Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Slogan for Our Times

Given my success, and the success of my friend Tim Wendel, in handing out autographed books last week at the book expo, my wife and I have come up with a slogan that we believe truly captures the Zeitgeist of early 21st century America:

"FREE SELLS!!!!!!"

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A New Project

And so this morning, at around 11 a.m., I started working on my next project -- a screenplay titled NO GOOD DEED.

I have not written a screenplay in years, and I wonder if the Muses are screwing with me. The idea behind the script is strong, and even before I began working on it I had a good sense of what I want to do. (Rarely the case for me when I launch something.)

The truly great thing about screenplays is that you max out at about 120 pages. So I should have a first draft of this completed by the time we start our summer vacations in mid-August.

Stay tuned, as they like to say on TV ......

Monday, June 1, 2009

On the Nature of Fans

Margery Flax's description of my fan Beatrice Weinberg as a "nice Jewish grandmother from Queens" got me thinking ....

My first novel, THE SERPENT CLUB, was a book drenched with sex and violence and violent sex. (I've calmed down a bit over the years.) The reaction to the book was eye-opening. A lot of woemn I would have described as grandmotherly or maiden aunt types really liked it. (He has problems, doesn't he?" one such woman said about the protagonist, as if she thought she could help him.) Although those observations surprised me, I was rocked even more by the responses from some of my colleagues in journalism, presumably jaded and cynical types who were appalled at what I had written.

It's ten years since THE SERPENT CLUB, and I'm still not sure what to make of that divergence. Except to note the wisdom of something my parents told me over and over again while I was growing up: Don't make assumptions about people. You have to judge them as individuals.

Where Have You Gone, Beatrice Weinberg?

Just after my appearance at Book Expo America on Friday, Margery Flax of the Mystery Writers of America told me a fan story. Since I don't have many fan stories, I thought I'd relate it:

Margery got a message one day from an elderly woman at a nursing hime in Queens. The woman, a mystery fan, wondered if there any books the MWA had access to that it could send along to her. Margery liked the woman and wanted to help her out, so she put together a collection of about 40 titles and shipped them along.

It turns out that the woman was a "hard-boiled" buff, and she specifically asked Margery if she had any more books by Tom Coffey. She loved my stuff! At the time, I only had two books out.

Well, now there's a third. Unfortunately, Margery lost contact with the woman, whose name was Beatrice Weinberg. So if anybody knows where Beatrice is, please please please tell her about BLOOD ALLEY.