Saturday, December 31, 2011

Saturday Evening Post

This is the Saturday Evening Post. 

Today I'm talking about the 'death of the blog'. 

I've been told that blogs are "dead."  Nobody's interested.  People have short attention spans and would much rather friend you on FaceBook or follow you on Twitter.   It's like newspapers in a digital world. 

I've watched much beloved blogs with big followings bite the dust because the authors of them really, seriously don't have time to devote to them.  I've watched clever group blogs go the way of the dodo---again because the authors decided they'd get more "bang" for their buck on FaceBook and Twitter.

I am not killing this blog. 

There may only be a couple of followers.  I may be shouting into the vacuum.  But I will be SHOUTING into the freaking vacuum.

Because while I like FaceBook well enough, and do occasionally stop by there.  I find it's a time sink.  And they have changed the rules.  Now I have all these people I'm evidently getting updates on who I have no clue who they are (I think they're readers who friended me first, but I honestly am not sure) and all of the people I actually know I get nada on.  Now, I grant that it is kind of cool to meet the new people, and they do have interesting lives with drama and so forth.  But I don't KNOW them.  It's like watching reality TV.  I don't get the point.  I realize this makes me odd.  But, well, THAT'S not exactly news.  I mean COME ON, I've been "odd" since the day I was born.  One of my favorite tee-shirts (that I need to buy when I find it again dammit) says:

                     "DON'T GET EVEN.  GET ODD."

I believe it was an "Emily the Strange."  I LOVED Emily.  So very me.

I do not love Twitter. 

Yes.   I know.  There are those who would now put me before a firing squad AFTER lecturing me on how WONDERFUL Twitter is.  It is the latest/greatest/new ohmiGAWD thing. 

But it's SHORT.  You have to be pithy.  

I do pith.  But not at 4:00-6:00 in the morning.  Which is when I usually wind up posting.  Too, most of the people who I would like to have tweeting conversations with are not UP at 4:00-6:00 in the morning.  (Have I told you I'm jealous?  If not.  I'm telling you now.  I'm freaking JEALOUS of people who don't have to squeeze in the writing and internet stuff before they get ready for the day job.)

So I say PITH ON IT.  So there.

Besides which, Twitter, for reasons only known to computer gurus and God does not like working on my computer.  Nine out of ten times when I try to post it gives me the "We're sorry.  Something's wrong.  Try again in a few seconds."  DUDE I only HAVE a few seconds.  You are being sandwiched in between feeding the animals, taking my meds, writing and getting ready for the day job. 

I do not need to be frustrated at 4:38 in the freaking morning.  It sets a bad precedent for the whole day.  It also destroys what little pith I may have managed to dredge up from the bowels of my psyche.

"BUT" you say, "typing the blog actually takes LONGER."

"DUDE" I say, (yeah, I'm old enough to still say dude.  Laugh if you want.  I can quote Hill Street Blues and The West Wing too.  Even the original Sherlock Holmes, in PRINT, from before when Robert Downey Jr. was even born.)  "I can do the stream of consciousness stuff in my sleep." (And have.)  I type between 100-120 WPM.  This is easier than falling off a greased log.

SO, I will blog, into the darkness and the void.  And I will cherish the folks who actually read and (gasp) LIKE longer formats.  But one of these days I will actually go onto FaceBook and try to figure out how to follow the people I actually know. 

But not today.  I have a to-do list to get tah-done. 

Guys, have fun this New Year's Eve, but "Be careful out there."

Friday, December 30, 2011


It's really sad when "sleeping in" is 6:00 a.m.  Nobody told me when I was a kid and wanted to grow up ever so fast that this was part of being a grown-up. 

Got some serious stuff on the schedule today.  First, I have to get cooking on the book.  I had wanted to get it finished by the end of the year, but I sent the first half to my son for a read through (before it goes to the other beta readers) and he had some things he wanted to see, so I had to go back and do some edits.  I think it's stronger, but it did put me behind schedule.

Next, I have to actually PAY for the art for the new launch of the individual website, then revise said website.  And YES I can do websites, but I'm SOOOOOO slow at it.  So it's going to take a big chunk of time. 

AND I need to go through all of the e-mails from my various author friends and put their releaeses on the calendar on the new website, and NAG the other friends who haven't responded. 

And that's just the writing stuff.  The "real" life has all sorts of things that have reached "critical mass."

For example, because of the drought, all summer there was no grass, so no need to mow.  NOW, in DECEMBER we got rain and I have weeds up to my knees that have to be brought low.  Since I refuse to mow in the rain, or the cold, today's going to be a good day to do it.  Weather said sunny and 70ish.  

There's so much more that it depresses me just thinking about it.  So I won't.  I will just take it one step at a time.  And eventually it will all get done, or at least enough of it that I'm not losing my mind over it.

Everybody have a GREAT NEW YEAR!  "Be careful out there."  (Okay, how many of you are old enough to recognize that quote from Hill Street Blues?)

Thursday, December 29, 2011


OKAY, I'm trying to get on top of things.  (Which is harder than it sounds.)  Things I've accomplished include:

Getting Visiting Dignitaries scheduled through April.

Finding the additional art for the new website and negotiating with the artist. (Now I have to pay for it and get it up online for the January 1 launch date).

Getting straight in my head where Boone Carter is going.  (It is written on the spot, but I can't help thinking about it.  "What if . . . "  I haven't made decisions, but I have a general direction.  I think.  Unless something more interesting comes to my head.)

I've got beta readers for when I have the draft of the first individual book finished. (Hoping for the 1st of the year, but I should've written this weekend and didn't.  Was fried.  Tried to write and wound up with smelly, stinking crap on the page.  So took a break.)

I have the paperwork for the beta readers (my day job is in a law office.  Of COURSE I have paperwork.  Duh.)

Still need to work out the January questions.  (I don't want to continue with the same old questions every month.  But I'm not Barbara Walters, so interviewing doesn't come naturally for me.)

Still need to go through and add the release dates for everybody new to the calendar on the new website and make sure I haven't missed anybody.

Lots more, but I want to stop now so that I can get to the actual BOOK.  Which needs to get written.  It is SOOOOOOOO easy to get distracted by all of the other "stuff" you need to do that you don't wind up writing. 

BAAAAAD Author.  No cookie.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011




It's good to hear from you again. It's been a while. I understand you've been very busy. What have you been working on?

