Being an upstanding member of MURDERATI and Mysteryville, I embrace and honor my commitment, I try to comport myself in a professional and responsible manner, I understand and applaud objectivity and I am always compassionate, trueblue and humble-no matter the arrows of slander slung.  I will honor my pledge to present to you – our wonderful and tolerant readers of Murderati and On The Bubble – the second portion of my interview with Dylan Schaffer as promised.

Do I do this under duress?  Nay.  Do I do this with fear of litigation beating in my breast?  Nay.  I do this because I can walk the plank.  I can face the music.  I can look into the mirror and know for certain the answers to my simple questions are indeed the words of Dylan Schaffer and not a figment of my imagination.  They are presented below in the exact manner in which they were offered to Mr. Schaffer – and his answers are EXACTLY as submitted to me. 

And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, I rest my case.

EE:  Rumor has it, you’re ready to take a chance agai, and do that Sci-fi/Vampire book that’s been haunting you for years.  Can you discuss this, Dylan, or is it somethingyou can’t talk about until daybreak?

DS:  I thought you’d never ask.  But I’m tickled that you did.  I don’t know, I just got a bug up my butt and said, this time I want to do something different. The new book is a one-off.  I’ll  never do anything like it again.  So I figured why not.  Why the hell not.  You live once, right?  You can’t take it with you.  Am I wrong?  So I rolled the dice.  I put myself out there.  I’m sure lots of people will laugh at me, but I’m too old and too hung over to care.  I wrote a little diddy about the book, my friend and I had a few cocktails and we shot the video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v+A9Kbo4vz1TU ). Tongue remains firmly in cheek, believe me.  I don’t take myself too seriously.  I’m not expecting a call from MTV any time soon.  But I’ll say this: if you watch the video, and you don’t smile, I’ll pay you five bucks.  (Not the rest of you, just Elaine).

Make it ten and I’ll frown.  For fifty I’ll cross my eyes.  For a hundred, I’ll hide my eyes.

EE:  My favorite little spy told me that your lovely wife, Jane, has asked you time and again to turn the radio up when you’re clacking away at your keyboard.  Apparently, and this is what I was told – you type so fast, she can’t hear herself over the noise.

DS:  It’s true.  Jane can’t stand the sound of the keyboard.  I’ve heard her scream at the top of her lungs, "Jane, Jane, Jane’s in pain, typewriter clicking makes me insane."  But believe me, that’s not the worst of it.  Jane has major sensitivity issues.  She says magazines smell like rotting flesh.  She can’t go near melon of any kind.  And if you want to see her do a jig, just mention Spiro Agnew.  She doesn’t sleep much.  Actually, I’ve never seen her sleep.  She always walks backwards. She insists on feeding meters with pennies though the parking time never goes up.  Look, she’s a freak.  Cute, smart, but twisted beyond all help.  The good news for me is that none of Jane’s peculiar, alarming, or downright psychotic character traits are of much concern because, well, because my wife’s name is Jen, not Jane.

I knew that.  I wasn’t sure if you, in your obviously demented state, knew it.

EE:  I go crazy when I hear things like this, but Mysteryville is abuzz about the rumor that you and David Corbett are planning to kidnap Barry Eisler at Bcon and demand the name of his hair stylist.

DS:  Here’s a true story.  My law class was filled with opportunists, numbskulls, and future fascists ( I count myself among at least two of these groups).  One of my classmates was a tall, thin, dark haired beauty named Terri with a smile so wide I sometimes feared falling in.  We weren’t friends, exactly.  We didn’t socialize,  I knew next to nothing about her life.  But if she was sitting alone studying in the cafeteria, I’d set my booksdown and say, "What can I buy you to tell me why I shouldn’t hurl myself off the 6th story terrace?" She’d smile and say, "What?"  She was often lost in her head, or in contracts, or something.  And I’d say, "Terri, what the hell’s happening?"  And she’d say, "Nothing, how are you?"  And she meant it.  That was the crazy thing.  She actually liked me.  She wanted to know how I was.  I didn’t even want to know how I was.

To escape the chattering law student voices I played (badly, so badly) a baby grand piano in the lobby.  Terri would sit on a couch nearby.  When I stopped she’d say, "You play so beautifully."  Later I learned she was a trained musician who knew quite well how miserably I hacked at the keys.  After law school I lost touch with Terri.  And Corbett married her.  A few years later she died of ovarian cancer.  When David and I learned the connection, it joined us permanently.  Plus, the guy’s a genius.  I like geniuses.

How wonderful the two of you have such lovely memories.

