On the Road Again

by Rob Gregory Browne

As you read this, I’m headed up the coast toward San Francisco, where I’ll be attending Bouchercon along with several other Murderati authors.

I knew I had to write a post today. Then, of course, I started washing clothes, packing and trying to figure out what I needed to take and what could stay home, and about three minutes ago it suddenly hit me.

I had forgotten completely about the post.


I find the older I get, the harder it is to remember stuff.  Nowadays, I get up from my desk and go into the kitchen for a cup of coffee and get in there and forget what I went there for.  So I go back to my desk, sit down, then suddenly remember, oh, yeah, coffee.

So I get up again, go to the kitchen and by the time I get there, I’ve forgotten all about the coffee again.

Kinda scary, when you think about it, but I think I can chalk it up to the simple fact that I’m always preoccupied.  Not just a hazard of the profession, but a hazard of being me.

I have a report card from when I was a kid with a note that says, “Robby is a good student, but spends too much time daydreaming.”

I don’t know about you, but I think that teacher was kind of an idiot.  What’s wrong with daydreaming?  Lord knows she wasn’t holding my interest.

Anyway, the bottom line here is that I forgot about this post and since I’m getting up at five a.m. to head out to Bouchercon, I’m going to completely flake out on the Murderati crowd today and go to bed.

Yeah, yeah, I know.  Good thing I’m not getting paid for this gig, eh?

But before I go, let me throw out a random question:

If you could be a character in any novel you’ve ever read, who would you be and why?


33 thoughts on “On the Road Again

  1. chris2

    that's easy…Jack Reacher, because his heart's in the right place — and, for all the injustices of reality, there is nothing more satisfying than reading about Reacher's "instant justice"

    Enjoy Bouchercon!

  2. Cornelia Read

    Well, since my main character pretty much IS me, except that she's a better shot and stuff, I guess I have to say Madeline Dare.

    Can't wait to see you at Bcon, RGB–I'm sitting at my Jetblue gate at Kennedy right now…

  3. Stephen Jay Schwartz

    It's 5 am…why the hell am I up again? Oh yeah, Bouchercon.
    If I were a character in a book I'd be a character who gets a lot of sleep.

  4. Dudley Forster

    I wouldn’t want to be Reacher. Child’s character has the exact opposite reaction to being a military brat who moved all the time. He continues to wander and I love stability. Also, Reacher’s life seems lonely

    As a kid I wanted to be Tom Swift Jr. Now .it’s hard to choose because so many of the characters I like have baggage I wouldn’t want to carry, like Harry Bosch.

    The first would be Samwise Gamgee because he epitomizes what a true hero and friend should be.

    From mystery/thriller genre I’d take Lucas Davenport; Jim Chopin; Aloysius Pendergast (even with his baggage because he so damned smart) or Issac Bell. Though Gabriel Dean is a possibility because I'd be married to Rizzoli <g>

  5. Dudley Forster

    Forgot to add – All of you going to BCon have a great time. I will be channeling my inner child and pouting.

  6. Marie-Reine

    I have to admit that I do love Madeline Dare's attitude and passion, and steadfast compassion– and I'm fucking miserable knowing she's out there in Invisible Boy, and I can't read it and be there!

    I hope you all have a great time at Bouchercon, although I don't really get what it is.

  7. Debbie

    Damn it Dudley you took the best character-Samwise Gamgee. My favourite characters are the anti-heroes, so I'll pass on being one (I hope) and try writing one instead. Maybe I just want to believe in the redemptive nature of people.
    Currently enjoying Dickens character, Mrs. Nickleby(as she tries to ensnare a suitor(: "Her mourning garments assumed quite a new character. From being the outward tokens of respect and sorrow for the dead, they became converted into signals of very slaughterous and killing designs upon the living!"
    Wouldn't want to be Clare Gibson either but she's such a living, breathing (if a character can be such) oxymoron of both speech and action, Well written. and enjoyable (Wives and Daughters-E.Gaskell).

