Samurai Sword Blade

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.

51 thoughts on “Samurai Sword Blade

  1. Ray

    Yes, I remember that bit in the hospital where Enzo turns up with a baby in a carriage that just so happens to have blades attached to the wheels. How can we forget the immortal line: “I am Enzo… the baker, and I take revenge on the Yagyu clan on behalf of the Corleones!”

    I believe it was George Lucas wrote that particular line…

  2. Mark Terry

    Gee, I want what Guyot’s smokin’.

    Good to have you back. And I mean, really, man, that severed head bit on “Rugrats” was classic. Classic, I say!


  3. Ray

    They’re actually one and the same, Lindsey just pulls on a hairy pig mask when he wants to be Lucas.

    Guyot’s back five seconds and he’s already melted my brain.

  4. Brett Battles

    Emmitt Smith IS the most overrated player in NFL history, isn’t he? Good one, Guyot! Nice to have you back, too! And you’re right about Phil Hawley, too. That boy can write!

    See you in Seattle.

  5. Elaine Flinn

    I agree with Jim – “I Have Nothing To Say” was probably one of the most profound blogs on the net. Guyot’s incredible daily insights were just too damn staggering to take in all at once. I frequently had to read each piece twice. But – having him here with us at Murderati will at least give us all another shot at his magic.

    However,I must confess – well, nevermind.

  6. Mike MacLean

    I have the flu and feel like crap, yet I felt the need to say a few words about Mr. Guyot

    Paul questioned my manhood once, so I gave him crap for writing Felicity. Not exactly tough guy material.

    In truth, I’m jealous of Paul’s work on the show. And not because he was getting a real paycheck for it… Okay, maybe I’m a little jealous of the paycheck. But more so, I’m envious of the guy’s talent and range.

    Here’s a man who can do a coming of age story about a young woman then turn around a write some of the meanest crime fiction on two feet (check out his story at when Quertermous gets the archive back up).

    He’s also a damn nice guy who is supportive of the newbies in the field when he doesn’t have to be.

    If that’s not enough, Paul somehow got Lone Wolf and Cub, James Joyce, and Lindsey Lohan’s nipples all in one post. Now that’s a man to admire.

  7. Elaine Flinn

    Aldo wants to know what else ‘we’ have up our sleeves? Oh, darling – if you only knew. With Guyot on board – one can only shudder. And that doesn’t even account for whatever the hell Alex & Mike come up with.

    Gosh, guess I’ll have to take the kid gloves off my On The Bubble interviews now.

  8. Richard

    Newbie here. I’ve heard tell of the legendary Paul Guyot and his blog, and am looking forward to more stories about the television gravy train…

  9. JLW

    No, J.T.

    He was a STAND-IN for Don Johnson–that’s the person who goes on the set in lieu of the star when they’re planning camera shots and lighting. A BODY DOUBLE, contrariwise, is a person who takes his clothes off and has his rippling abs and dinner-plate pecs cinematographed, said images to be interespersed with head shots of the star.

    Before Don Johnson, PG was a stand-in for Christian Slater, but now he’s standing in for Orson Welles.

    The concept of Guyot being a body double is worthy of H. P. Lovecraft.

    But now for the PG Sweepstakes:

    I challenge everyone to list at least ONE of Guyot’s writing credits. I’ll start.

    “The Closers”, short story in GREATEST HITS: ORIGINAL STORIES OF HITMEN< MIRED GUNS AND PRIVATE EYES, edited by Robert Randisi. Carroll & Graf, 2005. The winner will be selected by random drawing of all entries. The Grand Prize is a free Dream Date with Paul. (Caveat: winner supplies the bait and bass boat.)

  10. Rob Gregory Browne

    Gotta agree about Phil Hawley. One of the nicest guys I know. I’ve got an arc of STIGMA just waiting for me to finish writing my latest book — but I took a sneak peek at the first chapter and the guy is GOOOOD.

  11. Guyot

    Or Earl Campbell, or The Murderer, or Gale Sayers, or Tony Dorsett, or Marion Motley, or Eric Dickerson, or Jerome Bettis, or Thurman Thomas, or Joe Perry, or Marcus Allen, or LaDainian Tomlinson, or Hershall Walker, or Curtis Martin, or Marshall Faulk, or even OJ Anderson.

  12. Shirley Kennett

    Let’s see, PG, that must stand for Proctor & Gamble. So that challenge to list one of PG’s credits becomes amazingly easy.

    1. Charmin tissue – for those long writing sessions in the bathroom, alternately for scripts, novels, careers gone down the toilet

    2. Pepto-Bismol – used immediately after receipt of notes about severed head

    3. Mr. Clean – a new look, bald and broad-chested

    4. CoverGirl – has to be something to do with nipples

    5. Old Spice – still manly in spite of lack of body double jobs

    6. Zest, Secret, Joy, Bounce, and Cheer – occasionally lacking in his writing but abundant in his household supplies

    7. Metamucil – see #1

    Good to see you here, Paul. You sure you want all this abuse? Or is that the idea?

  13. Naomi

    Forty-three comments! What the heck happened here? Well, I’m glad to be the 44th to welcome the guyot. See you in Seattle because I can’t seem to run into you in L.A.

  14. Karen

    Maybe I won’t kill myself after all.


    I just wrote you an e-mail, and then someone wrote to me and told me you were blogging again. (NOT you, I might point out.)

    I’m about to change planes in your fair city. Read your e-mail.

  15. Bill Crider

    Welcome back, Paul. Would you believe that I mentioned “Lindsay Lohan’s nipples” in my blog over a year ago, and I’m still getting hits from that phrase? It’s true.

  16. Mel

    As a gal who’s known Paul since I was in 5th grade, may I just say that he is more amazing than ever…and his brilliance in writing is only surpassed by his hotter than Hasselhoff looks! Ladies…if you are lucky enough to see him at the Left Coast Crime con in February…ask him to do his impression of a horse. Just be sure you stand wwaaaaayyyy back!

  17. Dave White

    You know, I come over here to say “Hi Paul, welcome back” like everyone else, only to find that Plot Baby Plot’s been here and decides he needs to name drop me…. Not that I mind being name dropped, but… when Plot Baby Plot does it, it somehow seems… yucky.


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