Erica's Quips & Quotes
TALES FROM THE COFFEEHOUSE
I do a lot of my writing in a coffeehouse. There are a number of reasons for this oddity, which I’ll touch on later. The coffeehouse, I’ve learned, is populated by a group of regulars, from all walks, with all manner of idiosyncrasies. I’ve come to think of us as Cheers for the caffeine set.
A wonderful by-product of my coffeehouse habit, is the built-in wealth of sources for research my ‘office’ provides.
For two years a woman named Stephanie Otto was a regular. A nursing student, she spent more time there than I did--and believe me, that’s huge. She graduated and finally had time to read something other than nursing texts. She picked up the paperback edition of IN SILENCE because she was mentioned in the acknowledgments.
Stephanie sidled up to me at the counter. “I started IN SILENCE last night,” she said. “I read the first twenty pages and thought, My God, this woman could kill me!”
I looked at her and said, “Yeah, but I won't.”
Over coffee, a fellow novelist and I were openly--and rather enthusiastically--discussing the best way to kill a character's husband. I looked up to discover we had captured the attention of several of the cafe's other patrons, two of them police officers. And judging by the officers' expressions, they had no idea the murder we were plotting would be carried out on paper only. I had some fast explaining to do.
TALES FROM THE ROAD
A few years ago, my publicist had booked me to fly first class. Life was good. Upon arrival at the airport, eager to set off on my promotional tour, I was singled out for what I fondly call the strip search. An aberration, I thought. No big deal; the luck of the draw. Then it happened again. And again. Upon check-in. Upon boarding. Every stop on the entire, bloody tour. Turns out, the way she booked the tickets made me a 'mandatory search.' Yes, indeed, livin' large on the road.
During the course of my research I got some great quotes from the folks I interviewed. All tickled my funny bone or otherwise struck an all-too-human chord in me.
The first two are from Rex Patton, the brilliant and brilliantly funny realtor from Dallas who showed me and my assistant the various neighborhoods that make up Dallas. He also regaled us with one "merely wonderful" story after another and pretty much kept us in stitches
Rexism #1: 'My daddy always said, Son, if you're going to get run out of town, get out in front and make 'em think it's a parade.'
Rexism #2: 'Everything in life has a price. And the cheapest is dollars.'
The next two quotes were also acquired during the course of my research, this time from interviews with coroners.
From the Orleans Parish coroner (when asking about post mortem identification of stomach contents): "Now why would you want to know about that? It's nasty."
From the West Feliciana Parish coroner: "In the end we all suffer cardiac arrest. But we're here 'cause that's not always what sends us off.”
TALES FROM THE DESK
My assistant's husband has learned not to ask about her day. All it took to send him over the edge was her enthusiastic discourse on flesh eating bacteria. What can I say? Always spreading the joy.
In my novel Bone Cold I offered my readers a free magnet, available through my PO Box or web site. I also posted the offer on ericaspindler.com, no SASE required. Now, I'd never listed my website in one of my books and within a week, requests were pouring in from my site. When I say pouring, I mean flooding. Literally hundreds an hour. Wow, I thought, everyone on the planet must be reading my book.
Turns out all the freebie sites on the web had gotten a hold of my free magnet offer.
Sigh. So much for fame.