. Now we know the truth is far more nuanced in each case. (I visited the Kennedy Library and saw his college transcript: D+ in European History.)
I do yearn for those days when we had heroes. Remember? I did have heroes growing up, but none have lasted. Even if JFK was not the hero we thought, he did perform heroic acts. I’ve read the transcripts of the Executive Committee that met during the Cuban Missile Crisis. There he deserves his reputation. The generals wanted to bomb Cuba and invade it. He did save the world from nuclear war. And I must admit his inauguration address still inspires.
So for me November 22 is more than that horrible day when our president was murdered. In retrospect my listening over the school loudspeakers as a pre-teenaged boy was the beginning of growing up, of knowing how little can be counted on in this world we live in.
|Inkers at Malice|
Monday, November 21, 2011
Hi, I’m Linda Hull, and I used to refer to myself as the most successful unsuccessful writer around. Fact is, until very recently, I was enjoying (in what can only be considered a masochistic way) an illustrious career in almost getting published.
Since this is my maiden InkSpot post and I figure there are a few of you out there who know the pain of which I speak, I thought I’d share a few highlights from all that time spent chasing both the muse and that even more elusive beast known as the book deal:
Years in Front of the Computer: Ten.
Hours in Front of the Computer: I’m hopeless at math, but a whole, whole, whole lot.
Hours at Critique Group: See above.
Completed Manuscripts: 3 1/2.
Revisions to Completed Manuscripts: See Hours in front of the Computer.
Agents-Literary: 3 (The third time was the charm—I’m talking you, Josh Getzler!)
Agents-Film: 1 (until said agent wrote a manuscript, sold it for major bucks and retired from agenting.)
Offers of Representation: 5 (Not counting that one agent who wanted a fee and another I met at a conference who read ten pages of a WIP, asked me to send everything I’d ever written, then neglected to ever call me back.)
Editor Rejections: Enough to paper the one wall in my office not already covered with the rejections by agents not so swayed by my literary charm.
Highlights of Editorial Rejections: “We gave Ms. Hull’s manuscript, in fact both of her manuscripts, a great deal of consideration around here but ultimately decided to go in a different direction.”
“I liked this novel. I really, really liked it—engaging fast-paced, funny but…”
“The prose is cinematic, witty and a quick fun read. Unfortunately…”
Number of Times I Quit Writing: My keyboard doesn’t seem to have an infinity sign.
Planned Alternate Career: Stripper at a nursing home.
Number of Times My Husband Talked Me Out of Planned Alternate Career and Reassured Me the Writing Would Someday Pay Off: See Number of Times I Quit Writing.
Luckily for the folks in the Denver area nursing homes, I got the proverbial call this past September. (Actually, it was way cooler than a call and happened ten years and a day after my first writer’s conference, but I’ll get to that, likely in an upcoming post.) Suffice it to say, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Teri Bischoff, Midnight Ink, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and my dear friend Ben LeRoy who co-authored the idea I developed into Eternally 21, the first book in a series featuring Mrs. Frugalicious, who trolls the malls for savings until she’s accused of shoplifting and suspected of murder.
For me, now the real work begins. For those of you stuck in the purgatory of almost, don’t quit. Or, do quit, but only long enough to drink off that last horrible form rejection or evisceration by your critique group and do the revisions necessary to make it happen.
It can and does happen.
Friday, November 18, 2011
In other words, cooking low-calorie, high-nutrition, spicy, delicious, ethnic meals doesn’t come naturally to me. So how did I reach this gastronomic pinnacle? Completely by accident.
Several years ago I escaped from rural
A string of (fortunate or unfortunate depending on how I feel on any given day) events brought me to
And so it is with writing. (Did you wonder when I was going to get around to that?) Surprisingly, I didn’t start out with the knowledge to write a publishable book. I didn’t even know what ingredients a person might combine to make a good novel. My first attempts resembled a dried up flank steak with a side of canned peas and overly sweet bread pudding smothered in heavy cream.
I started going to conferences, reading books on writing, experimenting, entering contests, going to critique groups. I exposed myself to all manner of writing influences. I’m now getting ready to serve up a savory read with a blend of spices far more interesting than the salt and pepper I limited myself to previously.