  8. Jake Nantz

    I'd have to say Elvis Cole. Having a guy like Pike to back you up, and to be a smooth and cool as Elvis would be a nice change of pace for me. Smooth I am not, just ask my wife.

    Actually, don't. She'll tell you I'm a dork, which is true, and I can't have that getting out.

    wait……DAMMIT!!! *facepalm*

    Oh well, have fun at Bcon guys!

  9. Debbie

    Hmm, does anybody else here get the impression that we could hang out on Murderati and party for the next few days unnoticed due to partying and intoxication elsewhere? What I mean to say is, have fun reuniting, networking, learning, connecting in career enhancing ways (That's the polite thing to say right? ( 😀

  10. Marie-Reine

    Pari– but you do such a fantastic job of drawing a world without the purple crayon! Clovis arrived yesterday from the New Mexico library… listening to chapter 8 right now. Many thanks to the volunteer reader, as well. She does a fantastic job of it- not overly dramatised so can hear more of your voice than someone's interpretation. Can't wait to read the others!

  11. Marie-Reine

    Hi Pari- I've heard other authors say that, as well. One of my favorite writers said she was horrified on hearing the voice of her protagonist on the first CD of her first book, because it wasn't the voice she had in her head. I don't see how this can be avoided when "reader-recorders" project their own interpretations into the reading. Of course many people enjoy that, and they often describe it as being like watching a film. But that is why I prefer non-interpretive readings. I want to read with my own mind, my own way of experiencing what the author is saying– their story, unencumbered by a third party. I'll never have your experience with your stories, but I suspect that your own experience with your stories has many levels to explore. You can't put them all into the story, but you allow the reader to explore the possibilities. It's very much like the way people experience the reading of sacred text and have different thoughts on it each time.

    Then there is Hillary Huber– a really, really, really brilliant professional reader who is now at the top of my favorite readers list. She read Cornelia's first two books (so far her Invisible Boy has not been recorded). She reads with just enough sense of what is going on, yet is not overly interpretive. When I listened to Cornelia's reading of her own short story – then heard Hillary Huber read Cornelia's A Field of Darkness – and thought, at first, I was listening to Cornelia.

  12. KDJames

    I don't think I'd want to be any fictional character. They all have to endure so much torture before the HEA. I've got plenty as it is. But there are so many fictional heroes I'd love to see step into my life. If even for a day (Reacher). Or a night (Rourke). Ahem. TMI?

    Are we having a blog party? I'll bring the tortilla chips and taco dip. And I'm pretty sure we need some tequila too. We'll let the B'con folks be in charge of cleanup when they get back. Too bad guacamole is such a bitch to get out of the carpet.

    You all have fun in SF! Don't do anything I wouldn't d– Wait. Never mind.

  13. Marie-Reine

    Yes, of course we're having a party! Where've you been? I made a tray of screaming rattlesnake poppers and a platter of taquitos. Do we need salt for the margaritas? Limes?

  14. KDJames

    Oh yum! Taquitos. Thanks, Marie-Reine!

    I persuaded a couple big burly guys to drag the jukebox in and put it over there in the corner. They claim they don't have any plans for tonight. Or this weekend. Too bad about the gouge in the drywall. Oh well, we'll put a noir poster over it and no one will even notice.

    Ooops. Who opened that bottle of red wine and then just left it sitting there on the edge of the bar?

  15. Marie-Reine

    Oops… sorry bout that wine. I set it there while getting the beer on ice. Yeah, taquitos are my favorite habit I picked up in California– can't make myself say "SoCal."

  16. Marie-Reine

    Oooh Pari… correction: ALL volunteer readers are truly at the top of my reader lists. Hillary Huber is my favorite professional reader.

  17. Debbie

    "Zoë done a bunk? I'll go look for her."

    ""Zoë, Zoë, sweetie? Where are you? Ahh, there you are…it's time to go. You must have passed out."
    "Oh, the time change? Yes, that must have been it!"
    "Yes I'm sure the guacamole will come out of your hair. If not, it's only two weeks until Halloween, no worries!"

Comments are closed.