A few months ago, Joe Finder wrote a marvelous piece in the Algonkian Author Salon that he titled Thrillers to Learn From. In it Joe listed eighteen works of fiction by title and author in the thriller genre. All works the world knows well.
Joe has very good taste as I’ve read most and those that remain will soon be devoured by this un-knighted thriller author. But that is not why I felt compelled to bring this list to your attention. Click the link and gaze upon a list of Masters of the Craft. No, really, do it. I’ll wait.
Are you back? What did you see? Now this is going to be a bit tricky unless you studied the list thoroughly. As I said earlier, I’m not at all sure of what it means, but on this list are master writers of highly rated thrillers with stellar sales success. This is what I observed;
- They are all male. That was easy and y’all caught that one
- Exactly half–fifty percent of these authors have consecutive double letters in their name. Nine world-famous writers at the peak of publishing’s pride all have double letters. Let’s call that phenomenon DLG for Double Letter Guys.
So, what does it mean? Is there some magic attraction to DLG by the book buying brigade? Is this coincidental or have people like Lee Child, Nelson DeMille, Ken Follett, William Goldman, Robert Harris, Thomas Harris, John le Carre, David Morrell and Scott Turow learned a secret something? Does Joe know?
Surely there must be a statistical correlation between DLG and selling a ton of books. I, for one would like to know this trick or whatever. I’m all for changing my name to Walter Dannlley, if that is what it takes to be a Best Selling Author. My kids won’t mind if the name gets modified. Call it progress.
And what of the other genres? Who are the DLG’s of Romance, Paranormal, Dystopian, and yes, dare I say it, Westerns? And what of writers from decades past? Who of us would say that Edgar Allan Poe could not have belonged to this secret society of sophisticated solvent somnolent sirs?
I confess to an inability to personally undertake this research project. The financial, intellectual and time commitments is beyond most people. Well, I guess Donald Trump would want to take it on. Yet, it must be done if we are to know the secret of several seriously successful scribes. The scope of the suggested scheme should comprise scribblers since the dawn of the written word. Criteria for a participation profile should plainly be pondered by present-day publishing proponents. Particularly since a study of this importance should find a permanent place in the halls of academia.
A Harvard or Yale commission would seem appropriate. Any of the Ivy League institutions would be honored to further the fiscal well-being of one of the oldest professions known to mankind. I guess writing follows right after prostitution, then. Perhaps persistent prattle that the University of Phoenix purportedly is pondering the pitfalls predominantly protruding perpendicularly per this prime project. I hear Pepperdine passed, possible per the prior passing of Prince. Plenty other possibilities persist in perpetuity, probably.
As the famous ragtime pianist, Fats Waller would say, “One never knows, now, do one?” If any of you choose to take a leadership role for this challenge, please keep me informed. Thank you for your attention,
Author of the
Wainwright Mystery series
Tattle Tales Two of Five
For you delightful readers, this is a continuation of the first blog about Prince and my experience renting him my Beverly Hills home. I looked up the definition of Purple after that first meeting with Prince. Purple is most associated with royalty, magic, mystery, and piety. Synonyms: Elaborate, Exaggerated, Ornate, Excessive, Overheated. It sure fits, right? Prince did not pick that color accidentally. I’m guessing he named his song and film Purple Rain for the color he’d previously selected to symbolize his career rather than his logo color resulting from the song’s success. I’ll share Purple stories with you, but now, let me pick up where we last left off.
So Christopher and I were packing for Australia when we received the offer from agents for Prince to rent the property for two months. On one hand, the timing was terrific. We’d be in Australia while Prince wanted the house. In addition, the rental rate he offered was generous. The other side of the equation was that we knew little about His Purpleness and neither of us was a fan (then). What seemed to be more unsettling was he had changed his name to the unpronounceable symbol that would later become his sign and signature. Before we agreed for a stranger to live in our home, sleep in our bed and eat in our kitchen we wanted to meet Prince before giving him the keys.
Prince and his entourage of six people arrived on time. I made the mistake of referring to him as Mr. Nelson and was corrected in a friendly way that he preferred just Prince. As we chatted, the entourage stayed in the great room while Prince, Christopher and I sat in the family room. Two of those in the Prince People Parade were his personal assistants. Read bodyguards. These guys must have had Secret Service training as they never relaxed when other people were close to Prince.
We didn’t visit long because Prince had another engagement, but both of us found him to be personable and engaging, even if shy. Prince said that he was doing business in Los Angeles and our house fit his requirements well. He mentioned doing business with Warner Brothers Records which is in Burbank. I assumed that was what he meant. It wasn’t.
Much later the taller bodyguard, Duane, a great guy and Prince’s half-brother, said that the security aspects of the house were important attractions. The house sat high above a cul-de-sac street with an eighty-foot mountain behind it.