I’m no Wolfgang Puck in the kitchen and any time I get a meal on the table it’s still a minor miracle. I admit I’m not an Ann Patchett, Barbara Kingsolver or John Irving. But if I keep exposing myself (not THAT kind of exposing—mind out of the gutter, please) maybe I’ll keep producing an ever more tasty dish—uh--book. Who knows, I might even try fried tofu next time.
What about you? What kind of silly extended metaphors can you come up with for your writer’s journey?
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Just back from the 10th annual Crime Bake, a mystery conference for writers and readers held outside of Boston and sponsored by the NE chapters of Sisters in Crime & Mystery Writers of America. Thought I’d share a little report while the whole experience is fresh in my mind.
A panel with several “top guns” emphasized the need for persistence in our profession, as well as a little luck. Guest of Honor Nancy Pickard (The Scent of Rain and Lightning) described herself as a “thirty year overnight success,” and said that although she came along in the early 80’s -- the right time for women in crime fiction (that’s the luck part) -- she realized early on that “somebody has to be published – it might as well be me.”
Barry Eisler (The Detachment), Nancy’s co-honoree, stressed hard work and our need as authors to stay on top of the entire process of publishing. He told many stories about less than stellar covers and/or titles of his books, decisions in which he was denied input and that led him to turn down a lucrative contract in favor of self-publishing. I hope he realized how lucky he was to have his books beside mine at the bookseller’s table…
Michael Palmer (A Heartbeat Away, The Last Surgeon) consistently offered down-to-earth advice that really resonated with me, such as how important it is for writers to care about the characters they create. It made me think of an early version of my first mystery, A House to Die For. I had a smarmy spinal surgeon murdered in the prologue and my agent pointed out that he was a really despicable character. “Is anyone going to care that he died?” he wondered. In later revisions, I made Emerson Phipps more dimensional, making him a volunteer for a relief organization and showing him through the eyes of his sister as a loving uncle.
Frequently these conferences provide not only suggestions “from the experts,” but hard-earned wisdom from writers such as those of us blogging here. I spoke on a panel with three other series writers about setting and how it influences characters and plot. We had a nice crowd for our discussion and fielded many excellent questions from the floor. I came away with tips from the other writers as well as imparting some of my own.
Of course, we all know that writing conferences aren’t all work, work, work…
I was thrilled to discover that Terri Bischoff, Midnight Ink’s Acquisitions Editor, was among the attendees, and she and I enjoyed catching up and talking mysteries. I met the owner of a bookstore in Vermont as well as several local readers who want me at their mystery club. I sold and signed copies of Killer Listing and made many new friends.
And then there is the ball…
This year the event featured “Sleuths, Spies, and Private Eyes,” and it was great fun. I dressed as Jill Masterson, the unfortunately gilded victim from Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger, and was delighted to discover 007 waiting when I exited the elevator. We teamed up as a last-minute entry in the “Partners in Crime” category of the costume contest and captured second place! (Mrs. Peacock and Mr. Boddy from CLUE beat us out.) Some of you know Nikki Bonnani who hosts the Killer Coffee Club… She came as a chilling Lizbeth Salander, dragon tattoo and all, and won the whole thing.
Dancing in gold lame may be akin to being sprayed with the precious metal, and by the end of the evening, I felt poor Jill’s pain. But I also felt buoyed up by the spirit of the conference: camaraderie, optimism, and sheer love of writing. I’m now back in Maine, hard at work on my manuscript, and using the tips I gleaned from Crime Bake to try and make it better.
Monday, November 14, 2011
When I first set about creating the Del Shannon series of mystery/thrillers, I troubled over the setting, where to establish the character’s home base. At the time, I was living primarily in L.A. and the obvious choice seemed to be to set the stories there, in a city known for crime and volience. The idea, frankly, left me a little bored. L.A. has more than it’s fair share of fictional cops and investigators, crime heroes and heroines. Everyone from Connelly to Ellroy to Wambaugh to Crais, all have set their stories there.
I was convinced I didn’t want to write just another “L.A. story”.
For that reason, I decided to place my lead character on the landscape I have long romanticized and loved—Arizona, the Sonoran Desert, the Great Southwest, Tucson.