Good to hear from you, Cie! I've been working a the first book in the Hope Beach series set in the Outer Banks. And of course I had to visit to make sure everything was accurate. :)

What releases do you have coming out in 2012?
Blue Moon Promise ships in late January. It's a historical marriage of convenience story, and of course, has lots of mystery and suspense laced through it. In July Tidewater Inn ships. It's a contemporary novel that starts off with a bang. Libby is watching on a harbor cam and sees her friend and business partner kidnapped. When she arrives at Hope Beach, she discovers a family she didn't know existed. Lots of mystery and atmosphere.

You have a fairly significant backlist? How many books have you written? Can you give us the titles?
Somewhere around 43 books. My Rock Harbor novels (Without a Trace, Beyond a Doubt, Into the Deep, Abomination, Cry in the Night) are very popular with my readers. There are 4 books in the Aloha Reef series set in Hawaii (Distant Echoes, Black Sands, Dangerous Depths, Midnight Sea) and Distant Echoes is available right now at Dollar General for $3. I did a historical romantic mystery series that's been very popular too called the Mercy Falls series (The Lightkeeper's Daughter, The Lightkeeper's Bride, The Lightkeeper's Ball.) My Lonestar books are hugely popular because they are all marriage of convenience stories set in Texas. My newest release, Lonestar Angel, is the 4th in that series. The others are: Lonestar Sanctuary, Lonestar Secrets, Lonestar Homecoming. The only series that needs to be read in order is the Rock Harbor one. The others can be read out of order. I also have several standalone novels: Alaska Twilight, Fire Dancer, Anathema.

The other books are out of print mass markets.
If you had to be “stuck in an elevator” with one of your characters for several hours, who would it be and what would you talk about?

I would love to chat with Bree, the heroine of the Rock Harbor novels. She has an amazing search dog, Samson, and I'm just fascinated with all the search dogs can do.

Do you listen to music as you write? If so, which artists? What is your playlist?

No, I can't concentrate with music playing, not even instrumentals. I wish I could!

The business of writing is changing rapidly. Do you find the change scary? Invigorating? How (if at all) have you changed your career plans/path as a result?
Oh it is! The biggest change has been the rise of e-books. It's a great opportunity for us to bring back out of prints book though, and I'm in the process of making those old books available in digital.

What is one key bit of advice you would give to a prospective writer?

Read craft books. I always have a book on craft in my hand. I also study how other writers in my genre do it. I'm always reading. :)

Now Colleen being the gracious lady she is has offered a giveaway of her newest release for one commenter drawn at random.  So be sure to stop by and say hi, ask any questions you want, and generally make her feel welcome! 

For Eden, hope is rekindled when her estranged husband delivers the astounding news: that their lost baby girl has been found.

Years ago Eden and Clay Larson’s baby was stolen. Kidnappers demanded a ransom, but something went horribly wrong at the exchange: the kidnapper’s car crashed into the river and was never recovered. Eden blamed herself, Clay lost himself in work. Their young and rocky marriage ended. Or so Eden thought.
Now she’s met Kent. He’s everything Clay wasn’t: funny, stable, and eager to please her. Just as he’s about to propose marriage at a romantic dinner, Clay arrives and tells Eden she can’t marry Kent. She’s still married to him. He never signed the divorce decree. Even more earth-shattering than this news is that he’s never stopped looking for Brianna. Based on a tip, he thinks their daughter is in Bluebird, Texas, at a youth ranch. All five little girls there are the right age, but he’s not sure which is Brianna.

To discover the truth, the couple becomes counselors to the girls at Bluebird Ranch. They move into small quarters in the bunkhouse and oversee the kids as they try to find out more. As they work together, their love for the children grows and their love for each other is rekindled. But as danger closes in, Eden and Clay realize they’ve been lured to this remote West Texas location; their lives and the lives of the little girls are in danger. But as Eden learns, “hope does not disappoint.”

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Back from the Holiday/BREAKFAST SERIAL

Okay, I had a wonderful holiday.  Very rested.  Didn't do much.  (The to do list did NOT get ta done and I feel GOOD about it because I actually got to do things like READ and RELAX.)  Saw Sherlock Holmes with a friend.  I still want to see Mission Impossible.  Weirdness of mine---a while back when I was having a REALLY frantic day I caught myself humming ---the theme from Mission Impossible.  Made me laugh, which improved the day immensely.  Now I do it deliberately.

This week the Visiting Dignitary is Colleen Coble.  I have to FIND her post and get it ready to go up for y'all.  AND, since I promised, today I am doing a delayed breakfast serial. 


Who in the *W@$ is Boone Carter?

"My granddaughter has taken up with an inappropriate man. I want you to discourage him."

I sighed.  I couldn't help it.  As far as Mrs. Carmichael was concerned I was an inappropriate man.  And to my mind the granddaughter could 'take up with' whoever the hell she wanted.  Assuming she was of age.  Which she was.  My boss keeps pictures of the girls on his desk.  "No."

"Excuse me?"

It was a simple enough word, if one she hadn't heard much.  I didn't figure I needed to explain, even if she wanted me to.  So I gave her a beatific glance--all blue eyes and innocence.  Her eyes narrowed.  So did her nostrils.  Most people don't notice the latter.  I did, because it made her look like the hated word even smelled bad to her. 

"MISter Carter."  She said it just like that, heavy emphasis on the first syllable.  Being polite, but not really meaning it.  I just kept beaming at her.  Let her do the heavy conversational lifting.  "I am not young, and I am no fool.  If this were just adolescent rebellion, or a fling I would stand aside, however distasteful I might find the man."  She turned looking out the window for a moment before continuing.  "But I know a man with his 'eyes on the prize' when I see it.  Jacob Chester is after my daughter's money, plain and simple."

The smile froze on my face.  Jacob Chester.   No.  It couldn't be.  It just couldn't.  I'd put all that behind me.  But it's not a common name. 

The old woman turned away from the window.  Her eyes met mine, and it was a struggle to keep the fact that she'd rattled me from my face. 

"I want you to find him.  And discourage him.  And I don't want my granddaughter to know you did it.  Can you manage that?"

"I'll find him.  And I'll tell you where he is.  But I won't do any discouraging."

She frowned.  "Why not?  I'm quite sure you'd be good at it."
I gave her a crooked smile.  Yeah, I'd be good at it.  I'm big, strong, and tough enough to be pretty damned discouraging.  But I don't do anything that might land me on the cops' radar.  I'm off grid and intend to stay that way.  And no amount of money she'd wave in front of me was worth the risks involved.  Particularly if it was Jacob. 

