PAUL GUYOT has got to be one of the most successful and prolific TV writers who can combine a grueling television production schedule with writing fiction. Not only was he the writer and producer of JUDGING AMY, he also wrote for FELICITY, worked with David E. Kelly and Michael Connelly, and has recently completed a pilot for TNT-and-inked another deal with Sony Pictures to develop, produce and write another first rate TV pilot. Quelle Diable! But fear not! Paul is still one of ‘us’. His short story – CLOSERS – can be found in Robert J. Randisi’s new crime anthology – GREATEST HITS – (all about hit men, naturally) – which includes shorts by Lee Child, Lawrence Block and Jeffery Deaver. A man of many hats, a rapid fire wit, and a loveable rogue. My kinda guy.
See for yourself!
EE: A good friend of yours (and it wasn’t DM or JWL-or maybe it was) told me being an acclaimed, award winning TV writer no longer holds the allure it once did, thus you have decided to blow the roof off the barn and become a real writer. Would you kindly address this serious allegation?
PG: If I were a real writer, do you think I’d actually be wasting my time talking with you? Rest assured I am still the filthy money-grubbing whore you know and love.
Ah, can you see why I love this guy?
EE: Isn’t it true, besides all your other mind-boggling achievements, you long to be a NASCAR racer and leave Kurt Busch eating your dust?
PG: Since Kurt had surgery to pin his ears back (I’m not kidding) he is much faster now. Co-efficient of drag, or some horsepucky. Too bad they didn’t pin his mouth back, as well. And longing to drive a race car is not an achievement, but merely a wistful languishing…or a hankering.
Yeah, okay – I’ll buy into that. For now.
EE: What’s the story on the watch fetish? I mean, come on, Guyot, just how many Rolex’s and Piaget’s do you really need? Isn’t that Mickey Mouse watch Quentin Tarrentino gave you good enough? He’s heartbroken, you know. He told me so just the other day when we talked about my new script.
PG: Good woman, I’ll have you know I own zero Rolex’s or Piagets (sic). Now, if you want to talk Vacheron-Constantine or Blancpain, let’s get Joseph Finder in here hand have a good, old fashioned haute horology excursus.
And if you have the time – or over the four beers I owe you – I’ll tell you about my run-ins with that fraud QT.
Uh, let’s leave Finder for another time? I’d MUCH rather hear about QT! Will four beers do it – or will we need more?
EE: So what’s the real story about you Michael Connelly and that TV show?
PG: Ah, LEVEL 9. A show about cops battling cyber-crime. It actually had a chance of being cool, but we had UPN as our network back when they were the UPN airing "Homeboys in Outer Space." Thus, we were "noted" to death by people who could barely qualify to be convenience store clerks, and lacked the creativity of a cinderblock.
My favorite moment was when we got the notes re: the script for episode 3 or 4, something like that. We had just premiered to less than auspicious numbers for our targeted demographic of young boys, and the brain trust that was UPN sent down a note that said: "Can you put a severed head in the teaser, because kids dig severed heads!"
They do? Thank God mine are all grown!
EE: Rumor around Mysteryville is that you joined International Thriller Writers just to hang out in the bar with Tess Gerritson and Alex Kava at ThrillerFest. I’m really chuffed about that one. So what if I’m old enough to be your aunt? I’ve got a new night cream I’m working on. Besides, you still owe me four beers from Bcon in Chicago.
PG: Beers with you is on the calendar in pen, but if Tess or Alex even glances my way, you must understand that I will be on them like weird on Bjork.
I can change night creams.
EE: I hear you’re giving Lee Child elocution lessons. Wanna comment on that?
PG: Actually, Lee was my only student. You’d never know that when "Killing Floor" came out, Lee sounded like a cross between Foghorn Leghorn and Truman Capote.
What a marvelous job you did! His voice is soooo charming now. Sigh. If only…well, never mind.
EE: Give us the low down on Don Johnson, okay? I mean, you were his stand in on a few movies, so you should know if the rumors about his comic book addiction is true. Was he really secretly in love with Lois Lane? Or was it Superman?
PG: I’m the one with the boxes of original Silver Surfers and Daredevils. And I think he has always been secretly in love with himself.
You’ve got boxes of originals? Can the Antiques Roadshow be in your future?
EE: Was that really you doing the Cha Cha with Laura Lippman in Chicago?
PG: God, I wish. Actually, it was my paying lip service to Chachi. Scott Baio was in Chicago and he’s a bit insecure-not from the ‘Charles In Charge" days – his seminal work-but because of those "Zapped!" movies. So whenever I see him, I always have to say things like, "Yes, you’re better than Pacino."
Better than Pacino? Not! Well, maybe DeNiro is…but I mean, really, Paul! How could you?