It’s a place I know well. My wife and I first arrived there together in the late eighties, and since that time we have crossed deserts, climbed mountains, driven every highway and hiked nearly every trail. We’ve explored mine shafts, chanced ghost towns, learned the names of indigenous species, studied the lore... It’s an awe inspiring land. (Don’t believe me? Just pick up any copy of Arizona Highways and I think you’ll have to agree.) For that reason, it became the most likely next choice for my protagonist’s home setting.
There was just one problem.
Tucson (my Tucson) just didn’t inspire much of a sense of mystery and suspense with me. Really, how can anything particularly villainous take place in a town populated mostly by retirees. Where golf resorts and country clubs are around every corner. Where majestic mountains rise to meet an endless blue sky. Where the travel guide boasts 323 days of sunshine per year. I mean… murder, mayhem, madness… these things are supposed to take place in dark alleys aren’t they? Brooding bars. Rundown tenements. Where’s the noir?
Well, I suspect it’s there. And Tucson does have its share of crime. But, more appropriately, I’ve learned to adapt Del’s fictional life to the setting. The series, has taken on a somewhat different tone than I’d first envisioned. The stories themselves have turned more adventurous than noir. More thriller-ish than mystery. (And for the better, I believe.)
And, Del Shannon, well.. she fits right in. From the Baby Eagle she keeps tucked into her waistband at the small of her back, to the red Jeep Wrangler that has become her trademark vehicle, Del fits the mold of the rugged individualist that Arizona is known for.
While her missing persons cases may sometimes take her afield, it is planned that each story in the series will start and end in Tucson. It’s where Del lives and loves, finds happiness and heartbreak. And there’s plenty of villainry to go around.
NAZARETH CHILD, book one in the series, released this past September, takes Del into the Appalachian region of Kentucky in search of the mother she’s never known. But the blazing climax takes place right there in her old home town of Tucson.
Book two, SONORA CROSSING, finds Del closer to home, on a quest into the senderos, the dangerous drug corridors between Arizona and Mexico, to retrieve a kidnapped child who many believe to be clairvoyant. Will Del survive the crossing? And what secrets might this strange little girl reveal? This book, like it’s predecessor, finds it’s climax in Arizona. SONORA CROSSING is scheduled for release in September of next year.
Whether sunny or dark, warm or cold, Del has made the Arizona desert her home. I hope you’ll give one of her adventures a try.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Beth Groundwater will be promoting the November 8th ebook/trade paperback re-release of her mystery, A Real Basket Case, and signing copies of her May release, Deadly Currents, at a number of appearances in November that she's sharing with historical mystery author Ann Parker. The event information is listed below:
Saturday, November 12, 4 – 6 PM
Pikes Peak Writers Fundraiser Signing with Beth Groundwater and Ann Parker
Barnes & Noble Booksellers
1565 Briargate Boulevard, Colorado Springs, CO 80920
Sunday, November 13, 2 – 4:30 PM
“Constructing a Mystery” Workshop and Signing with Beth Groundwater and Ann Parker
The Book Haven
128 F Street, Salida, Colorado 81201
Wednesday, November 15, 6:30 – 8 PM
Joint Signing with Beth Groundwater and Ann Parker
Old Firehouse Books
232 Walnut Street, Fort Collins, CO 80524
Wednesday, November 16, 7 – 9 PM
Presentation and Joint Signing with Beth Groundwater and Ann Parker
Highlands Ranch Public Library
9292 Ridgeline Blvd., Highlands Ranch, CO 80129
Thursday, November 17, 7 – 9 PM
Mystery Panel with Beth Groundwater, Ann Parker and Michelle Black for High Crimes Mystery Bookshop
at The Oriental & Navajo Rug Gallery
927 Main Street, Longmont, CO 80501
Friday, November 18, 2 – 3:30 PM
“Researching and Writing a Mystery” Workshop with Beth Groundwater and Ann Parker
Lake County Library
1115 Harrison Avenue, Leadville, CO 80461
Friday, November 18, 5 – 7 PM
Joint Signing with Beth Groundwater and Ann Parker
The Book Mine
522 Harrison Avenue, Leadville, CO 80461
Friday, November 11, 2011
On Inkspot we’ve talked a bit about where we write, about our different offices, writing areas and techniques for buckling down and avoiding distraction. Despite my luck at having a rather large and cushy office, I tend to wander away from home to write whenever possible. I mix it up – one of the three public libraries, the University library, various coffee shops around town, and in warm weather I spend hours in parks and picnic areas around – and outside of – town.