But I had to know.  So I'd take her money.  And I'd find him.  If it really was Jacob Chester . . . well, I'd burn that bridge if I came to it.

Sunday, December 25, 2011



Due to the holiday, the breakfast serial and such are postponed until Monday. 

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday (and if you don't celebrate Christmas, have a wonderful day whether it be another holiday, or just a day of your choosing.  Live to the fullest. )

Best always!


Friday, December 23, 2011


Good morning to all and MERRY CHRISTMAS. 

I have the day off from the day job.  In FACT the boss has been kind enough that I also have Monday off.  WHOO HOOO!  This means I can get the schtoof done in my life AND work on the book.  The goal is to get the book done by the end of the year and get it to the beta readers.

Heard from one of my artist friends.  I think we've worked out a piece of art for the new individual website.

I have a TON of stuff to get up here at the blog, and I have to let our webmistress know about new items for the Craft Corner on the joint website with Cathy.

I'm thinking I may (if I get the place clean!) put photos of my office on the individual website.  It seems people are curious about where the actual creating gets done.  Anyway, the individual website has a re-launch on January 1 and I HOPE it will be ready.

Okay, off to it.  Whether it is breakfast, feeding the critters, or going back to bed.

It's my day off.  I get to do what I want.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011



Folks, I want you to give a warm welcome to our guest today.  She's a good friend (and is going to be my roommate at RT this spring.  She's a veteran writer with a looooooooooong backlist and a great sense of humor.  I give you CAROLE NELSON DOUGLAS!  (INSERT CHEERS HERE)

All right Carole, the blog is acting up a bit and your pictures keep wandering all over the place.  I have no idea how this is going to look.  But we are all going to be good sports, ignore my technical difficulties, and move on with the interview.  LOL.

It's good to hear from you.  It's been a while.  What have you been doing to keep yourself busy?

I've been busy promoting my fifth Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator, novel, Virtual Virgin, which has gotten great reviews from Publishers Weekly and RT Book Reviews. It's set in Delilah's very original and dark "Las Vegas from Hell," but the climax occurs in the desert outside Juarez, where Delilah and her partner, Ric take down a demon drug lord and his zombies on speed.
Then I've been ramping up my own imprint, Wishlist Publishing, to get out my first indie-produced e-book, an original short novel, A Wall Street Christmas Carol, now on Kindle and Nook.
I plan to e-book publish many novellas and short stories my readers probably don't know about, which are related to my three major series, the Midnight Louie feline PI mysteries, the Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator, paranormal urban fantasies and the Irene Adler Victorian Sherlockian suspense series.
So I'm also getting out an earlier Scrooge take-off, Scrogged: A Cyber Christmas Carol, set around the Enron corporate scandal of a decade ago. And an Irene Adler tale, The Private Wife of Sherlock Holmes. With the new Sherlock Holmes movie coming out this month, that would be a good tie-in.
 I'm really excited about A Wall Street Christmas Carol. That subject is so topical now. The book has the feel of the Frank Capra movies where "the people" triumphed over heartless big business and Congress--Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Meet John Doe, and that other Christmas classic, It's a Wonderful Life.
Obviously, the Occupy Wall Street movement touched a nerve, no matter how it turns out. A Wall Street Christmas Carol tells how Caleb Gould, Wall Street billionaire, is confronted with a trio of unusual ghosts to help him find his soul . . . and help other people. Unlike in Charles Dickens' Christmas classic, this "Scrooge" is
a monster of greed, not a miser. It's wicked fun to watch him get his comeuppance, and to discover where that avarice came from.
 What releases do you have coming out in 2012?
Coming up is the usual Midnight Louie mystery double-header. His 2011 hardcover, Cat in a Vegas Gold Vendetta, goes to paper in 2012, and his 2012 hardcover, with smashing cover art, arrives in early August. It's called Cat in a White Tie and Tails.
The Midnight Louie series is alphabetically titled, so it's heading closer to the "Z" book. Readers are anxious to learn the romantic fates of the four leading human characters, PR freelance Temple Barr and her former and current boyfriends, magician Max Kinsella and the ex-priest now a media rising star, Matt Devine. There's also the fate of Las Vegas homicide lieutenant Carmen Molina to worry about, as well as Louie and his many four-legged "legmen" and cohorts.
Readers are also anxious about Midnight Louie disappearing with the Z book. I doubt a twenty-pound black alley cat-detective is leaving his famed, and often dangerous, life as a literary lion just because the alphabet ends with a Z. I do expect some closure for the human characters, though.
You have a fairly significant backlist? How many books have you written? Can you give us the titles?
When I was guest of honor at Malice Domestic 23 mystery convention last spring, they asked for my bibliography. I answered, you want just the mystery-suspense novels, of course.
No, they said, short fiction too. Okay, I answered, just the mystery novels and short stories.
No, everything, they replied. Everything? I had to update my listing, which was a good thing to have on hand anyway.
When I sent it in, the reply was: "When do you sleep?"
I've written almost sixty novels and forty pieces of shorter fiction. Most of my current readers don't know about my out-of-print earlier work. I wrote five books for the Loveswept contemporary romance line, including the Midnight Louie Quartet that introduced him as a mystery star. There are three unusual historical romances, a mainstream Gothic, Amberleigh, Fair Wind, Fiery Star (a female swashbuckler) and Lady Rogue.
The five-book Irissa/Kendric series and two Taliswoman novels are both high fantasy series. High fantasy is set in totally imagined worlds. I also have four mainstream women's fiction novels.
And . . . there are eight novels in the Irene Adler series, which is now on its second hiatus: Good Night, Mr. Holmes was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and won American Mystery and Romantic Times awards. In sequence after that come The Adventuress, A Soul of Steel , Another Scandal in Bohemia, Chapel Noir, Castle Rouge, Femme Fatale and Spider Dance.
If you had to be “stuck in an elevator” with one of your characters for several hours, who would it be and what would you talk about?
That's a really good question. That's pretty much is what writing is, except the elevator is in your head. I think I'd most enjoy being sequestered with Sherlock Holmes and interrogating him to find out what Doyle really was thinking when he gave him the characteristics he did, including his distaste for women . . . except for Irene Adler, of course.
If you could change one of your characters, which one would it be and why?
Once you "build" your characters and set them in motion, they are pretty much their own persons and do surprise you. That's why I wouldn't change a one of them! I can't. It's amazing how you can drop a series for some time, yet always immediately get in the milieu if you write a short story about those characters and that time and place.
Do you listen to music as you write? If so, which artists? What is your playlist?
Everybody has a playlist these days, but I started writing in a busy news room, with typewriters clamoring away and my near neighbors interviewing people on the phone, and photographers and reporters swarming in and out. I learned to drown out ambient noise, so music would be wasted on me.
Also, my favorite songwriters are also poets, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan, so you
have to concentrate on what they're saying/singing. I love Celtic music and songs, some Swing, and Jimmy Buffet and the Beach Boys for driving music.
I understand you do a lot of crafting to unwind. Any favorites?
Actually, Cie, no, but I'd like to. I don't have time to craft anything, and not much for unwinding. I collected vintage clothes and accessories for fifteen years before I quit my reporting job to write full time, so I picked up many gorgeous fragments of vintage velvet and beadwork I intended to repair. I started on a few items, but the writing and publishing processes soaked up all the spare minutes.
The business of writing is changing rapidly. Do you find the change scary? Invigorating? How (if at all) have you changed your career plans/path as a result?
The radical replacement of print media with digital forms has been a scary process. As an ex-reporter, I couldn't believe it when many newspapers 100 years old or more faded from physical existence, or existence at all.
Midnight Louie's newsletter is called the Scratching-Post Intelligencer, after the Seattle Post- Intelligencer. It's gone, but Louie's little newsletter is still here. Shocking!
Many people I worked with not only lost jobs, they lost another place to go, a profession that was hiring. I've heard heartbreaking stories. People with training who've learned ethics and wisdom from wielding the power of the word in any form have lost jobs and influence.
The same thing with fiction writing. It's all out there, much of it not coming through traditional editing channels. That's a great freedom, but it also results in a lack of quality and responsibility.
That said, with the breakdown of print media has come a greater freedom for professionals who felt hampered by institutions and systems. Now people can publish themselves, and perhaps find a fan base.
So I think the end result is positive, even though the culture seems more chaotic.
What is one key bit of advice you would give to a prospective writer?
You must read a lot, oddly enough, to find your own voice. What you love, and hate, when you read can provide the drive you need to begin to write, and, more importantly, to keep at it.
THANKS SO MUCH FOR COMING BY!  Guys, to encourage comments I'm going to offer up a prize, random drawing of the names of all commentors for an ARC of The Isis Collar.
Again, big thanks to Carole for her time.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Morning Breakfast Serial