So Prince and the entourage took the what’s this and how does that work tour. He was natural and funny as we walked and talked. It turned out that Prince was also a fan of Christopher’s work. He told me he watched Trapper John, MD every Sunday night he was home in Minneapolis. I really got to like the guy.
I was Prince’s landlord when he lived in Beverly Hills. We had an interesting relationship. I will be posting on my blog some stories about things that we experienced together that I call Tattle Tales. If you are a fan of His Purpleness or if you remember when he changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol and was then referred to as the artist formerly known as Prince, or you are just involved in following all of the media coverage that has followed Prince Rogers Nelson to the grave, then you might find the Tattle Tales of interest.
There will be five of them in total. I will write them from memory, my journal I kept at that time and the real estate documents the transaction required.
Why don’t you come on over and take a peek? Leave your thoughts and comments for other fans to read. I will look forward to seeing you there
Tattle Tales One of Five
I’m surprised by the outpouring of emotions on losing Prince. I was not aware how significant Prince was to the music biz. Since Prince and I had an interesting relationship for a time, I want to add that experience to the lexicon of the Rock Legend, Prince Rogers Nelson.
Background will place my comments into context. My relationship with His Purpleness came about because of Via de la Quilla, the home my then wife and I designed and built. That is the house we rented to Prince. The significance of the name comes a little later.
Our involvement with the property started about a year after I was introduced to a young actress named Christopher Wynden Norris. Having seen her play Miriam in the film Summer of ’42 I was already in love. I asked her to be my wife on our 2nd date and she said she’d think about it. I’m happy to tell you she did said “Yes”—five years later. While she was considering my proposal we purchased a vacant lot high up the canyon overlooking Beverly Hills.
What this has to do with Prince I’ll explain. It is important you understand that this house was built with love. From buying the lot to moving in day spanned fourteen years. Love was poured into the concrete foundations. Love inspired the choice of an antique plaster technique used inside and a unique paint process on the outside. Every piece of wood, metal, glass and paint that went into that structure was imbued with the love that Christopher and I had for each other and for that project.
We loved living there and enjoyed sharing our home with pals and family. But it was a very large house for two people. It was 8,500 square feet of living space. After a few years we downsized and list for sale the home we spent all of our courtship years and a good part of married life planning and building. Had we not put the house on the market, we’d have never met Prince.
The decision to sell the house occurred around the middle of Christopher’s seven years as the female lead in the CBS dramatic series, Trapper John, MD. The series was sold into syndication to Australia Broadcast Company who invited us to tour that fantastic country. Before we left for Australia our real estate broker called to say that a “prominent entertainer” was interested in a short-term rental. After some third-party negotiations over the many terms for a high-priced rental, I told his manager and attorney that approval was conditioned on us meeting the man who would live in the house. And so they set a meeting for us to conduct Prince on a personal tour of the property.
I marvel at the Internet and how much more productive my research for my novels has become. Of course not everything posted there is true or accurate. One must be careful, but often the messages are for your health and well-being. Take such as my email in-box. This morning I did a quick review of the mail sent to me from considerate and concerned users of the Internet.
It turns out that the internet knows things about me that will require my immediate action. (The senders have conveniently provided me several buttons to ease this process.) While not an attractive picture, the Internet Angels have determined that I have high cholesterol, I am over-weight, and I am sleep deprived. Most likely this last malady is caused by worrying about my cholesterol that turns have given me severe heartburn. Who of us can sleep with a case of heartburn?
The lack of sound sleep habits is bringing on premature balding. This, no doubt, is a result of tossing and turning while trying to sleep and rubbing my seriously stricken scalp on the headboard. Believe me, this is no joking matter!
Reading my ever-growing emails that warn of conditions describing disease and disabilities destined to destroy my drive, I find the one that predicts that I may have a propensity toward Alzheimer’s. I sure hope that is in the “not accurate” category. Nobody wants that debilitating disease, of course, but in one way it would be the solution to the horrors of my in-box. I could forget all about these terrible transcripts.
Writers need book reviews, like a mosquitoes need a human arm. (It’s a stretch, I know) and in my personal quest for said reviews I found a wonderful site, StoryCartel.com. Readers get access to my book in exchange for a review. Simple! I’m going to try it, this Friday, July 31.
Would you like to help me by posting a review, getting a terrific Suspense Thriller for nada and finding other new authors that you will enjoy? Great! Click the StoryCartel link and you are off to a new adventure. Oh, thank you for the help. Have fun on Friday.
As you know, I have rewritten my last novel, The Tipping Point, 2nd edition and understand from my publisher that it will release in print and eBook formats on Dec 14th. This is a major rewrite and I expect great sales because I’ve signed with other distributors who have a much longer reach in Europe, Asia, and India (a major eBook market. India has almost as many English-speaking/reading people as does the USA!).