EE:  Whispers are rampant that you are determined to take tap dance lessons so you can do a Gene Kelly and boast to your friends, "I made it through the rain.’  I mean, it was a great film, but?

DS:  Speaking of Gene Kelly, did you know that there’s a gene the makes developing a beer belly much more likely.  I just made an appointment to get tested.  I don’t want to be one of those old guys who can’t see his pecker.  Thank God for modern science.

Alas, dear readers, Mr. Schaffer has plummeted once again.  Further proof this man is not himself.

EE:  I know the bar scene at Bcon is like it’s just another New Year’s Eve, but putting that aside, which writer would you love to have all to yourself in a cozy corner of the bar in Madison?

DS:  Really there’s only one writer for me, and that’s Denise Mina.  I know she’s attached, and so am I.  I’m not a cheater and she doesn’t seem like one either and probably her man is nine feet tall and would wring me like a soggy sock.  But this is my chance to tell the world — it’s Mina for me, baby.  Me and Mina.  If her new book, The Dead Hour, doesn’t win every award this year I’m personally going to beat up some people.  I may not be Barry Eisler, but I took a lot of Tae Kwon Do, people,and when it comes to defending my woman, well, let’s just say you don’t want to test me.  Give her those awards or you’ll have to deal with me.

Tragically, I can’t be at Bouchercon because I’ll be on tour trying to drum up readers for my little memoir.  If you see Denise, tell her I say hello.  (Please don’t show her this because I’d like her to think of me as a colleague and not as a stalker.)

Don’t show her this?  Ohhhh, but I’m laughing here.  But hey, I’m easy to get along with – have your people call my people.  We’ll see what we can work out.

EE:  Ahem.  Trying to get the feeling again that I alone am conducting this interview, tell us who wold be your ideal tour mate.

DS:  You mean other than Denise Mina?  No.  If not Denise, I’d really prefer to be alone.

Ha!  Count on it, pal!  I can make that happen.  You’ll be alone.  I mean REALLY alone.

EE: Whew.  Looks like we made it! The end is near.  Last question – you’re having six guests for dinner. Who would they be, and what would you serve?

DS:  Before I answer your question, Elaine, I want to say what a pleasure it’s been to be On The Bubble.  I was humbled, honored, thrilled, tickled, and generally feeling pretty randy when you said you’d decided to interview me.  It wasn’t always comfortable, though.  You’re a tough one.  You prod,  you poke, you unmask like Larry King after a gum massage.  I feel found out in all sorts of unpleasant ways.  Pain and suffering, emotional abuse,economic loss, defamation — I’ve been through the ringer and lived to tell the tale.  My attorneys will be in touch.  If I were you I’d start transferring assets.  So,thank you very much.

Now, what was your question?

What can I say, dear readers?  Reality for Mr. Schaffer has obviously lost all meaning.  I must admit my replies to his answers have been altered from the original.  Considering his assault on my veracity, I found myself unable to continue my normal playful and affectionate attitude.  This interview has become a sham, an embarrassment, if you will.  Civility has flown out the window.

Your aid in underscoring my sterling character is appreciated – so please do – with all honesty – SAVE ME FROM THIS DERANGED MAN!!!  Help me to know I am not imagining this nightmare, this journey into madness, this fall into the depths!  So please do hit that ‘comment’ button and let me know that you are with me-that you verify my sterling character – that you will fight this good fight along side of me.  For without your support, I may not have the will to continue my weekly inteviews


  1. B.G. Ritts

    Evil E, I do believe your defense (if needed) is in the movie (which someone cleverly mistyped the address to). In it, Mr. Dylan oh Mr. Dylan says (actually shows on his cue cards) that he’s crazy (actually phrased “cuckoo for cocoa puffs”) and then reiterates that statement (phrased “Looney Tunes / me”).

    Your crackerjack legal team of Grisham, Turow & Margolin, since The Burden of Proof rests with Mr. Dylan oh Mr. Dylan, should be able to find Proof Positive in that video that you are not just Presumed Innocent, but that the The Summons issued for Mr. Dylan oh Mr. Dylan’s suit will be Gone (But Not Forgotten) and that he is not The Innocent Man he claims to be.

  2. David Simpson


    I’m a first timer here on Murderati. Someone I know sent me the link to last week’s interview with Dylan Schaffer and after reading the rest of the interview today (which personally I didn’t find very funny at all), I thought your readers might be interested in a fresh perspective. In fact, I think you’ve got a real mystery on your hands with this guy, as I’ll try to explain.

    I grew up with Dylan Schaffer in the suburbs of New York. We knew a few people in common, although I wouldn’t say we were really friends. Dylan was a little hard to get to know; he was what you might call a drama geek (or even a drama queen), very flashy, always wearing different types of clothing to school, didn’t play much sports. He was more the sort of person to be friends with girls than guys. You know the type.