Who in the *@#$ is Boone Carter?

The blonde opened the door to the rear compartment.  "Get in," she ordered.  I stepped forward.  When Trey started to follow she blocked his path.  "No.  This is a private conversation between Mr. Carter and the boss."

I took a look inside the passenger compartment of the limo.  The only person there was a little white-haired old lady.  Maybe eighty pounds, and probably at least eighty years old.  I was betting I could take her in a straight-up fight.  Reaching into my pocket I pulled out my truck keys and tossed them back to my rooommate.  "It's all right.  You take the truck.  I'll meet you at the job site."

He looked at me doubtfully.  I've never let him drive the truck.  It's not much of a vehicle, but it's all I've got.  I don't usually trust him with it because he has the attention span of a gnat on speed.  He's always distracted.  He can't help it.  But today I was willing to take a risk.  Mainly because I was curious.  Who was the old girl and what did she want with me?

"You're sure."

"Positive.  Just don't wreck it."

"I," he assured me with a huge grin, "am a great driver." 

Yeah, right.  And if you believe that one I've got this land in Florida . . .  I sighed and climbed in the limo.  Either my truck would make it to the job site in one piece or it wouldn't.  I'd made my choice.  Still, I felt a little chill run down my spine when the driver closed the door with a solid, almost ominous, thunk.

I sat across from the "boss" my weight sinking into butter soft carmel colored leather that still had that new car smell.  The woman across from me watched me with the bright dark eyes of a bird magnified only a little by the pair of rimless glasses she wore.  She wasn't a beautiful woman, never had been.  Even softened by age and wrinkles her features were too harsh for that.  But she was striking, and impeccably neat.  Not a wrinkle marred the dark rose suit she wore, and her jewelry was both conservative, and obviously expensive.  Even if the limo hadn't clued me in, I would've known she had money.  She wasn't being crass about it.  Wealth was just a fact of her existence, like the sun and the tides.

"Mr. Carter."


I heard the front door slam, and the car started up.  A moment later we pulled smoothly away from the curb.  We sat in silence for a few blocks.  I wondered if we were following Trey in the truck.  The driver hadn't asked for a destination.  I did hope I'd wind up at the work site eventually.  I like my job, and Mr. Carmichael has no sense of humor about missing work.

"You're not much of a talker."  She observed.

"I figured you'll tell me what you want when you're ready."

 She gave me what might have been a smile, or not, just a bitter little twist of the lips.  "My son is Jimmy Carpenter Carmichael."

"Jimmy" Carmichael, as in Mr. Carmichael the owner of the company I worked for.  So maybe I wouldn't get in trouble for being late.  Assuming, of course, she told him we'd met. 

"Jimmy is a good boy."  She told me.  I didn't mention that at 56 he was twice my age and hardly a 'boy'.  He was her son.  He'd always be a boy to her.  "A little weaker than I'd like.  Not like his father was, or even his brother Ron." 

I'd worked with James Carmichael long enough to know he wasn't exactly a sissy boy.  Which meant that Mr. Carmichael Sr. had probably been a world class asshole.  Ron, had been the Carmichael's older son.  If rumors were to be believed he'd be killed in a bar fight.  He may have been tough, but obviously someone had been tougher.  Then again, there always is. 

"So I can't count on him to do what's necessary."

I didn't like where I thought this was heading, but I kept my mouth shut.  I've found I can keep myself out of an awful lot of trouble just by staying quiet. 

She paused, waiting for me to say something.  When I didn't she gave me an irritated look over the top of her glasses. 

"I need someone smart, tough, and ruthless.  I had someone check discreetly with the men working for my son.  Your name came up repeatedly.  They also say you do odd jobs for people, for a price."

"That would depend on the job."

"And the price I assume."
Not necessarily.  But I wasn't about to tell her that---yet.  "What exactly did you have in mind?"

