Okay, it’s not John Grisham, it’s me – the doughy TV guy. But what better way to get you to sit up and take notice.
I’m Paul Guyot. "Ghee-Oh." You probably saw me at some mystery conference – I was the guy lurking near the iced tea cart, looking about as comfortable as a cat in a burlap sack.
Or maybe you used to read Inkslinger… Yeah, yeah, I quit doing the whole blog thing. Buncha self-indulgent bullshit, you ask me.
Did I mention how self-indulgent I am? So, I’m back. Why? Well, to quote that famous line from one of the Godfather films… "I am Enzo, the baker."
Anyway, apparently, Pari and Jay-Tee felt like they wanted to see how low Murderati’s readership could drop, so they enlisted my questionable talents. I’ll try and keep your attention, but completely understand if on the days I post, you end up surfing over to Bill Crider’s place for a report on A-NS’s latest shenanigans.
All right, with that out of the way, let’s get this bloggy started. I’m gonna be talking about all sorts of stuff. And the first thing is… this Rachel Ray chick. WTF? She’s everywhere. She gets more press attention than Lindsey Lohan’s nipples.
Can we say nipple here, Pari? Have I already crossed the line? Crap. Okay, forget nipples.
This is Murderati, baby. Murderati is to the blogosphere what the First Comics edition of LONE WOLF AND CUB was to comic books. There may be more popular ones, but none as freaking cool. I should not be allowed within these walls.
Is this post reminding anyone of bad James Joyce? Let’s stay on point.
For those of you that are asking what Charlie Sheen’s Bud Fox asked himself – "Who am I?" – let’s find out some lesser known things…
I believe in God.
I believe Roy Buchanan was the greatest guitarist who ever lived.
I believe Emmitt Smith is the most overrated player in NFL history.
I believe an author who writes a great cozy about a crime-solving cat is every bit as good a writer as an author who writes a great hard-boiled story filled with graphic sex, violence and language.
I believe Sheldon Turner is going to be the next Brian Helgeland.
I believe Floyd Landis is innocent and the American media has turned its back on him.
I believe most parents refuse to admit they don’t spend enough time with their kids.
I believe Jay-Tee is truly oblivious to how good a writer she is.
I believe Formula 1 drivers are overrated and NASCAR drivers are underrated, but that F1 drivers are better drivers than the NASCAR wheelmen.
I believe it’s fine to drink red wine with fish.
I believe the best writing being done right now in Hollywood is for television, and not the movies.
I believe people who blog about themselves and what they believe are generally boring and really have nothing to say.
Oh, and what do I do?
I am a television writer with a few short stories published, and a novel so very unfinished that it cost me dinner with this guy. I used to hang out at a lot of crime writing cons, but not so much anymore. I started feeling even more lame than I normally do – being there without some published work to push.
But I will be at February’s Left Coast Crime for no other reason than to celebrate the launch of an incredible new voice on our genre’s scene: Phil Hawley’s STIGMA will be released in February, and released is the right word. Harper-Collins is releasing this talented new scribe onto the unsuspecting reading public. This guy is very good and is gonna be very big. Phil also happens to be one of the great men of the world.
I hate him.
So, where was I? Right, Bud Fox.
So, yeah, I write for television. What’s the difference between that and writing prose for publication? Several things, but the biggest for me is that the prose scribe will rarely have an editor say, "Put a severed head in the opening pages cuz kids dig severed heads!"
Yes, it’s true. One of the more infamous "notes" given to the writing staff of a network series I worked on. Why was it so outrageous? After all, perhaps the show dealt with horror stories, or serial killers, or something.
Um, no. The show was about cyber crime. And there was about as much coherent reason for a severed head in the opening as there would be to put a car chase in the opening pages of Cheever’s THE WAPSHOT CHRONICLE. Not that we were producing Cheeveresque material.
I have way too many stories like this. THAT, folks, is what you can look forward to in the glitzy world of screenwriting. I’d rather make a living writing prose, but… Robert Gottlieb once said that a writer has about a one in a hundred thousand chance of making a living as a novelist. I think the odds are better with screenwriting (not by much) but only because Hollywood is an overpaid and undereducated burg.
How did I get in the club? Easy. Luck. Pure and simple. Yes, I think my writing was decent, but that means nothing in Hollywood. Who you know? Nope. It’s: Who Knows the Person That You Know, and how paranoid, self-loathing, and Machiavellian are they?
If I’d never cracked the snow globe of Hollywood, I’d still be writing, just not getting paid. I’ve been a writer (whether I knew it or not) since I was eleven.
My first piece of fiction was written in the back of my 5th grade class. It made me an instant celebrity, and girls who had made fun of the gap in my teeth just days before, were now sending me notes and sitting by me at lunch.
A career was born.