Sunday, March 31, 2013

Book Blitz

"Is this your first book signing?" Someone asked me at Barnes and Noble.
"Well, actually, I've done several hundred," I said. "But it feels like I'm starting over again."

Yesterday was the world premiere book signing for Rattlesnake Wedding at Barnes and Noble. It was one of my best signings ever. I am happy to say that books are not dead...yet.

The store was pleasantly crowded on a Saturday afternoon. People were cheerful and with the exception of some teenager girls carrying bags filled with clothes from "The Buckle" no one complained about not having any money.

One of the last times I did a signing at this store, I ran into the guy who played Thor, who was in town filming the Avengers. He did not buy a book. This time I ran into someone who had read my other books in prison. A woman who hosts a TV show in Gallup wants to interview me for her show. Her husband had to pay for her copy.

I wore my famous rattlesnake boots and it created energy. The first person who came in the door bought all of my books, including Rattlesnake Lawyer, my first book. In that moment, I felt like it was my first signing all over again.

One woman did not buy the book because there was a rattlesnake in it. She hated snakes. Another didn't buy the book because I admitted that there was a single utterance of the f word. You can't please everyone.

All in all, it was a great signing and a great time. Time to set up the next signing!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Goodreads Badreads

Amazon has purchased Goodreads, that could be a good thing. Then again, it could be a bad thing, it depends on the reader. All of my books have received a handful of reviews, almost all of them have been positive. The people who hate me, really, really hate me.

My last book, Lawyer Geisha Pink, received a "truly terrible" review from  Caitlin Richards. All the other book reviews were positive five and four stars, but Caitlin didn't just think I was terrible, I was truly terrible. That's it, two words.

In an earlier book, Crater County, someone named Cindy wrote that my boo Crater County was awful. "It seemed appealing - a murder mystery set in our own New Mexico by a NM author. But it was terrible. Nonsensical characters, undeveloped, gaping plot explanation holes, and strange regional tidbits (there is no winery in Los Alamos). And to make matters worse the publishing was godawful."

Cindy hoped that I never wrote a book again.

Seriously. I don't know if Cindy wrote another review again.

Do I send her the national awards I've received on the five books since then? Does it matter? I'd be lying if I said I didn't.

I don't know who Caitlin Richards is, and I know a lot of Cindys. If I win any national awards, I will certainly think of them.

I have to take the good reads with the bad I suppose.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lost in the Amazon

I should be famous already, instead we got lost in the amazon. My book launch for Rattlesnake Wedding on March 19 had been marked on my calendar for months. I told all my friends, all my enemies, even the woman who works at the bank parking lot. I had a vision of a handful of people ordering my book, and then telling the world. I was going to be a millionaire by the afternoon.

When the big day came, Amazon at first said the book would take two to three weeks to ship. Two to three weeks? I wanted to be famous in two to three hours. Somebody must have been willing to order anyway because a few hours later the book was listed as "temporarily out of stock." No one wants to order a book that is temporarily out of stock.

Now a few weeks later, the book is still temporarily out of stock. The good news is that the books will be available for my premiere signing this Saturday at Barnes and Noble in Coronado Center WILL go on. A few other places will have books, but the book sold out of the warehouse. I had to cancel a potential signing in Taos on the last day of the ski season so the store couldn't get the books

I hate to use the obvious metaphor, my book launch was like giving birth, but we will have to wait a few weeks longer.

I would like to think that this is a positive. People want what they can't have. Since people can't order the book anywhere in the world, they will come to the signing. When the book is finally available, hopefully the pent up demand will push the book to a record.

So stay tuned. Temporarily doesn't last forever.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Blog for the Hillel

Hillel said something like "If I am not for myself, who will be for me, but if I am only for myself, what am I?" I'm trying an experiment today. I want to see if I write a blog and do not advertise it anywhere, whether anyone else will read it. I can check the "stats" for every blog I post and there seems to be a core of you out there that are indeed reading anything. Today, feels like letting the blog swim by itself for the first time.

I do worry that I promote too much. It is a fine line. We all turn off after awhile if there is a constant onslaught of information. There are ads we can recite by heart, and we've never bought the product. I don't know what a sham wow is, and don't intend to learn. We've all been stuck at a cocktail party with an insurance salesman.