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Saturday Evening Post

Okay, it's Saturday, and I'm posting.  Probably what I'll talk about today is something of a dichotomy. 


Because, let's face it.  It takes big shiny polished brass to be willing to keep going against everything that everyone will say to discourage you and in light of the actual nuts and bolts work of practicing, practicing, practicing without knowing whether or not you're actually going to succeed.  But you believe in your dream and yourself enough to finish, to put your product your "baby" on the line, whether it is a painting, a song, or a piece of writing.

And (for a lot of people at least---including me) at the same time that you believe, and are proud and stubborn and KEEP polishing that brass there's this part of you that is afraid that it ISN'T brilliant, that maybe you AREN'T as good as you think you are and that maybe you should just give up.

SO, it HURTS people when for no good reason other than:  (1) they seem to enjoy it; (2) the fact that web is anonymous and they CAN bully without facing the consequences; or maybe (3) they're jealous; people rip into your art with razors, being as cruel as they possibly can in their criticism.  They seem to believe that "Well, if you can't take it, you shouldn't put your stuff out there."

And it doesn't stop if you get a level of success either.   It just means that more people see it, so there's more of a chance that that small (really, small) percentage of cruel people will see it and cut loose.

A lot of people deal with it by avoiding reviews and forums, not allowing comments on their blog and the like.  I can't say as I blame them.  Frankly, most professional writers at least (can't speak for other artists) don't have enough time to spare to spend a lot of it hanging out doing those things anyway.

I'm a grown up.  I know that what I create won't please all of the people all of the time.  Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see the top of The New York Times' bestsellers list.  But the fact is, that most writers never get there, and I want to be true to what I want to write and my characters.

But I have to admit that every time I see someone getting slashed on it makes me mad.  And every time I get ready to put something out in the world (or even just in front of an important audience of one, like the agent or an editor) I have to put on my "armor," and pump myself up with the equivalent of a half-time pep talk.

There are very famous authors who finally gave up on publishing their works altogether.  They didn't stop writing, they just stop publishing their work, choosing instead to let the manuscripts pile up in a safe, file cabinet, or desk drawer.  I don't know that I'll ever go that far.  I do want to share my stories and characters with people who appreciate them.  But if the publishing industry decided tomorrow that I was no longer publishable, I would still keep writing.  If the publishing industry disappeared as a whole tomorrow I'd still keep writing. It's what I do. It's who I am.

So I strap on the armor and send to the agent, the editor, wherever.  And I come back to the keyboard at 4:00 or 4:30 in the morning when a part of me would much rather be asleep (shut up body, I've got things to do) and pound out the words, or post to the blog, or do the interview.  Is it dedication? Maschochism?  A little of both?  I don't know.  But it is my life and my art.  And I try to ignore the people who look me straight in the eye and say "Well if YOU can get published . . ." (seriously, they've said it.  LOTS of them.) and the folks who rip into my work, or the work of my friends.

Nobody expects you to like everything you read.  But I have to go with Laurell K. Hamilton on this one.  Vote with your feet, with your pocketbook.  If you don't like what an author writes DON'T BUY THE BOOKS.   But don't be petty, and cruel.  That's just so . . . high school.

Friday, December 16, 2011


I took a day off.  A whole day off of the day job to take care of all of the schtoof you can't do when you work the same hours that everything else is open.  WOO HOO.  Christmas shopping is done.  All but 1 package ready to mail.  Old prizes and replacements (the mail shredded my bookmark kind of thing) are going this afternoon.  The car is getting inspected.  The proposal and first section of the new individual book will be winging its way to the agent this afternoon. 

BUSY, but good busy.

OKAY, I had a thought.  Always a dangerous thing.  IF I were to start a blog (1 day a week) from the point of view of any character we have written (or if you want a sneak peek, from any of the characters of the new book being sent to the agent this afternoon) or which will be written, who would it be?

OR would you prefer to have one blog a week here (which would be handy since I wouldn't have to set up a new account) with a character visiting each week?  HMNNN???  Inquiring minds want to know.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Everything You Wanted to Know about Publishing (Since You Were Going to Ask Anyway.)

By David Boop

I was recently asked to sit on a panel for a local writer’s meet-up on the topic of “Building Suspense in Your Mysteries” with two other colleagues of mine.  After discussing our respective careers, we decided to ask if there was anything in particular they wanted us to focus on.  A shy hand raised up and asked, “So just how do you get published?” Nearly two hours later, we never addressed the topic we’d shown up for. (It is also interesting to note, that when polled, only two out of the dozen or so people attending actually wrote mysteries.)

You all are hungry to be read. You wouldn’t be reading a blog from an author on the topic of writing if you weren’t. Heck, you’re even reading the guest blog from a hack such as myself. That’s dedication to the craft if I’ve ever seen it. You’ve probably just completed a month of fitting in a couple thousand words a day in between kids pageants, prepping turkeys, making up guest rooms and subtly telling your S.O. what you want for Christmas, knowing full well he/she won’t get it in the right color or size. Now you have something - a manuscript, a novella, a chunk of your soul - throbbing, desperate to make its mark on the world. You know it needs editing, or completing, or revising, or… and many writers feel this way… deleting. I mean, after all, who is going to publish you… the retail manager, the domestic goddess, the retiree?
I’m here to tell you the truth.

Nobody will publish you AND everybody will publish you.

No, stop with the accolades. I can just hear you out there saying, “Oh, thank you, St. Dave. That makes everything clearer. I was so worried, but you’ve shown me the light!”

Seriously, before you light the torches and make your way to Denver, let me explain. When I was asked, “How do you get published?” I answered, “There are as many ways to get published as there are stories waiting to be published.” I could have gone with the Kevin Costner, “as many ways as there are stars in the sky,” but then I’d have to do my little tatanka dance, and really, no one wants to see that.

Every author I know has been published in a different way than the next. Few actually go through the recommend steps as taught in colleges, on panels and during lectures. They made their own way to publishing, as you will yourself.

Some claim that the only road to true success is to be published through a traditional press. You know, the old guard, the men (and women) in the white towers who pay you an advance, edit your story, turn it into a book, get that book into bookstores, get it reviewed by well-respected critics, and place you on the New York Times Bestseller list. Those people aren’t wrong.

