SORRY. NO POST TODAY. THE AUTHOR IS ON STRIKE!
SORRY. NO POST TODAY. THE AUTHOR IS ON STRIKE!
First, it was Elvis Presley, who died on August 16, and now we have lost the King of crime novelists, Elmore Leonard. Needless to say, I was a huge fan, and more than that, a student of the “Elmore Leonard School of Writing.” Mr. Leonard was born in 1925, in New Orleans, which undoubtedly provided an early introduction to colorful and unsavory characters. (His second choice was Washington, D.C.)
One of the things that fascinated me most about this man was his earliest writings, which were not crime-related, but Westerns! Did you know that he wrote “Valdez Is Coming,” “Hombre,” “The Bounty Hunters,” and “3:10 to Yuma?” After the western lost popularity, he began to write crime-based books, and I understand that he did quite well!
Sometimes called “The Dickens of Detroit,” (his hometown) Leonard was famous for his sparse writing, and the best advice he gave to beginning writers was this: “Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.” Wise words from a wise man. There will never be another quite like him, but let’s face it, I’m pretty darn close. (Hey, he only sold 150,000,000 more books than me.)
So what else is new? Well, in connection with two new mystery novels that I’m working on, I have been spending some time at the gun range, trying out some weaponry that I may let Adam Gold use in his upcoming adventures. (No, I didn’t go off “half-cocked” and I don’t think I’m a “big shot” either.) Always good to know what a weapon feels like before your main character starts blasting away. (The bazooka was too cumbersome and heavy as hell!)
Playing under the nom de plume (or non de plum if you prefer fruit) of “The Mighty Cobra,” I managed to extend my poker legend by placing 2nd. in last week’s poker tournament, which I dubbed “Venom & Denim.” I wound up at the final table through a combination of skill, luck, and cheating. Nonetheless, my second place finish garnered a huge cash payout…… and even better, I won a copy of my own damn book! (THE PRESLEY PLOT) Now I actually have to read the darn thing!
Judge Susan is coming over this afternoon for a pool party, and I am quite excited because I heard her and Patty talking about wearing thongs outside. Never a dull moment around here! If things work out (or off) I will post some inappropriate photographs on Facebook. (God, I hope they weren’t talking about flip-flops.)
Well, dear friends, I must leave you now. Time to skim the pool and install the film in the underwater camera. (We shall see what “develops!”) After the party is over, I’ll sneak outside, and if I get caught, I’ll just say that I was…… “removing some film from the pool!” Yeah, I know, I need a job.
Love to all!
NO, THEY DIDN’T RUN OUT OF PORK RIBS AT CORKY’S!
Last Friday, August 16, marked the 36th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. Hard to believe, but the King of Rock ‘n Roll died in 1977. Oddly enough, his passing is “celebrated” with an annual week-long festival known as “Elvis Presley Week.” In mid-August, the city is transformed into one big Elvis event, and each year over 400,000 people show up to join the party! Believe me, it is quite a sight. (Try to picture several thousand Elvis impersonators!)
Naturally, copies of THE PRESLEY PLOT will be available at various locations throughout the city. (One vendor is selling only autographed copies….. my signature, not Elvis.) I don’t make a great sum of money, but the publicity is wonderful, and I get to meet some interesting characters.
Speaking of books, I am currently reading a book about anti-gravity. (I just can’t put it down!) Incidentally, last week I mentioned that Elvis Presley’s Army uniform was about to be auctioned off in Dallas. Well, how much do you think it fetched? How does $35,000 sound? While this was a decent price, it didn’t come close to the King’s peacock jumpsuit that sold for….. $300,000 in 2008! In any case, I’ve decided to sell my socks on eBay, so don’t be a “heel” and buy a pair. Each pair has been thoroughly washed, so you won’t get “toe-maine” poisoning.
How about some “food for thought?” Last week’s book signing was held in Lampasas, which was followed by a Moonlight Swim at Hancock Springs. (Although there wasn’t much moonlight at 4 p.m., the swim was wonderful, and we stopped at Hopdoddy’s for dinner!) If you go to Hopdoddy’s, order the “Llano Poblano” hamburger….. An angus beef patty, topped with pepper jack cheese, roasted poblano peppers, apple-smoked bacon, and chipolte mayo. Simply amazing…. especially with a 512 IPA Beer! (or two)
I have recently viewed the new book cover for MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE, and can report that it is simply marvelous. The revised book should be out in early November, but by then, I may be back in the Caribbean! Looks like we’re going on the road again, (or should I say the water?) and marching toward St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Martin. (“When the saints, go marching in….. “) Well, you know how that tune goes. Yummy, yummy, more rum in my tummy!
Finally, if you want to try the BEST pancakes in the free world, come visit me in Austin, and I will take you to the Rise and Shine Bakery for their homemade buttermilk pancakes. As Judge Susan and Princess Patty can attest, they are absolutely delicious! I was there yesterday and I saw plenty of nice stacks.
Well, have a great week and remember not to believe everything you hear. My wife thinks I’m a skeptic, but I don’t believe a word she says! (Would you believe my neighbor has a skeptic tank? What’s that about?)
