Beatrice is busy writing what she calls "chick-lit erotica," so she begged me to tell you that the link she gave you last week for her book JAMES DEAN AND THE MOONLIGHT MADNESS SALE is wrong, wrong, wrong! (Actually, she said "wrong" 6 times!) Bea says the best way to find James Dean is to visit Deni’s website and hit the link for Beatrice Brooks.
I [Deni] was planning to blog about gender preferences–do readers prefer books written by men or women, or does it matter?–but Jeff Cohen did a much better [and much funnier] job with that subject. All I’ll add is that, at one point in my career, I wrote horror stories under the pseudonym "King Stephens." Those stories are Out Of Print [also known as OOP, an acronym I love], but maybe some day I’ll resurrect them.
And so my subject this week will be. . .
[MORE] MISSED-CONCEPTIONS ABOUT THE PUB BIZ
1) My son and his partner, a chef at the 5-star Broadmoor Hotel, wanted to open a restaurant. The woman who owned the building didn’t want to lease to a kid with hair down to his butt [my son]. But when she heard that I would co-sign the lease, she was ecstatic. She had read my first two published mysteries and figured I was . . . what’s the expression? Oh yeah, rolling in dough. Hahhahahahaha.
2) I was a lecturer for Weight Watchers when I had the idea for THROW DARTS AT A CHEESECAKE—killing off dieters when they reached their goal weights. At which point, I quit my "real job" and started waiting tables so I’d have more time to write. This is just temporary, I thought. I’ll sell my book to a major publisher (I liked kangaroos, so that meant Pocket) and soon I’ll be rolling in dough. Seven years later, I sold "Cheesecake" on a two-book contract and wrote BEAT UP A COOKIE.
3) In the beginning of a waitress career that spanned 17 years [I kid you not], I looked for PR opportunities–a way to slip my author’s status into the conversation. But early on I figured what the…heck.
"How’s your lasagna?" I’d ask. "And by the way, I’m a published author."
Across the street from The Olive Garden—the restaurant where I worked when my first book came out—a B Daltons carried Throw Darts at a Cheesecake. The manager, Richard, ordered 100 hardcovers from my publisher, Walker. The first month he sold 98 and I made my first bestseller list. So now I could quit waiting tables, right? Surely you jest!
My "guests" [the people I served] would almost always say, "If you’re a published author, why are you working as a waitress?" I’d respond, "Shhhh, I’m undercover, planning to write the quintessential restaurant exposé."
When I began writing EYE OF NEWT, I worked at a restaurant in Manitou Springs, Colorado, where you can find Covens in the phone directory under ‘C’. People would oft ask what book I was working on. When I said a mystery starring a witch, they’d reach for their wallets and hand me a business card. "Call me if you need any advice," they’d say. Eye of Newt takes place in the fictitious town of Manitou Falls, Colorado, nestled between Manitou Springs and Green Mountain Falls.
I can sell you a map, if you like. It’ll supplement my writer’s income.
Since I run an editing service – Stray Cat Productions – next week I’ll tell you some funny editing stories.
Or would you rather hear funny waitress stories?
Over and Out,
PS- Here are my answers to some of the blogtag questions Pari asked last
4 Movies You Would Watch Over and Over:
The Lion King / Beauty and the Beast [tie]
The Shawshank Redemption
Johnny Depp [in anything]
4 Places You Have Lived:
New York City
4 TV Shows You Love To Watch:
NFL Football (Go Broncos!)
4 Places You Have Been on Vacation:
4 Of Your Favorite Foods:
Shrimp with lobster sauce
[And I’ll add] 4 Authors Who Made Me Want To Become a Writer:
- William Goldman
- Anya Seton
- Susan Isaacs
- John Steinbeck