However, advertising does work. We really did save money on car insurance by switching to Geico. Had those constant irritating ads not been up there, we never would have switched.

There are also writers out there that have indeed written the perfect novel, but have not submitted, much less advertised it.

Today, I am going to violate Hillel, and only blog for myself. Tomorrow, we'll be back and be blogging for others.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Script Slease

Someone stole a Breaking Bad script out of Brian Cranston's car. As of this morning, the script has not been recovered. I wonder if it was the same person who stole one of my books out of my car a few years ago. That book was never recovered either.  Perhaps there's a "fence" who sells hot scripts and books out of his car trunk.

Someone once bragged to me that they created the idea for the "golden snitch" in Harry Potter, which has something to do with the game of quidditch. The man felt that somehow Harry Potter (he said Harry Potter, not JK Rowling, remember) was magically able to read his mind and come up with the snitch. I didn't take the case, and I don't know anyone who did. JK Rowling did copyright all her material, so a snitch in time, saved nine lawsuits.

When I give lectures, people always ask what will happen if someone steals their script or manuscript. Unless, it's a script of a show in production, that's about to go off production, there isn't much value in it on the resale market. I once left a script at a Starbucks. When I went back the next day, it was still lying on the table covered with coffee stains.

As of right now, there is no word of any darkly comic New Mexico legal thrillers that are remotely based on anything I've written..

There is however a market for scripts of upcoming films. I must admit that yes, I would pay to see the script for the new Star Trek or Star Wars script, no questions asked.

Where's that guy selling scripts out of his trunk when you need him?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

My favorite bookstore

I'm supposed to say that my favorite book store is a cute independent store that gives back to the community. In fact there several such stores I love-- Bookworks, Treasure House Books even Page1 back in the day come to mind. But my favorite bookstore is a Barnes and Noble in a mall. That's why my world premiere signing of my new novel will be at Barnes and Noble in Coronado Center On March 30.

I set up a signing there before the store even opened and had a great day. Many of the staff that was there at the opening is still there. They put me up front, and just let me engage customers. I've learned to never wear green, or people might think I'm an employee and lean in to ask me for the erotica section.

The store gets a wide variety of patrons--intelligentsia as well as people just passing though to get to the mall. I tend to sell more books to the people just passing through to get to the mall.

The staff there acts like they work at an independent bookstore. When I needed a Christmas gift for my sister a few years back, the tattooed woman with purple hair took me to a section upstairs and guided me until I found the perfect item.

The biggest change of course is the advent of Nook. There is a nook for a nook near the front of the store where a young bearded hipster guides through people through the product that will replace him.

I did see David Sedaris there when he did a signing. I asked him what his favorite bookstore was. He looked around at the several hundred people jammed around the shelves to see him. He said he liked a store in Amsterdam...but one in Paris was also nice.

I didn't buy his book!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Funk in the Trunk

I sold out Rattlesnake Wedding at over the weekend. I miss the days when I could just grab a book out of my trunk. I used to carry boxes of my first novel, Rattlesnake Lawyer in my trunk, and I sold it out box by box, book by book as I drove around America. Amazon has made those days obsolete; aging joints and a real job have made those days impossible to replicate. Being an author on the road is like being a stand-up comic going from gig to gig.

I always had a book in the trunk, just in case....If someone said, "I heard you've written a book," I could run to my trunk and sell them one.

Amarillo will always have a special place in my heart. I sold 52 books in a day (that's nearly three boxes of books) at a Hastings. In Pasadena, California I did not sell a book until 11:00 at night and then sold 12 in the last ten minutes after the movie crowd came in for a night cap. I sold out in San Luis Obispo, California in less than an hour.

I was not the best manager of my money. I ate Kobe beef after a successful signing in Phoenix and spent more on dinner than I made selling books. I saw a play in New York City. The less said about Las Vegas the better.

The late Borders chain had some good times and some bad. I'm banned at one Borders store for being "too outgoing," so I did not cry when that Borders went under. If Borders ever come back, I don't know if the ban would still hold.

There were some dangerous times. I faced a blizzard on something called Lizard Head Pass in Colorado and slid onto the side of the road. I fell asleep driving on I-10 and had to stop for the night in Lordsburg, NM, in a motel with broken windows. Note to self, there is a Starbucks in Plainview Texas. Do NOT ask if they have the New York Times. Seriously.