On one hand, I’m avoiding yard work, housework, errands, phone calls, people dropping by because they don’t think I have a job, workmen, Internet surfing, social media, cleaning closets, looking to see if anything interesting has materialized in the refrigerator, etc. You know: life.
On the other hand, I’m seeking quiet, inspiration, chunks of uninterrupted time, beauty, solitude – or being around people but not having to talk to them – sunshine, a work mindset (particular to college libraries) and regular doses of caffeine.
However, there are two times when I’m forced to hunker down in my own home in order to get the job done. The first is when I’m plotting and developing new characters for an upcoming WIP. The second is the final rewrite/edit at the end of the process.
‘Cuz I talk to myself. Seriously talk to myself. I mutter at characters. I ask them questions. I ask myself questions. I answer myself. Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard the joke. And yes, I
might very well go slightly insane at these times.
But wait. There’s more.
I walk while I talk. I pace and stride and shuffle back and forth in my office, and sometimes all over the house. And into the backyard. Still muttering. This is not the kind of thing which one should do in public, not even in a park. Even the cadre of homeless guys at the downtown public library would look at me funny.
But for me, it works. Starting with writing college papers in the middle of the night and continuing right through preparing presentations in the corporate world, walking-and-talking has been part of
my creative process how I get things done.
So be it.
How ‘bout you? Do you have any particular writing quirks? How about reading quirks (e.g. I used read paperbacks on my three-mile morning walks)?
Thursday, November 10, 2011
by Kathleen Ernst
Well, no, not really thousands. But my current WIP, Beyond Death’s Door, does have a large cast. And although my protagonist Chloe is the primary character, three others have point-of-view scenes. Most of the book takes place in 1982, but it does include an historical timeline as well.
Given that, I’ve been thinking about including a “Cast of Characters” at the front of the book.
A recent discussion on a mystery writers’ Listserv touched on that idea. I didn’t catch it all, but at least some posters lamented how the inclusion of a cast list seems to have fallen from favor. I’m paraphrasing here, but one person noted that the characters weren’t the most important people in readers’ lives, as they may at times seem to the author. She voted in favor of inclusion.
Great! I thought. I will include a character list in Beyond Death’s Door.
Then I happened across a comment from Chris Roerden in her book Don’t Murder Your Mystery: 24 Fiction-Writing Techniques To Save Your Manuscript From Turning Up D.O.A. It’s a good book, and I often flip through it as I near the end of a draft. While encouraging writers to introduce characters gradually, she writes: “One novel I began to read named twenty characters in the first chapter. If I hadn’t been looking forward to reading that author, I would have viewed the family tree on the flyleaf as the omen it was.”
Obviously a too-big cast, poorly introduced, is not the hallmark of a great book. But her comment about the family tree on the flyleaf as “omen” gave me pause.
So…what do you think? Do you see a cast list as a helpful tool, or an omen of bad things to come?
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
November 13: Nothing really happens on November 13.
Monday, November 7, 2011
A branch came down at the end of our block. It hit a power line, sending sparks that ignited the phone, Internet, and cable lines to our street. Another branch dangled precariously over a power line, threatening to fall at any moment and take out our power. One report I heard said that a million people in New Jersey were without power. That's over 10% of the state's population. Two days later, 600,000 still had no power.
Some parts of the country are used to snow before Halloween. Not us. Half the time kids go trick or treating around here without coats covering up their costumes. This year there were few trick or treaters. Too many branches still dangled and threatened to fall on little goblins and ghosts as they tramped from one house to the next.
In the last few months we’ve been hit by an earthquake, another rarity in New Jersey, and massive flooding. Now a freak snowstorm. I’m wondering what’s next, a plague of locusts? Perhaps we need to sacrifice a lamb and mark our doorposts with its blood.