Love to all…..
First, a confession….. As many of you know, I’m never wrong. I once thought I was wrong, but as it turned out, I was mistaken. I have no idea what any of this has to do with today’s blog, but I thought you should know where I stand. (Even though I’m sitting.) Speaking of standing in the right place…..
If you go to Scandinavia, be careful where you stand in the water, and DO NOT go skinny-dipping! The Pacu, a nasty-looking fish from South America, (related to the Piranha) has invaded the waters between Denmark and Sweden. I know it sounds like a Brothers Grimm folk tale, but it’s true, and here’s the worse part….. the Pacu is a testicle-biting fish! Holy mackerel!
My uncle once got bit on the ear by a fish. He lost his herring. (As a courtesy, I shall leave out my Swedish meat ball jokes!)
ATTENTION ELVIS FANS! An amazing auction is about to take place, just in time to coincide with the newly released edition of THE PRESLEY PLOT…… Way back in 1958, when the King was 21 years old, he accepted conscription (the draft) to the U.S. Army. The young lad was eventually assigned to the 3rd Armored Division in Friedberg, Germany. (A few miles from the home of the Brothers Grimm!) Well, guess what? Private Presley’s 3-piece uniform is about to be sold at auction! (In case you’re wondering, the uniform is owned by Patsy Presley, one of his cousins.) By the time you read this blog, somebody will have plunked down a small fortune, as the uniform has already become the MOST collectible item of the year! (So much for Michael Jackson’s silly glove!)
If you should find yourself in Kerrville, Texas on Tuesday, stop by Louise Hays Park and you can listen to me ramble on about MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE and DEVIL’S COVE. I will also be signing books and drinking some beer. Our tent will be set up on the banks of the Guadalupe River, which runs through the city. It is a very scenic park and there should be some good food available. Traveling can take a toll on the mind and body as one ages, but as the great Mark Twain was fond of saying…… “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” Amen, brother!
Have a safe and pleasant week….. Love to all…..
WELL, IT’S OFFICIAL….. My wrestling days are over. As many of you know, I am a former collegiate wrestling champion. (I was also collegial on the mat.) I recently decided to try out for the Senior Olympic Games and began to train for my first match. On day two of my rigorous workout schedule (which began at noon) I incurred a minor shoulder injury to my rotator cuff. From that moment on, I didn’t “get around” as much as before. (There are very few rotator cuff jokes.) I am happy to report that I am fully healed, and as they say, wiser for the experience. In truth, wrestling is a tough sport. I need to find a happy medium. (or a pleasant fortune teller.) I’m considering badminton. Sounds like an easy “racket.”
So what else is new? Well, my third mystery, DEVIL’S COVE was recently chosen as “Outstanding New Mystery” by two Florida book clubs! (I’m starting to love the Sunshine State.) Book two, MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE, is about to be sent to my new publisher, and from what I’ve seen so far, it looks wonderful. Book three, THE PRESLEY PLOT, will be revised and re-edited shortly, and per the publisher’s request, I have added two new chapters.
Meanwhile, our blog site now has close to 6,000 followers! I would like to take a moment and welcome some very special folks who have recently become new followers….. (I don’t show last names for privacy reasons)
First, Steve R. of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Steve is one of my oldest and dearest friends. We met almost 50 years ago in Valley Stream, New York, and I have treasured his friendship through the years. What a truly great guy!
Second, Mary M. of Austin, Texas. Mary spent over 20 years in the U.S. Army and served her country with distinction. She’s got beauty, brains, and backbone, and I would personally like to thank her for her service! Quite a lady.
Third, Mrs. Nola F. of Cooper City, Florida. Nola was a student of mine when I taught at Miami-Dade C.C. She is the epitome of a caring and courageous wife. Smart, sweet, and completely unselfish. What a class act! (No pun intended.)
Finally, I would like to extend a belated birthday wish to Mrs. Kellie H. of Austin, Texas. Kellie is the beautiful and talented daughter of Judge Susan, one of the best poker players in the Lone Star State. Happy Birthday, Kellie! Say hello to the boys for me!
Well, gang, that’s about it for now. I am off for my morning walk, and then it’s pool time, followed by writing time, followed by cocktail hour, followed by…… Indian food at the Clay PIt Restaurant. (I know, life is hard.) Nevertheless, I shall eat some naan and dal on your behalf! Namaste, my friends!
Have a wonderful week and keep dreaming of a better tomorrow….. where chickens can cross the roads and not have their motives questioned!
Love to all,
First, I allude to the amazing storm we had last Friday! I watched part of it from a high-rise apartment downtown, and it was truly a sight to behold. Did you know that a lightning bolt can heat the surrounding air to 54,000 degrees Fehrenheit? That’s six times hotter than the surface of the sun! Hotter than yours truly in a tight speedo! (There’s a troubling image!)
Second, I refer to the wonderful news that my new publisher (Murder Ink Press/Penguin Books) has recently purchased all rights to my first two books, THE PRESELY PLOT and MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE. Both books will be lengthened, re-edited, and re-published in a much more professional package. New chapters have been added, so get ready for some great fall reading.