Amazon will have the book sometime next week. Maybe sooner if they have one stored in the trunk just in case...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Write about me!

"When are you going to write about me?" Somebody asked me that yesterday. It's as if they assume that I can make them famous. They can use their fame at cocktail parties perhaps. "I'm on page 272," apparently could be a pick up line,  Let me know if it works...

Actually, there is a guy who works out at my gym who I have indeed put in my books and let him know about it. He bears a strong resemblance to Gollum in the Lord of the Rings series. That was not meant as a compliment. Still, he has gone around the gym bragging about fame. Needless to say having a resemblance to Gollum has NOT been working as a pick up line for him.

One guy was actually hostile to me for NOT writing about him for two books in a row, so I actually did create a character based on him. The character says "When are you going to write about me?" to an author at a signing. I pointed the page out to him and he was so happy. Unfortunately, he didn't buy the book.

I did wait until someone had died before publishing a story where a character was clearly based on him. I haven't had a seance yet to know what he thinks.

In Rattlesnake Lawyer I named a character after a woman after she had given me oral permission to use the name. Right before publication, I asked her if I still had permission. She took her permission back and I changed the name. That's the only time I've ever done that. Have I used the name since then? I'm not saying...

I go out of my way NOT to write about living people, or change things up so much that people can't recognize themselves in my book. People can sue, however they would have to show real damages from something I write before any lawyer would take the case.

It is a good rule of thumb that if your book sells ten copies, no one will sue you. If your book sells a million copies, EVERYONE will sue you! I hope to be sued someday...

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Princess and the Putz; A story I'll never write

UNM is playing Harvard in the NCAA tournament on Thursday.. The last time I saw Harvard play in sports, I was a student at Cornell and had an encounter that could have changed my life. Many years later, it's time to pitch a screenplay that I will never write.

This part really happened. It was the Harvard hockey game, the big game of the year for Cornell. Next to me were two Asian women, one in a Harvard sweatshirt, the other wearing one for Cornell. They were talking in Japanese like two best friends. I might have walked by them a few times, and thankfully didn't spill anything. Many years later, I found out that the one in the Harvard sweat shirt MIGHT have been an Imperial Princess of Japan who was indeed at Harvard at the time. Talk about a story that writes itself.

Imagine, if I had indeed spilled something on the Princess and we had "met cute" as they say in the biz. I see the guy from the recent hit Warm Bodies, Nicholas Hoult in the male role. Brenda Song might play the princess. (I am aware she is Korean. I could also see some J-pop singing sensation, but I don't know any of their names, so we'll just use the name Brenda). Nick and Brenda exchange contact info and over the next few months, become pen pals, not knowing her true identity. Act II switches to Japan of course, as the Princess takes Nick ostenstibly to meet her family, but doesn't tell him that her father is really the Emperor. Nick meet her friend's family instead, but I wonder why everyone keeps bowing to Brenda. Sure enough, the truth comes out and the Princess and is arranged to be married to someone she doesn't love. Act III is where Nick breaks up the marraige and the two live happily ever after. Either they take up the throne, or else live in America where the Princess follows her dream. It could even be a musical, a happy version of Madame Butterfly.

I am aware that there was a recent Selena Gomez film along these lines (Not Spring Breakers), but this is a funny idea for a film. One can easily picture some comic action sequences along the way, hopefully involving Ninjas.

Why will I never write this story? Too much research. I also don't think I can write teen romance at this stage of the game. If anyone wants to write it, let me know. By the way, does anyone know if the Princess is still single? Just kidding.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

JJ Abrams Envy

I could have been JJ Abrams, the director of the upcoming Star Trek AND Star Wars films. This Tuesday, I sill might get my chance.

In the mid nineties, my then unpublished manuscript Rattlesnake Lawyer was under consideration by a major publisher. We also had a deal with Fox. We were one of three scripts they were considering for pilots. I was told that my producers were going to get someone you've heard of to play the lead part.

I don't know whether the book deal died because the TV deal died or vice versa. The book was published, but let's just say I did not have a million dollar marketing campaign behind me, I had myself and my Saturn driving along the interstate. I did get a few more chances. I was repped by the William Morris agency for a while. We literally sold the story in the room for a series to a major producer. Unfortunately, a writer's strike hit and the project went into turnaround.