Along with that, however, you have to take pennies for your work, loss of creative control, a token marketing effort and sometimes being lost in the shadow of the authors already making them money. It’s a horrible, frustrating road that involves countless rejection letters and spending money you don’t have to attend conventions, conferences and networking opportunities. It involves putting yourself out there, making them read you, critique you, judge you. And for many of us, in the end, when you walk through that Barnes and Nobles and see your book next to one of your idols, worth every sacrifice. The number of authors who have succeeded this way is about the same as those who didn’t. Your chances are even. This is my current path and, as a brother in the trenches, I salute you!

In the opposite extreme, there are those writers who have embarked on that quest and gave up, or were scared off from it by people like me who told them the truth about it. They have decided to self-publish their work via print-on-demand (POD) publishers or to e-publish, or both. Many once, and currently successful authors will speak on this, and they have more experience than I, but having working in the POD field, I will share what I know.

First, if you do not have the resources to have your manuscript edited by a professional, experienced-in-the-publishing-field editor, don’t go down this route. There is nothing worse than shelling out nearly $20 for a trade paperback book and find five typos in the first chapter. (And don’t get me started on grammar, pacing, POV and the like. The typos were bad enough!)  Someone who understands plots, the Hero’s Journey (even if you’re defying it,) and transformation of character. Nothing will turn a reader off to any and all future endeavors you’ll embark upon if you cannot tell a good story.

So why risk this? It’ll be nearly impossible to get it reviewed by legitimate sources. You won’t make Oprah’s book list. You’ll be treated differently by many authors (justified or not.)

Well, after your initial investment, you make all the profit, which sometimes can be substantial. You’ll be in control of your destiny. You can make things happen with your book traditional publishers would never consider. I’ve seen SP authors win major competitions, get their works turned into movies, and sit on panels with Hugo nominees carrying on intelligent conversations. I think some mediums work better for self-publishing than others, such as children’s books, non-fiction and poetry, but I’ve seen someone defy the rules in every genre.

Somewhere between traditional and self-publishing is the uncharted territory of small press. These golden shores offer a publisher for each and every genre known to man and woman. I know a publisher that focuses exclusively in gay pirate stories and does quite well at them. And small press doesn’t mean small by any stretch of the imagination. Independent publishers have won Hugos and Nebulas, and turned series into video games, comics and films. They do get books into stores, though usually not as many, and only after a successful track record. Editors of small presses are more approachable at conventions and the like. They are more willing to take chances on something that otherwise wouldn’t fit the norm. They are tech savvy, as hungry for success as you and have been known to cry when a book they believed in hasn’t taken off. They pay everything from pro rates to only shared royalties.  They’ll make you part of their street team, showing you off all over the world.

The only disadvantage is… they’re breeding like horny, little bunnies and not all of them have cleaned the afterbirth from their fur yet. You never know what you might get. I’ve heard horror stories about big name Independents not paying on time, or not accurately, or not at all. Who am I kidding? I’ve been in that horror story. I’m the guy that Jason machetes while watching his sister make it with her boyfriend.  And I’d do it all over again. I had a beautiful novel, which sold really well until I pulled it from the publisher for not paying me on time, or accurately. It happens to the best of us.

I deliberately didn’t touch on agents, as I’ve run out of space. Or sleeping with editors to get published (don’t do it. Unless they’re hot. Then forget the book and marry the editor.)  Or a myriad of other ways writers have become authors. George R. R. Martin suggested finding a patron of the arts to marry, so you can focus all your time on writing. So, as I leave you to go log into, I’ll pass along these last words…

If you want to get published, and your writing is sound, you’ll get published. Not tomorrow. Probably not the next day either. You’ll get published your way. And then you’ll know how to answer the question, “How do you get published?” next time you show up for a panel on suspense.

David Boop is a Denver-based single father, returning college student, full-time employee and published author. His first novel, the sci-fi noir, She Murdered Me with Science, came out in 08. He’s also had over a dozen short stories and novellas published in many genres. His most recent appears in The Green Hornet Casefiles. He travels all over the country speaking at conventions, libraries and schools on writing and publishing. Dave’s hobbies include film, anime, Mayan history and The Blues. To find out more, visit  
And now to the interview portion:


It's good to hear from you again. It's been a while. I understand you've been very busy. What have you been working on?

Thanks for having me aboard! Yes, it’s been far too long. Well, besides conventions, I’ve been working on the follow-up to my first novel, She Murdered Me with Science. It’s going to be called, Murdered in a Mechanical World (and I’m a Mechanical Girl!) Once again, Noel R. Glass, forensics detective in 1955 must wrestle his demons and save the world from destruction. I’ve also sold seven short stories and novellas between 2010-11 (including my first media tie-in based on The Green Hornet T.V. series from the sixties.) In addition, I changed agents, and she has two outlines for novels, one fantasy, one a paranormal police procedural.

What releases do you have coming out in 2012? (ASIDE, would you like them listed on the calendar I have on the website for readers to see what's coming from folks I know and those I've featured?)

The only thing I can say about 2012 is that there are a lot of irons in the fire, from novels, comics and films. Nothing I can speak of yet, save to say I’ve been invited to another anthology based on a different sixties T.V. series, this one a bit sexier than the Hornet. 

How many books have you written? Can you give us the titles?

The aforementioned novel is my only completed. Because of the amount of research it takes to write a Noel Glass novel, it takes me years to complete one. I do a lot of research to make sure the fifties I write about is as real as the fifties in our reality. The outlines for the other two novels didn’t take as long, as they didn’t require the same level of research.

If you had to be “stuck in an elevator” with one of your characters for several hours, who would it be and what would you talk about?

Definitely not Wan Lee. He’s been known to stink up a place with his perchance for spicy food. Probably, the assassin Degna Sagese from “Justice is Not Taken By the Storm,” featured in Space Sirens. She’s unconventionally hot, intelligent and willing to take chances. That is, if I’m not on her hit list.

If you could change one of your characters, which one would it be and why?

Noel R. Glass’s transformation took a little longer in the first book than I’d like, but that’s what the story dictated. The reason I wanted to write a second one was to show a whole Noel, at the top of his game. He’s a fully realized man now, which is why I have to screw that up by the end of the second book.

Do you listen to music as you write? If so, which artists? What is your playlist?

I tend to do a lot of Blues when writing noir, but usually, I don’t play music. I love music too much and invest in the songs, pulling me away from my writer’s trance. It’s been harder to get in these days, due to life demanding my attention, so when I get there, I need to focus.