Meanwhile, DEVIL’S COVE continues to garner some excellent reviews, and as I have recently learned, the book cover is about to be nominated for some kind of art award later in the year. I shall keep you posted. (or rather, emailed) Thanks again to the beautiful and talented Rachel Zell, the dear who designed the initial cover.
So what else is new? Well, as some of you know, I made poker history by making it to the final table in the last 8 tournaments in a row….. BUT……the big news is that some of my friends and colleagues have done ever better! For instance, Judge Susan (The Legal Eagle) made it to the final table last Thursday and astonished the crowd by getting FOUR KINGS in a very big hand! Beverly Skipper Lange and Steven Gee recently participated in the MAIN EVENT at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. There were well over 6,000 great players in the event. ($10,000 Buy-in!) Beverly placed 86th and won $71,000! Steven placed 24th and won….. $285,000!! (I was instrumental in both of their careers, albeit in a roundabout fashion. Neither one of them took my poker advice!)
Great week for my brother, Glenn Yanoff. He spent the last 10 days sailing down the Rhone River on a luxury cruise. (He was vacationing and hopefully doing some research for my next mystery novel titled, RANSOM ON THE RHONE.) His lovely daughter, Jessica, just landed a terrific teaching position. He has two handsome and talented sons, and the oldest, Jarrett, just got accepted into the University of Miami Law School! Well done, J-Man! (Uncle Steve is going to need some legal representation!)
Speaking of representation….. I think my hometown (NYC) has lost its collective mind. Eliot Spitzer is running for Comptroller? (You remember Spitzer….. he gave new meaning to the term “room service.”) Anthony Weiner wants to be the mayor? How can he “expose” himself to further humiliation? I heard they’re calling his campaign “The Tour de Pants!”
Did you hear that Michael and Rita Hennecke are making a movie called “From Here To Paternity?” (Hey, Stella! Stella!) Wait a minute, that line is from “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Of course, down here in Texas, the movie is called “A Streetcar Named Perspire.” (Next week we will have 6 days of 100 degree temperatures!)
Well, my friends, I must leave you now. I am on my way to Comfort, Texas, for a book signing/speaking engagement. (I love the name of that town!) I hope to have lunch or dinner at a great new restaurant called the Plaid Goat. (No, I’m not bringing my “nanny!”) Food review to follow! Until we meet again, be safe, behave, and believe………. Love to all,
Well, if you’ve been reading VARIETY, the show-business magazine, you probably know the huge, earth-shattering news….. Murder Ink Press has purchased the book and movie rights to THE PRESLEY PLOT and MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE!! Both books will be revised (and lengthened) and reissued with new and improved front book covers in both soft-back and hard-back versions!! They will also be available on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Kindle, Nook, etc.
In a word, I am….. Astonished! Delighted! Grateful! Flabbergasted! (Wait a minute, that’s four words!) Well, what can I say, a lot of books have “four-words!”
Seriously though, this is wonderful news, and I am one very lucky author. A lot of the credit goes to you, my loyal blog followers, so thank you very much for your continued support and encouragement! I shall not let you down!
So what else is new? Judge Susan is coming over today for a “Mexican Swim Party.” (Lots of “dips.”) She is bringing her three gorgeous grandchildren, too. After I finish this blog post, I’m going to Home Depot to buy 100 gallons of Chlorine! (Use your imagination here.) Congratulations to Rita and Michael Hennecke on the birth of their new daughter. She is absolutely beautiful, but due to rising hospital costs, the parents have not yet chosen a name for her! (I suggested “Hey, you” but I doubt the name will stick!)
My Texas Hold ‘Em tournament play remains hotter than a stolen tamale. I’ve made it to the “final table” seven times in a row! (Without winning the tournament, mind you.) Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of sitting next to the beautiful and talented Beverly Skipper Lange. My dear friend just got back from the MAIN EVENT at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, where she placed 86th and won….. $70,000! Well done, Miss Beverly!
Another poker great, Kevin Evans, surprised our last tournament group with some very special t-shirts. The shirts were emblazoned with the front book covers of my first three mystery novels! (The Presley Plot, Murder on Maiden Lane, and Devil’s Cove.) Thank you, Kevin! The shirts were very cool… very considerate… and very colorful!
Several of my blog followers have asked about my upcoming trip to Detroit. We had to cancel the trip, mainly because people are moving out of the city in record numbers. (Motown has become LessTown!) Even the schools are falling apart. Did you know that Detroit kids spend the first two weeks of school studying their Miranda Rights? What do you think the average Detroit student gets on his or her SAT? (Drool!) **The preceding jokes are dedicated to my one and only Detroit friend, Gary Rubenstein!
In conclusion, I would like to remind you that the first novel ever written on a typewriter was…. TOM SAWYER! (I forget the author’s name.) I still use an electric typewriter, which is why the neighbors think we have a pet woodpecker. (No woodpecker jokes, please!) Have a safe and joyous week!
Love to all…..