Why the obsession with JJ Abrams? We look a bit alike, although he's got more hair, but I'm taller. I loved Lost. You can see echoes of Abrams in my last novel, Lawyer Geisha Pink--the strong, but troubled female lead could easily have been played by an Asian Jennifer Garner.

I do play the "What if" game with myself. If Fox had made the pilot, I'd be living in Hollywood right now. However, I do like my life right now, I'm definitely "keeping it real." I wouldn't have met my wife right now or have my friends.

Perhaps everything is working out the way it's supposed to. This Tuesday, is the launch of my eigth novel, Rattlesnake Wedding. There's nothing Abramsy about it-- except that it combines two genres-- romance with legal thriller. Still, if enough of you buy the book on the March 19 book launch day, who knows? It might become a movie.

I know who I'd like to produce it....

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Amazon and Amarillo

When my first novel, Rattlesnake Lawyer came out, I used to promote the book by driving to places like Amarillo and Lubbock for book signings. The band Midnight Oil had an album called Diesel and Dust with politically charged tales of life on the Australian outback. My adventures could be called Regular Unleaded and Red Bull. Those days are long gone. I won't leave my office this Tuesday for the release of the new novel, Rattlesnake Wedding. No more Amarillo, its all about

I will miss life on the road. I drove to Greeley Colorado, eight hours from my home in Albuquerque. I then took a shower at a Motel Six and signed for four hours straight before collapsing. I woke up the next morning, ran on the campus of University of Northern Colorado for an hour, and then drove eight hours home. I sold twenty six books.

Was it worth it? My heart says yes, but my back muscles would say no.

I started one trip in Los Angeles and hit LA, San Luis Obispo and Las Vegas and then back.  The final destinations were wonderful, but the road was unforgiving. Mapquest that. Had Mapquest been available back then, I probably wouldn't have done it.

I felt like a gunslinger back in those days. Have book, will travel. I had adventures along the way. No, I never found love.

People today aren't willing to drive across town to buy a book when they can just click on amazon and have it delivered to their iPhone within seconds. So on Tuesday, when I stare at my numbers at the screen, part of me will miss the wind against my face.

My back muscles will certainly be happy that I'm staying in one place.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tuesday Tuesday Tuesday

Rattlesnake Wedding will get its official trade paperback release on amazon next Tuesday, March 19. Amazon debuts are much like an IPO of a Wall Street stock. Remember Charlie Sheen in Wall Street? I have this vision of a young, relatively sober Charlie Sheen calling the "Wall Street Chronicle" and saying "Blue Horshoe loves Rattlesnake Wedding."  Suddenly, computer screens all over the world are focused on the the amazon rankings. Analysts in Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Rotterdam go wild as and shell out their $14.95.

Will the book price close at $19.95 by the end of the day or should they sell when the book hits 15?

Actually the price will stay the same, it's just that the amazon ranking will go up, a subtle difference. Then again, the price could rise in other ways. As Charlie said to Daryl Public, "I'll take you public." I could go public, as there could indeed be a bidding war as Hollywood studios and media empires all over the world try to get a piece of me. Am I worth more with ancillary rights attached? To best honest, I'm not even sure what ancillary rights are, but I'm sure they're good.

It could happen. Nearly a thousand people downloaded an earlier book, Rattlesnake Lawyer, when it was free. Perhaps the stars will align, and each will tell a thousand of their friends so a MILLION people will buy the book, all in the same hour. My book launch could be like the Facebook IPO...

Oh wait, the Facebook IPO tanked and people lost millions.

Thankfully, if my book only sells a single copy, no one really loses the money. Realistically, a handful of people will probably buy the book, some might use a coupon. To be honest, I hope that ONE stranger buys my book that day. Just one...

That's public enough for me!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Everybody loves Jonathan?

A very long time ago, my sister and I were in New York City and we went to a comedy club on an off night. She was living there at the time and I couldn't think of anything better to do, especially after we were given free tickets by someone near the door. It was very cold January night, so the club was practically empty, maybe sixteen people in a club built for a hundred.

I wasn't sure if they had replaced the headliner at the last minute, but the young long haired comedian was an unknown at the time, but he killed. He acted like he was playing for sixteen thousand souls in an arena instead of the sixteen people who were inside trying to beat the cold.