What hobbies do you use to relax? Do you have a day job? If so, doing what?

By the time I get home, or finish writing, I’m wiped, so I tend to zone out on TV. I recently took up watching hockey, after being a “football only” person for many years. I also DVR all the current spec-fic series and try to catch up as I can. I recently left a job as a mailroom supervisor and I’m going back into audio-visual work. It’s what my first and second degrees were based on and I decided to use them again. I’m also working on my third one, English BA, which I hope to have completed in two years. My son also goes to an online school, so I work with him a lot, which is almost like being a part-time teacher. 

The business of writing is changing rapidly. Do you find the change scary? Invigorating? How (if at all) have you changed your career plans/path as a result?

I hate that I’ve gotten so close to the golden ring, and may never see it. Hardback books are all but gone unless you have a Martin or King as your last name. I may never have a dust cover book, and that makes me sad. However, there are untapped possibilities for the new medium. We may see the return of hypertext-style stories, or more illustrations and animations. On the agent front, the roles of agents are changing from marketers to accountant-lawyers. We’ll see more of them fighting in the trenches for author rights, than making sales. I’ve had four agents over the years, and not one made a sale for me. Mind you, the first two don’t count, as my writing was really shit back then. I’m just a good salesman.  

What is one key bit of advice you would give to a prospective writer?

1.      Join a writer’s group that has the sole purpose of making sure everyone gets published.

2.      Have someone reliable edit your work outside the group.

3.      Go to conventions, attend panels, listen to those that have gone through this already, and network.

All my success can be boiled down to that.

Visiting Dignitary Scheduled Today

Okay, I can't remember what TIME I scheduled it to post.  But it is coming!!! 

I am thrilled things are going well.  Postponed the tooth surgery for various reasons, it's coming in January.  Hope I've got everything done I need to before it happens.

Love and happy holidays to all.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Morning Breakfast Serial


Trey and I clattered down the stairs to my battered old pick-up.  We needed to hustle if we were going to make it to work on time.  No surprise.  It's like this every day.  Every day I swear I won't wait for his sorry ass; and every day as I'm headed to the truck to leave without him he comes dashing down after me, swearing under his breath and threatening a whole lot of shit he has no intention of actually doing to me. 

When we reached the front door, though, I stopped in my tracks suddenly enough that Trey rammed into me from behind. 

"What the . . ."  he complained.

"We have company."

He shoved past me to look out through the lace curtains that adorned the window built into the front door.   His eyes went wide.  "A limo."


"And they've blocked in the truck."

"Right again."

He gave me a long look.  "You know somebody owns a limo?" 

"No.  You?"

"Who do you 'spose it is?"

"Only one way to find out."  I pulled open the door and we strolled out onto the porch.  Trey waited as I pulled the door closed and set the deadbolt.  It was a waste of time really--what good is a deadbolt on a wooden door that is almost half window?  But old Mrs. Cunningham gets pissy if we leave it unlocked, and she's the landlady. 

Trey and I walked over to the limo together.

The car was a 2010 Rolls Royce Phantom, cream colored with long, beautiful lines.  Nothing tacky about this number.  Pure elegance.  The driver was pretty elegant too--a leggy blonde with wide blue eyes, her short hair slicked back under the traditional driver's cap.  Her gray driver's uniform was fairly effective at hiding her figure, but there's only so much camoflage can do when a girl's got a body like that.

"Which of you gentlemen is Boone Carter?"  She asked.

I raised my hand.  "That would be me."

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Saturday Evening Post

Greetings all.  Time for the Saturday Evening Post. 

First, Thanks again to Linnea. 


TRUBBLE - An autographed book by Linnea Sinclair
JACKIE B - A signed cover flat of BLOOD SONG

I have contacted Jackie for her address.  I'm having trouble tracking down TRUBBLE (SOOOOOOO not my usual problem may I add), so if you can get hold of him/her have him/her contact me in the comments below with an e-mail address OR e-mail me at with a snail mail address to mail the prize to and "YOU'RE IN TRUBBLE" in the RE.


Now, on to the post.

One of the things that always surprises people when they embark on writing as a career is that it's HARD.  No, seriously, people are shocked by this.  It's not just the writing---putting the butt in the chair and manufacturing worlds, people, and action all with the power of words (which is, by the way, a trick in and of itself), but that there's so much other STUFF involved. 

Marketing; blogging; calendaring deadlines; edits, copy edits, galleys; promo; appearances/signings; online presence (Twitter, FaceBook/MySpace, etc.); contests, mailing prizes; etc. 

It's work.  It's wonderful, happy, rewarding work, but it is WORK. 

So don't be surprised if/when you decide to embark on this wonderful adventure, to find out that like most adventures there will be lots of times when things are crazy-making, exhausting and scary.  After all, all the best adventures are.

And hey, count yourself lucky.  At least you're not one of my heroines.  Have you SEEN what I put them through?!!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Thanks Guys!

Just a quick note to thank everybody who visited with the Visiting Dignitary.  Linnea is VERY cool people and I thought it was great of her to agree to be the very first dignitary in the relaunch. 

Prize winners will be drawn from a hat (really, I have a hat collection.  I'll pull one out for the purpose) on Saturday.  NOTE, they will not be mailed out for a week or so.  Linnea is going to be unavailable for a few days and I am notoriously slow about sending things.  BUT THEY WILL GO OUT!!!

Again, thanks guys. 


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Visiting Dignitary! Linnea Sinclair


For our very first Visiting Dignitary of the new "season" I am pleased to bring you Linnea Sinclair.  Linnea is an old friend and the author of some amazing stories that meld science fiction and romance in an intoxicating (and addicting) blend that is as unique as she is. 

Now on with the interview:

It's good to hear from you again. It's been a while. I understand you've been very busy. What have you been working on?
A new science fiction romance adventure novel, working title MOON UNDER GLASS. I'm dealing with a unique universe (in the writing sense of the word) and a unique star system where humans are the newcomers and "low on the totem pole," as the saying goes. The book has a bit of an Indiana Jones flair to it as it deals with antiques and alien artifacts--as well as murder, theft, betrayal and, of course, love.

I understand that you have a party you throw pretty regularly at the Romantic Times convention. Could you tell me a little about it? Do you have any details about this year's event?