Lois Winston writes the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries series. The first book, Assault With A Deadly Glue Gun, was a January 2011 release and received starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Death by Killer Mop Doll will be a January 2012 release. Visit Lois at http://www.loiswinston.com and Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog, http://anastasiapollack.blogspot.com.
Barnes and Noble.com
This free e-book offer only lasts through the end of November.
|Chili Con Corpses|
a cozy mystery by J. B. Stanley
The Supper Club Mysteries
J. B. Stanley
A spicy adventure awaits the “Flab Five,” a supper club for dieters, when they sign up for a Mexican/Spanish cooking class. Includes recipes!
“Stanley offers another entry in the popular Supper Club Mystery series, and her fans now have a new volume to relish.” —Booklist
“Heavy on fun, light on gore, this savory mystery comes complete with yummy recipes.” —Publishers Weekly
Check out the other titles in the delicious Supper Club Mystery series.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
By Deborah Sharp
What is it about TV that turns normal folks into idiots?
I showed up to do a book-signing the other day, and I could tell people who'd come hoping to meet the guy on TV were disappointed my husband wasn't in tow.
"Oh, Kerry's not here?'' said one woman, frowning. "I thought you'd bring him.''
"Nope, it's just me. I'm only the author,'' I said.
If she hadn't gotten in for free, I'm sure she would have demanded her money back. People at signings have asked -- often -- if my husband could also autograph their books. "No problem,'' I always say. "Just so long as you remember I'm the one who wrote it.''
Look, I get it. My husband, NBC reporter Kerry Sanders, works on TV. I'm proud of the job he does, covering stories all over the globe. But the fact he appears regularly on that glowing screen in the nation's living rooms, mere channels away from true celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Flavor Flav ... well, it makes people act weird.
I realized how weird early on. Take my normally stolid, down-to-earth Lutheran minister, for example. When Kerry and I went in together 23 years ago to talk to him about performing our marriage, he didn't question us about whether differences in religions or core values might cause problems down the road. No.
"What's it like to be on TV?'' he asked, gazing starry-eyed at my husband-to-be.
"Hello,'' I said. "I'm over here. The bride?''
I only expect the star-struckiness to get worse this week. Kerry's appearing alongside the Today show's popular anchor during the network's heavily promoted feature, Where in the World is Matt Lauer?
In preparation, I'm rehearsing my answers to the non-book related questions I expect to get at my next book-signing:
"Nope, I can't tell you what country Kerry is in. It's Top Secret.'' (Tune in Thursday morning on the Today show, if you're curious. My husband will be the one who isn't Matt Lauer at that day's fabulous location.)
"Nope, I don't know what Matt Lauer is really like. I've only met the man once, briefly. I'm certain he couldn't pick me out of a line-up.''
"Nope, I can't get Matt Lauer to autograph my book for you; but I'd be glad to ask my husband to sign it. Buy two, and he'll pose for a picture.''
How about you? Have you ever met someone from movies or TV? Did you act cool, or giddy? I still remember how nervous I was as a teenager when I met my famous sports star crush, quarterback Joe Namath. I spilled a Coke all over both of us.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
On Sunday, November 6th, from 5-7 PM MST, 7-9 PM EST, Beth Groundwater will be a guest at the Writers Chatroom, answering questions from participants. Come and join her with a juicy question of your own!
On Monday, November 7th, all day, Beth Groundwater will respond to questions and comments on her guest article at Killer Crafts and Crafty Killers.
On Wednesday, November 9, all day, Beth Groundwater will respond to questions and comments on her interview at Pat Bertram Introduces....
On Thursday, November 10, all day, Beth Groundwater will respond to questions and comments on her guest article"A Day in the Life of Claire Hanover" at dru's book musings.
On Friday, November 11th, from 6-8 PM, Beth Groundwater will sign copies of her Deadly Currents and A Real Basket Case mysteries at a Wine, Cheese, and Chocolate Signing with fellow mystery author Ann Parker at Black Cat Books, 720 Manitou Avenue, Manitou Springs, CO 80829.
On Saturday, November 12, 4 – 6 PM, there will be a Pikes Peak Writers Fundraiser Signing with Beth Groundwater and Ann Parker at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 1565 Briargate Boulevard, Colorado Springs, CO 80920.