Thursday, December 21, 2006


Those of you who have been long time readers of this blog might remember that last summer I had a few gigs and the publicity woman, Lindsey Benoit, was/is a favorite of mine.  Well, she’s left Ballantine. 

 At the time she was handling my publicity I said that if anyone ever got her they would be lucky indeed.  For the moment no one is going to get her…no book authors.  Although she’s staying in publishing it’s not book publishing.

I still have the paperback of Too Darn Hot coming out in May and although I don’t think they’ll want me to do anything you never know.  And if I have to, Lindsey won’t be there.

I’m happy for her because she’s continuing to do something she loves.  But she’ll be missed by me and those of you who won’t get a chance to work with her.

Good luck, Lindsey.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


"(Writing novels is) like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way."

E. L. Doctorow

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Why Not?

The publishing business takes a holiday from Thanksgiving through January 1.  At least that’s what every agent I’ve had has told me.  So what if I only had two?  I’ve heard it from others and I believe it.  So why not me?

Yes, I know it seems like I’ve had nothing but vacations.  Maybe it’s true.  Still, I’ve had one interruption after another and am going to next week. So why not take off the time?

 I started this book last January and when I get back to it (this January….why not?) I’ll have written less than 200 pages.  I’ve never had such a puny output in a year.  But this is the way it’s worked out and since I don’t have a deadline I don’t have to be hysterical about it.  There’s something to be said for not having a contract.

I think by this time we all know Ballantine isn’t going to ask me for anymore Faye Quick books.  I’ve known this ever since they said they had to wait and see how the second book did.

And if I needed confirmation about that I got it when the pb cover arrived and though it had the same artwork the overall color was purple.  The hc of Too Darn Hot had a red background denoting … hot.  What does purple say?  When I asked (and this was the BIG clue) why they changed it, I was told they had four other books coming out in red and they wanted to distinguish mine.  Thank you.  But why not change one of the other covers to purple since there was a real reason for mine to be red?  I think I know why not. So no surprises here.

Some worry that when I write things like the above, publishers/editors will think of me as a “nightmare author”.  I don’t think so.  First of all I accepted what Ballantine told me like a docile little writer because I knew it didn’t matter.  So what’s nightmarish about that?  And if I write a really good book I don’t think it’ll be turned down by an editor because I found the cover of my last book…well…not quite right.  If you want to see it go here.  But be sure to look at the hc jacket, too.  I mean, why not?

So back to the non-writing I’m doing.  Not doing?  I always take the week between Christmas and New Year's off anyway.  So that would leave me with 6 more days to write this year. Two of those 6 days would be interrupted with appointments. I don’t see much point in trying to write for 4 days. So I’d rather wait, get myself together and start fresh in a fresh new year.

2007 here I come.

Why not?


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Play'sThe Thing

Not writing.

Going to NYC tomorrow to see a play. 

Almost as good as writing.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

One More Time

My last post prompted the To Outline  or Not to Outline debate again.  You can see it over at Lee Goldberg's blog.

Yes, I did make a mistake in my manuscript as I said below.  But, for me, outlining wouldn’t have prevented this.  BTW it’s all fixed and it wasn’t as big a deal as I thought it would be.  It never is, is it?

I’ve said it here before and I’ll say it here again.  If I had to outline a book I’d be so depressed I’d never write it.  I can’t imagine that it would be interesting to do.  I’d know far too much.

And this particular book couldn’t have been outlined even if I’d wanted to do that.  I think I explained way back how I approached this one.  I picked titles of movies out of a box. This gave me a jump start for each chapter and I established characters that way.  Also story.  I stopped doing this about chapter nine or ten.  I know it sounds crazy but it worked for me and that’s the point.  Outlining obviously works for some people and not for others.  So why should there be a debate about it?

Should I say that the only way to write a novel is to pick titles or sayings out of a box?  I don’t think so.  But it’s one way.  I never did this before and most likely will never do it again. 

Now, can we give the outline thing a rest?

Monday, December 04, 2006

How Did This Happen?

In the course of writing today (yes, I did) I inadvertently discovered that I have two different men involved with the same two women who are trying to get the money everyone is after.  It has to be one man or the other.  Pages and pages must be rewritten.  Whole chapters.  Nightmare.

Did this happen because I took off so much time?  Or am I losing it?  I understand forgetting the color of a character’s eyes, but this is crazy.  And with one man I’m not sure I even did the set-up with the women.  I think these three just happen.  The reason I don’t know this is because I couldn’t go on with this today.

Tomorrow I’m going to have to trace backwards and find out.  And then I’ll have to write new scenes, rewrite others completely.

What ever made me think I could handle all these characters?  Thirty years ago in a novel called Some Unknown Person I didn’t have any trouble.  That novel has tons of characters.  And I even wrote it out of sequence the way a movie might be filmed.  There are two different stories in that book and I’d write whatever scene I wanted to each day. In other words in A story or B story.  In the end there was only one chapter out of sequence.  All this on a TYPEWRITER.  That manuscript was 800 pages long.  I had to cut 300, but that’s a whole other post.

Now I can’t keep track of characters within less than 200 pages.  It’s depressing.  Still, I have to fix this before I go on.  It isn’t the kind of mistake that you can wait to fix in the next draft.

So that’s my work tomorrow.  Bert or Andy? 

Sunday, December 03, 2006


"Story is far older than the art of science and psychology, and will always be the elder in the equation no matter how much time passes."

Clarissa Pinkola Estes