clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Monday, October 1, 2012


I have tried to disassociate the writing from the business side of publishing. I want to get an agent, write, and let the rest happen.

I also want the Easter Bunny to bring me candy.

There is an excellent post by Marsali Taylor over at Murder by 4  [ Get Selling ] that clarifies reality as the antidote to this mild poison of fantasy.

We as writers are our brand. I want to write but in desiring to publish I also know that I need to be an active participant in the business of authorship. I cannot write well enough to avoid all the efforts to promote myself, my product, my future product, and my potential. Sales matter. Connections matter.

So, Marsali has a very succinct outline of some of the basics. It isn't too much different from what your father told you. I've never met Marsali but I like her already. Probably the boat thing. Short handed sailors are to be trusted if they live for long.


Shake hands firmly. Look them in the eye. Remember their first name. Be engaging and memorable without being boorish or overbearing. Exchange cards. When they ask you a question, answer it truthfully but directly.

One of the first questions writers ask each other is "what do you write ?" to which we shy and uncredited weasels mumble something [ Uh ...I write about murders and stuff ...I guess].

Wrong. Fewer than twenty-five words. Get 'em down. Memorize them. Get them out when asked. Smile. Be proud of what you are.

Mine :

I write humorous stories and satires about flawed characters propelled by event cascades stemming from murder or deceit. 

Examples (if asked) -

I have a story about a fellow murdered by exploding chickens. The detective is brilliant about the physical world but functionally illiterate about women. He's thrown in with a lesbian partner who knows far more than he does about the matters of the heart. Both detectives arrive at the same conclusion as to the identity of the murderer but do so by completely different paths.

The son of God is alive and well in Western Kansas. He of course is a functional atheist and ex-soldier. In a moment of minor crisis, he heals another character's thumb severed in a band saw. The element of self-deceit weighs heavy on the young man as he faces increasing evidence of some unusual ability. He confronts divine existence expressed in the unique manner of the western plains. He strives for some resolution about his identity.

That's enough without actual work in print to reference. It explains who I am, what I am about, maybe that my ideas are well-formed, and that the potential of execution exists even if it has yet to emerge fully.

I'm the exploding chicken coop murder guy. That'll do fine for a moniker right now. Just fine.

Good night Douglas Adams, wherever you are.

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