    I really don’t know what happened to him after high school. I heard something about him getting into some sort of legal trouble, but I don’t have any details. He didn’t keep in touch with anyone I knew.

    Then, a couple of years ago, someone told me that Dylan had become a writer. I’m not much of a reader, really, but I was curious. So I went to a bookstore and looked at a book he supposedly wrote. When I saw the picture of the author, I can tell you I was shocked. Because that guy was definitely not the person I grew up with in New Rochelle, N.Y.

    I figured it was just another person with the same name, and that my friend had been confused. But when I read his biography on his website (www.dylanschaffer.com/about.htm) it looked to me as if someone had hijacked Dylan Schaffer’s identity. I realize this sounds crazy, but I’m an accountant and I have no reason to make this up. All of the biographical details are right (well, I guess they are a little exaggerated, but what do you expect from a writer?), but the person pictured isn’t the guy I knew.

    I even went to a reading the guy calling himself Dylan Schaffer had in Boston, where I live, and let me tell you, he isn’t even close to the guy I knew. I could give you more details about how different they are, look, sound &tc., but I’ve already gone on too long.

    I don’t know what’s going on here, but after reading the interview, and the comments last week from a person claiming to be Dylan Schaffer who said he didn’t write the answers, well, it all got too confusing for me. I figured I should write to say what I know and leave it up to you mystery people to figure it out.

    If the real Dylan Schaffer is reading this, well, hello from Fat Simpson (that’s what they used to call me). Give me a call sometime if you get to Boston.

    D. Simpson

  3. Elaine

    Yes, Iden – be on the lookout for the demented Schaffer!

    B.G.!! I’m rolling on the floor-well, just about. You ‘got it’ and the rest of it too methinks! Wonderful!!

    David Simpson! Oh, how I cheered when I read your news! How can I ever thank you for unravelling this mystery! Yes, I fear you are correct-a case perhaps of delirum tremens? Too much yeast in the mix? My attorneys are looking into this. Many thanks for expert sleuthing. You should think of writing mysteries.

    And Louise…dear Louise. I knew I could count on you for support. I’ll be talking to Denise Mina shortly and will certainly pass on your excellent advice.

  4. Elaine

    Well, gosh! Looks like all our friends and faithful readers are gone for the Labor Day Weekend!

    My thanks to Dylan Schaffer for being such a wonderful guest and good sport. And my thanks to all of you-where ever the heck you are-for going along with our joke. By the way, Louise Ure was the only one to notice that all of Dylan’s questions had Bary Manilow song titles in them-but I think B.G. Ritts did too!

    Speaking of B.G. – your comment with those terrific author titles embedded was absolutely hilarous-and I thank you for all that hard work!

    Linda Richards from January Magazine will be my guest next week-so stop by.

  5. Pari

    Elaine,I had a cook-out yesterday and couldn’t get to this interview today.

    First of all, your character has never been in question — except in Dylan’s questionable mind.

    Second, thanks for another great installment.

    That man has a way of avoiding answering anything directly. Ah, the subtext. Ah, lawyers.

    Have a good labor day tomorrow.

  6. David Corbett

    Dear Elaine:I want to thank both you and Dylan for so generously mentioning my late wife, Terri. I still remember the first phone call I had with Dylan, when we were due to share billing on a reading at Book Passage. When he told me he’d known Terri, and that she’d praised his piano playing without ever disclosing that she’d studied for the Tchaikovsky Competition, I knew he wasn’t making anything up: That was her to a T. If any of your readers would like to know more about her, they can go to the page on my website devoted to her: http://www.davidcorbett.com/Cesidia.htm Thanks again, and what a raucous little gig you’ve got here. Throw in some monkeys, you could take this shindig on the road. (And Barry Eisler can keep his hair: At Bouchercon I’ll be sharing a panel with Charlie Huston, Sean Doolittle and Jonothan King–see any connection?)–David Corbett

  7. Naomi

    Yes, I saw that panel listed–“Four Olives and a Twist” (moderated by Twist Phelan). That is definitely a photo opportunity. I’m sorry I’m going to miss it.

  8. Elaine

    Hi,David! Thanks for dropping in. I wish I’d had the opportunity to meet Terri. I was touched by Dylan’s memories. It just shows he’s not totally dememted, huh?

    Take this on the road? With Dylan? Please! I have enough gray hairs on my head! Sorry I won’t be seeing you at Bcon-it’s been too long as it is. You can bet I’d be in the audience at that panel. I’m gonna have to get you On The Bubble!


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