It was one of the best nights of comedy I had ever seen. The comedian was a then unknown Ray Romano of "Everybody Loves Raymond" fame. I'm not saying that Ray Romano got his TV deal because of that night, but rather it was obvious that this man was going to GET a TV deal because of his work ethic.

There have been a handful of others I've seen win over small crowds. Sammy Hagar opened for the band Boston once at the Pit in Albuquerque. I had never heard of him, but he blew Boston off the stage. If memory serves, he climbed up on top of riser and did a guitar solo that still echoes thirty years later.

I've been dragged to see Jay Leno twice. The first time, he did a completely different set from his Tonight show set. He made jokes about Albuquerque as if he had lived here, instead of flying in over the weekend.

The second time I saw him was years later, and he basically copied last night's monologue word for word. I don't think he confused us with the next night's show in Amarillo, but it sure sounded that way.

I've made a vow, no matter where I go, whenever I am giving a presentation, I will be like Ray Romano on that cold empty January night.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Window Rock Writers

I am speaking tonight to the Writer's to Writers Group, but the best speach I ever gave was in Window Rock, Arizona and the majority of time I was listening. I was invited to speak at the Navajo Nation museum, but I learned far more from my audience than they learned from me.

Window Rock is the capital of the Navajo Nation and refers to the town as well as the rock formation. Imagine the capitol buildings of Washington sitting right next to the Grand Canyon.
The museum itself is very modern, but still incorporates traditional elements. Char, the museum curator was a Navajo but had lived all over the world.

A handful of people showed up and listened to my usual talk about how to begin writing from personal experiences. I then asked for them for their stories that they wanted to write.

Three people offered their stories and they were fascinating in their own way. Each one could easily bethe basis of a novel or a memoir. I listened intently. I was blown away by the force of emotion and wiped away a tear a few times before any one saw it.

Tonight at the Chinese restaurant at the end of my talk, I will probably ask people for their "pitches," their own personal stories that they hope to turn into novels.

Lena Dunham of "Girls" fame, got her show and her three million dollar book deal from her blog about life in New York. Well, if the publishers want to find the next big thing, I sure hope that they go to Window Rock.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Garage Gurus

I park at a bank parking garage near downtown. I gave copy of my new novel, Rattlesnake Weddin to the parking lot attendants. For the past few days, I've been getting progress reports as they read the novel. They've let me park for free a few days so I must be doing something right.

As a lawyer, I park in the morning for a few hours, and then I return in the afternoon for another hour. I encounter two women who have been sharing the same copy.

The morning attendant is a woman in her fifties. I don't know how she ended working in a parking lot, but apparently she is an avid reader. She made it through the book in two days as less people leave in the mornings so she has more uninterrupted time. She loved it, but couldn't give me much feedback other then telling me "I love it."

The fact that she read it so fast is a great testament. The fact that she validated my parking for three days straight validated my literary skills.

The woman in the afternoon is taking a little longer to read the book because she has to deal with more customers leaving. She is in her sixties, and is a retired teacher. She's a little vague about why she is here so I don't ask.

She is offering more detailed critiques about each chapter. As I fumble to find my ticket, she will offer her own opinions on the story. She was right about the fact that one character would get in trouble. She was totally wrong yesterday about who dies in the end, but I had to be polite and not tell her what would really happen.

Thankfully, someone honked and I had to drive away before I could reveal any spoilers.

I am learning more about my writing from these two women than I did in my writing class while pursuing an MFA.

Obviously, I would like the head of the English department at Harvard to read my book and offer a critique. Perhaps he can get a job at the parking lot when the afternoon woman retires...

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Blast from the Past!

Are your words like wine? Do they get better with age? Now that there seems to be some demand for my words, I'm going through my electronic trunk and pulling out the old bottle.

I started writing a modern western manuscript in 2007. It wasn't that it was bad, it's just that a romantic thriller I wrote was better at the time. My publisher decided to go with the newer project instead. I put the western away for a few years, although I did add a page here and there, usually after a trip to points west. I was then inspired to write a science fiction manuscript that referenced the romantic thriller.

In the last few weeks, I finally went back and checked out  the western. It was like reading something written by another person.

