It seems only fitting that there’s a scam born every minute to keep the balance. Here’s one of the latest scams being perpetrated on unsuspecting writers. What’s the best way to defend yourself against scammers? More on that tomorrow.
Archive for July, 2006
What Elaine Viets has to say at the Lipstick Chronicles blog is true for any genre. If you want to see your favorite authors in print, they need your money. Just another cold hard fact of the publishing industry.
Even those not old enough to remember Peaches and Herb can appreciate a good writing conference. This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Blackwriters Reunion and Conference in Dallas Texas. This is the first time in five years the immensely talented Tia Shabazz has organized this conference, but it was well worth the wait. The workshops were lively and informative and I met up with many people I hadn’t seen in a while or knew only from online sources: Gwynne Forster, ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Anita Bunkley, Gail Johnson, Angie Daniels, T.T. Henderson, Angela Weaver and Alvin Romer publisher of the Romer Review.
Kim Robinson, author of The Roux in the Gumbo was a hoot to meet, as was a new erotica author whose name I don’t have the good grace to remember. Most fun of all was giving my own workshop on the topic of Description, Setting and Narrative. I really enjoyed emparting my (ahem) wisdom to newbie and experienced authors alike. So many of the attendees came up to me and thanked me and one aspiring writer got so much inspiration that the entire plot for a novel came to her during one of he exercises. It made me think about giving an online workshop for aspiring writers. If anyone’s interested, let me know.
As publication of the next book in my Body series nears, I want to share an excerpt of it with you–just a little teaser of what’s to come. Look for a longer except on my website soon (I’m in the middle of revising it). Enjoy!
“What’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?”
It was a corny remark designed to be humorous so no one in their right mind in this day and age would say such a thing in sincerity. Still, he got the reaction he’d wanted. Even though he was in the crappy station wagon he’d boosted from in front of some apartment building on 233rd and she was a safe distance away on the sidewalk, she darted a glance at him, more annoyance than wariness in her gaze.
He smiled to himself in a way that didn’t show on his face. She wasn’t his ace at the wrong time. He’d seen her get off the highway at Connor Street. He was at the BP station filling up the piece of shit station wagon when her car hobbled in with a flat right front tire.
He’d listen to her asking the attendant if she could leave it there until she came back with help in a few minutes. At this time of night all the nearby shops extolling Flat Fixed had pulled in their signs for the night.
She hadn’t seen him, or at least he hadn’t registered on her radar. He’d given her a five-minute head start, then followed.
Now he smiled in a self-deprecating way and held the expression until he was sure she’d noticed. “I’m not trying to be a nuisance. In truth, I’m lost. There weren’t so many houses or new houses around the last time I was here.”
“What street are you looking for?”
She gestured with her hand, “It’s that way. Keep going and you’ll hit it.”
“Thanks. You sure I can’t drop you anywhere?”
As if on cue, an Explorer rolled up on them, seemingly out of nowhere, like a huge dark specter, it’s stereo blazing, it’s headlamps casting garish light as it passed. The yahoo on the passenger side threw a beer bottle out the window. The projectile hit the ground with a dull crack, spewing liquid and glass onto the already filthy street.
For one sweet moment he watched the car pass. Sometimes the universe was just with you. He knew he had her now. “Sure you don’t need that ride?” he asked, but it was a tease. He knew what she’d do. She’d get in thinking she was safer with him than she was on her own.
“Maybe I will take you up on your offer. In one move she stepped toward the car, pulled the door open and slid inside.
He pressed the button on the driver’s side door panel to depress all the locks.
“Relax,” he said, pulling away from the curb. “You’re safe now. Where do you want to go?”
“Just two blocks down, near the corner. Givan is the one after.”
He nodded, as if it made any difference to him. He concentrated on accelerating the car and the choice he had to make.
“Hey, slow down,” she said. “It’s right there.”
He glanced at her sideways, grinning a little, just enough to let her know she’d miscalculated.
“Let me out,” she demanded, pulling futilely on the door handle. “Let me go. If you hurt me my father will kill you.”
Fear or pain. Pain or fear. The choice was always the same. He was close enough to the highway now to make the choice necessary. Traffic was light enough to ensure him an easy entrance if he timed it right.
Just as the girl started to launch herself at him, he reached his left hand between his legs where he kept both a thirty-eight and a stun gun concealed beneath his T-shirt. He settled for the thirty-eight and aimed it at her chest. “Keep still and I won’t shoot you.
The girl froze. She was crying now, her threats forgotten.
He grinned again. He’d chosen fear. The pain would wait for later.
Purloined from MJ Rose’s blog, here are the winners of the first annual Thrillerfest award:
Best Screenplay – CACHE (Hidden), screenplay by Michael Haneke
Best First Novel – IMPROBABLE by Adam Fawer (William Morrow)
Best Paperback Original – PRIDE RUNS DEEP by R. Cameron Cooke (Jove)
Best Novel – THE PATRIOT’S CLUB by Christopher Reich (Delacorte Press)
The first ThrillerMaster Award went to Clive Cussler
In case you didn’t know, the first annual Thrillerfest took place last weekend. From reports I’ve read, it sounds like a blast. I’ll have to check it out next year.