Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Dumb Career Moves


DUMB CAREER MOVES

My editor, M, was bright and talented but also somewhat off-putting. At least to me. To show you how clueless I can be, M and I were having lunch at Four Seasons (where else?) after my first hard cover novel, Decades, was so successful—a NYT bestseller in hard cover, major paperback sale and worldwide foreign and translation sales.

"Your next book should be about my affair," M told me—he was married to wife #1 at the time—whereupon he proceeded to fill me in on the lurid details.

Did I take notes? Nope.
Did I write my next book about M's affair? Nope.

For one thing, Decades was about a married man having a hot affair (which might be one of the reasons M “loved it” in the first place) so I was sort of burned out on the subject.

For another, M rode his horse every morning before coming into the office and wore his riding boots—and horsy smell—to work. He dyed his hair several shades of blonde and conducted meetings lying flat on the floor of his office—"bad back." His efforts to turn himself into a fascinating character, I suspect, but hardly my idea of a hunky sex object who would energize a novelist in search of an inspiring new subject for her next book.

Had I written the book M wanted, he would almost certainly have promoted the hell out of it and I would most likely have had two major bestsellers, one right after another, and a different trajectory to my career. But I didn’t. Boy, was I dumb.

Or am I being too hard on myself?

What I realize in retrospect is #1, I allowed my subjective response to M to overly influence me. #2, even though I was now officially “successful,” I didn’t yet have enough experience to be confident in my creativity. After all, there are said to be only six or seven plots. M’s story would have been different from the story I’d just written: different people, different settings, different outcomes.

Am I the only one to have missed a good opportunity? Or the only one to look back and see an earlier turning point through a different lens? Please share. I’m interested in your experience.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Blake Weston is a strong, savvy, no BS New Yorker. 

Her husband, Ralph Marino, is a très James Bond ex-cop and head of security for a large international corporation. When Blake and Ralph, facing sixty, are forced by Ralph’s über-neurotic billionaire boss to work together to solve a murder—and save Ralph’s job—their partnership doesn’t always go so well. When one minor skirmish turns into a battle…well, let Blake tell you what happens next:

I left the apartment—with a slammed door for emphasis—and made my way to Julia’s. She’d been spending most of her time in her new fling’s downtown loft so I knew her apartment was empty. I let myself in with the key she had given me years before.
I flipped on the TV. Flipped it off. Wandered into the kitchen, opened the fridge, inventoried the lo-cal, no cholesterol, zero trans-fat, gluten-free offerings and realized I wasn’t hungry. Considered breaking into Julia’s Ketel One but concluded that in my agitated state booze was the last thing I needed.
I went to the bedroom, thought about getting into bed but I was too angry with Ralph to sleep. If I were feeling generous (which I wasn’t) I suppose I could blame his NYPD training but being kept out of the loop and being treated on a “need to know” basis was getting old—and getting old was something I already knew too much about.
I was old enough for night sweats and morning stiffness. For Metamucil and Centrum Silver. For colonoscopies and cholesterol counts. For junk mail offering estate planning advice and good deals on burial plots.
I was old enough to remember the Pan Am Building, Bendel’s when it was at 10 West 57th Street, cash registers, getting up and crossing the room to change the channel, Princess phones, floppy disks, carbon paper and typewriters.
I could even remember when “latte” was Italian for milk—not American for coffee.
I had survived blizzards and blackouts, subway series and subway strikes, Ronald Perelman and Ronald Reagan. I had reached the stage when I forgot names and phone numbers, book and movie titles, where I’d left my glasses, why I’d entered a room and what I was going to say next.
But I wasn’t that old.
I had kept up enough to know I was living in an age of e*trade and eharmony, podcasts and tweets, fuel cells, stem cells, sleeper cells and fat cells. I still had my marbles, my eyesight and my determination. I could conduct a conversation without drooling and get into the bathtub without a LifeAlert.
I also knew enough to ask for input when I needed it so I called Julia.
“Working with Ralph is not going well,” I told her.


So, my Boomer buddies, do you remember what Blake remembers? What do you remember that she's left out? And what do you forget? Do tell! :-)


If you relate to this, you'll relate to The Chanel Caper.
New dimensions in the cozy mystery!

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Flirty After Fifty. Sexy After Sixty.

We remember the Fonz and Archie Bunker.
We remember when LBJ meant the President (Lyndon B Johnson) and not a basketball player (LeBron James).
We remember the California Raisins, Louis the Lizard and the Budweiser Frogs.
We remember Polaroids and Suzy Chapstick. 
We remember pin curls and garter belts, answering machines and floppy disks.
We remember Dick & Pat, Jack & Jackie, Ronnie & Nancy, Jimmy & Roslyn, Bonnie & Clyde, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Ken & Barbie.
We remember when you had to get up & cross the room to change the channel.
We remember gas station attendants.
We remember when Amazon was a river in South America, not a store on the internet.
We remember streakers, est and transcendental meditation.
We remember consciousness raising, encounter groups and the Manson Family.
We remember Bullitt, The Godfather, and The French Connection.
We remember Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd and Marvin Gaye.
We remember Sergeant Pepper, Tricky Dick and Flower Power.
We remember the Bouffant, the Beehive, the Shag, the D.A, The Wet Look, The Dry Look and Greasy Kid Stuff.
We remember Joy, "the most expensive perfume in the world" and "Modess...because"
We remember the Atkins Diet, the Scarsdale diet and the Beverly Hills diet.
We remember Pan Am and TWA.
We remember disco and Donna Summer, hula hoops and Rubik's cubes.

Me, too.
I remember lots but I can't remember what I had for dinner last night, where I put my glasses, why I went into the kitchen and what I meant to do there.

So, my Boomer buddies, do you remember what I remember? What do you remember that I've left out? And what do you forget? Do tell! :-)

If you relate to this, you'll relate to The Chanel Caper.


James Bond meets Nora Ephron. Or is it the other way around? A savvy female sleuth solves the crime and answers two of the most important questions of our time: 1) Is sixty the new forty? 2) Is there sex after marriage? “A totally fabulous, LMAO adventure with some of the best one-liners I've ever read!!!”