I didn't always get my own jokes. There were references to movies and songs that I could no longer remember. I also described people who were long gone from my life. I also had to make the book
Even worse, it had been written in an old word processing program from frontier days.

So how do I bring my western up to date?

I went through the 85,000 words, line by line, making it double spaced and fixing the quote marks. Along the way, I made a few changes. I cut the bad jokes and obscure references to people, places and songs.  I made the story consistent with the Rattlesnake Lawyer universe  It now isn't bad.

Will I ever publish it? That depends on the publisher and the market of course. I don't want to wait forever however. Wine does become vinegar.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Coffee or not to be

To be or not to be? How about coffee or not to be? It's time to inject some blood into my caffeine stream, or is it the other way around? I have no idea what I'm going to write today. Normally, I have a blog idea fully formed before I sit down at the keyboard, Sometimes have the complete structure set in my head while waiting for the coffee to brew.

Today is different. If my writing is like coffee, today I am using too few scoops to brew too many cups.

I need coffee to power me through my morning. I am very busy at my day job as a lawyer, so my brain is concentrating on motions to suppress as opposed to emotional content. I am revising yet another manuscript, a western this time and my brain matter is pouring into the manuscript as opposed to a blog. Even emails are draining me today. A few of my friends have broken off their relationships, and I have to write them supportive messages. Emails are not as easy.

Each paragraph of a motion, each edit of a manuscript and each each email seem to require a couple of coffee beans to get through and there are only so many to go around.

I don't recommend Red Bull in the morning unless you are writing action sequences set on a rolling locomotive.

Done with my first cup, I sip another. I am surprised that Starbucks hasn't used famous writers to promote their product. Then again, Stephanie Meyer, the author of Twilight is a Mormon, and presumably did not drink a single cup. JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter in a cafe. I wonder what she was drinking. I'm betting on tea.

Hunter S Thompson famously switched between black cups of coffee and Jack Daniels. If you see early interviews with him, it worked. His brain was moving a million miles a minute. If you see later interviews, his brain was revving in a pothole.

Either the coffee or the Jack had stopped working.

This cup of coffe is empty, so it's time to finish this blog up for the day. Coffee or not to be, indeed.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Deep End of the Audience

I am giving two "author talks" in the next few weeks, so I started reflecting on the best and the worst talks I've seen in my life. Authors are not always good speakers.

Will I give the same talk twice? I saw David Morrell, the author give two talks within six months about the current state of the publishing industry. Each sixty minute talk was totally different, but then again the publishing industry changes every hour. I've also seen Alisa Valdes. She is very inspirational and always speaks her mind. Every time I hear her, she's completely fresh.

I can't guarantee that I won't repeat the same jokes within the same sixty minutes span.

As for the talk that inspired me the most, Jacqueline Michaud spoke at Southwest Writers and literally changed my life. Ten years later, I might be getting some of the details wrong, but I can still remember the gist of her talk. She had written a book published to poor reviews and worse sales. The publisher was asking for the advance back. She was getting a divorce and working as a subsitute teacher while living in a trailer in some cold Wisconsin town. In court papers, her soon-to-be-ex was asking for custody and apparently claiming she was an unfit mother because she was spending all her time writing. She then got a phone call. It was Oprah. Oprah made her the first author in Oprah's book list and "The Deep End of the Ocean" became a best seller. I think about that story every time I sit down to write.

Steve Hodel wrote Black Dahlia Avenger and I saw him in LA at the "Men of Mystery." He started by talking about the "Black Dahlia" case, for a few minutes and then abruptly shifted topics to discussing his father. I was actually getting a little bored. Why are you talking about your crazy father? He then described going up to the attack and finding a piece of evidence that suggested his father might have beeen the real killer. Everyone in the audience let out an audible gasp.

I'm not going to list the worst authors by name. I did hear someone you've heard of speak at "Men of Mystery" in LA. His talk was so bad that the other other authors commented on their webpages and it made national news. He's still on the best seller list but the controversy hurt his sales for a week or so.

Some local authors have done ten minute talks for sixty minute slots while others have provided only five minutes of information over the course of an hour.

As for me, my best and worst talks have occurred at Southwest Writers. I'll save those stories for another time. Hopefully, I will inspire someone in the room to write a blog about me....

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Fiery Fortune Part II

Will the release of Rattlesnake Wedding make me a best selling author? Psychic Moonhawk Emeraldstar says yes! I think...

As I wrote earlier this morning, I was going to the Fiery Foods show for two reasons. First, to sample the best hot salsa around, and second to have Moonhawk read my cards. She's nearly blind and in a wheelchair, but she always seems to have good insight.

I found her in a quiet corner of the gigantic trade show. She told me to think of something specific.

I thought of the book release in two weeks. I was going to give the cards in order, but I'm sure that it's bad luck. There was a Devil card as well as a star card.

I was hopeful that "the star" was the outcome card. She said that the devil card is, but that is not necessarily bad. I then asked her if I could be even more specific. She said to try again.
This time I closed my eyes and focused on the book release and drew five cards.

The first card was a six of wands. She told me that six of wands is victory. She let out a whoop of joy. I noticed that she had a book of her own called Healing the Healers. I wonder what her cards said whether it would be a best seller.

I went out and tried some really hot salsa...

Fiery Fortune

Will my book be a best seller? Today, I will find out from Moonhawk. Moonhawk looks like a psychic. Imagine the short woman from the film, Poltergeist who declared that the house was free of spirits. Now imagine her half- blind and in a wheelchair. I'm going to see her today to learn my future. at the National Fiery Food show at the Sandia Casino.

In an episode of the Simpsons, Homer ate chile so hot that he had a hallucination. (would that be a homercination?)  Well, that's the plan today. I will eat samples of very hot chile from the vendors, something high on the Scobey scale and my homercination somehow leaves me open to the world beyond our senses. Some of these chiles have been used in ancient rituals.

My mouth on fire and my brain reeling, I will go into one of the side rooms in the convention center, one of the dark corners. Perhaps this room was indeed the site a tribal burial ground like the home in Poltergeist. Moonhawk has been there for the last few years. She will recognize me, even though she can't see. She will read my cards. Her predictions are usually spot on.

I am aware that the psychic in Poltergeist was dead wrong by the way. Moonhawk does have some problems with the credit card machine, and I'm never sure how much to tip. Does she split the tip with her spirit guides? If so, I might go as high as %25 percent.

I will ask for a very specific prediction regarding the next three months regarding the book release. I will tell you what she says in tomorrow's blog...

Friday, March 1, 2013

Kinko's gets Kancelled!

Kinko'a is long gone. I have to go to Fed Ex office today and something feels kinky. Well, something feels less kinky and that's the problem.

 I was written up in an article in Albuquerque the Magazine and my scanner is down. I will scan the article and then upload it to my Facebook page, probably making the picture my cover photo. I will be emailing the pdf of the article to various contacts and have a link to buy my books on amazon. This will be the second time I've been to Fed Ex office in six months.

Fed Ex bought Kinko's in 2004. I can't help but think back to 1998-2000 when I lived in LA and went to film school. There was a Kinko's on Sunset Boulevard. It was filled with writers and actors on the outside edge of Hollywood. There were also several homeless people trying to use the bathroom to consume drugs. The groups were not mutually exclusive.

I would type my script at 25 cents a minute. It definitely got me typing faster. Printing was always a little scary. I would scream if the printer jammed or my work was lost. I was nearly banned from the store after an outburst.

There were often gorgeous model/actress types stapling resumes to their head shots. One Australian model asked me for help printing out her resume after say g'day. Once she realized that I was as clueless at printing as she was, she said g'day again. G'day apparently is like aloha, it can mean hello or good bye.

I printed my first novel, Rattlesnake Lawyer at Kinko's in Westwood and then took it to my publisher. If only I had remembered to do a spell check, but that's a different story.

When I began my book touring in 2002, I stopped at Kinko's all over America. The Kinko's in Amarillo, Texas seemed to be filled with the same actors and models as the store in Hollywood. Perhaps they were copied and faxed. I did see some Russian mobsters doing some kind of deal online at the Kinko's in Phoenix. I don't even want to tell you what I saw at the Kinko's in Tucson.

The Kinko's in Albuquerque was where I used to go when I had to print something. The staff was excellent and was always helpful. The nice woman at the front desk barely spoke English, but she knew how to use adobe acrobat.

I now can do much of what I did at Kinko's on my smart phone. I have my own office now and my own copier. There is something bland about the name, Fed Ex Office.

Aloha Kinko's.