--The Intergalactic Bar & Grille Party is RT's ONLY science fiction themed party, and is going into its sixth year (at least I think that's correct) of out-of-this-world craziness and mayhem and lots (and LOTS) 0of fabulous freebies. I don't have the full schedule yet (not until RT gets it to me) but it's usually on Wednesday, early evening. The party centers around question-and-answer table games, and those who've watched a lot of Star Trek and Star Wars will definitely do well! But there are also questions about the book of my "crew," my co-host authors, which this year include Cie Adams (1/2 of Cat Adams), Catherine Asaro, Marcella Burnard, Stacey Kade, Isabo Kelly, Jade Lee (aka Kathy Lyons), Liddy Midnight, and Janet Miller (aka Cricket Starr). And, of course, me. Every party goer gets a goody bag stuffed with things that flash and blink and light up (very sci fi!). And we serve snacks and booze...and have a fabulously fun time!
Sounds like fun!

You have a fairly significant backlist? How many books have you written? Can you give us the titles?

I have eight books out with Bantam, including my Dock Five series, and one novella with Simon & Schuster/Pocket.

GABRIEL'S GHOST (Dock Five #1)
SHADES OF DARK (Dock Five #2)
THE DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES (now is movie production in Hollywood as "The Down Home Alien Blues"-
HOPE'S FOLLY (Dock Five #3)
"Courting Trouble" in SONGS OF LOVE & DEATH, George R R Martin and Gardner Dozois, Eds.
I also had a few books published by small presses about ten years ago, but they're out of print and I don't want to get readers frustrated if they try to find them.
If you had to be “stuck in an elevator” with one of your characters for several hours, who would it be and what would you talk about?
That's a tough question. I guess the character I'd want to be stuck with would be one who'd know how to FIX the elevator! But that would actually include most of them, since most of my characters either maintain their own starfreighters or have significant experience with starships and other things mechanical. My first inclination would be to say Philip Guthrie, because he's one of the older characters I've written and I just enjoy his practical yet snarky personality. But I'd hate to be stuck in the elevator with him and NOT with Rya Bennton as well, because she's his 'other half' and I know he'd be a lot happier if she was there. As for conversation, I'd want to know how the war was going, how the new Alliance was faring, and how his brother, Devin, was adjusting to all the events in REBELS AND LOVERS--especially his reunion with Kaidee, the one woman he couldn't forget yet was forbidden to love.
If you could change one of your characters, which one would it be and why?
I can't think of one I'd want to change. I'd like to revisit all of them and see their continuing adventures--and growth. But none I'd change.
Do you listen to music as you write? If so, which artists? What is your playlist?
Definitely, mostly trance and electronica providing there are no lyrics/words (or very few). I post my playlists in the beginning of most of my books. DJ Lithium ( is one of my go-to favorites. I also like Juno Reactor, DJ Tiesto, Firestorm, and Crystal Method.
The business of writing is changing rapidly. Do you find the change scary? Invigorating? How (if at all) have you changed your career plans/path as a result?
I don't feel the business of writing is changing, but the business of publishing is, and mostly in "delivery methods." Digital media has become an accepted (though still not as widely accepted as many would like) format, which has been enhanced by the Nook and other e-readers and tablets. I don't think that's changed stories per se. Conflict is still conflict, world building is still world building. The changes to the structure of writing, where novels needed to open with more action and "closer" to the meat of the story, happened about ten to fifteen years ago as society became more television- and movie-oriented. But that's about when I started to write fiction seriously, so my methods are more akin to "hit the ground running" kinds of stories than the older, leisurely openings (and plot and character development) of stories that are considered classics.
I haven't changed anything I do at all in relation to digital media advances. The story still has to "work" and whether it's on a screen or a paper page makes no difference.
What is one key bit of advice you would give to a prospective writer:
Read Dwight V Swain's TECHNIQUES OF THE SELLING WRITER. It's hands-down the best instructional book on fiction writing, even though it was written over twenty years ago. If you do eighty percent of what Swain advises, you WILL sell.
Thank you so much for coming by.  All right readers.  As a thank you for your comments we have prizes available.  Two lucky "commentors" will be drawn at random.  One will receive a signed book from Linnea (shipable to addresses in the US only.)  Another will receive a signed cover flat of "Blood Song"

Linnea, again, thanks for coming by!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Sunday Morning Breakfast Serial

OKAY FOLKS, I'm trying out the SCHEDULE function again.  This is the Sunday Morning Breakfast Serial.  First Installment of "WHO IN THE HELL IS BOONE CARTER?"


“This is Boone Carter.  I have good news and I have bad news.” I spoke into the cell phone. It was an old one, a little bigger than they make them now, so I didn't feel like I was talking into a credit card.  It also had the advantage of being cheap.  It was a pre-paid model, the kind they call a “burn phone” on tv. But I've had it longer than my most recent apartment.  Then again, that's not saying all that much.  I tend to be pretty mobile.

“Tell me.” The client sounded tense. Then again, from what I could tell Melodee Bigbee was always tense. Probably the meth. But maybe just her nature. I didn't know. Didn't much care either.

“The good news is, I found your car. The bad news, the police are going to be asking you lots of question and I'm not sure you're ever going to get the smell out.”

She started swearing and hung up on me.  I wasn't surprised.  I'd be willing to bet that a visit from the cops would be a life-changing experience for Melodee, and not in a good way.  Particularly not when they were going to be asking her questions about the murder of her dealer/boyfriend-maybe-commonlaw-husband Dirk.  Ah well, not my problem.  She'd paid me to find the car.  I found the car. 

I closed the cell phone and slid it into the back pocket of my worn jeans.

"Let me guess," Trey said "she hung up on you." 


Trey shook his head, smirking.  Let him smirk.  I've got a thick skin.  And I learned a long time ago to get paid, in cash, in advance.  None of this "in trade for sex" or whatever crap.  Show me the Benjamins or I walk.  It's one thing Trey and I absolutely agree on.

Trey Jefferson is my current roommate.  His full name is Theodore Thomas Jefferson III.  He hates it.  So he goes by Trey.  Trey is everything I'm not: Small, wiry, and black, he's quick, and clever.  He gets a lot of exercise jumping to conclusions.  I stand 6'7" in my bare feet, am whiter than your average lily, and tend to think things through very carefully before I take any action.  The latter is a product of my "colorful" upbringing.

I met Trey at my most recent job.  I'm a roofer for Carmichael & Sons Roofing Professionals in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  I wandered out here in search of sunlight and warmth after spending a couple years working on cleaning up the aftermath of Katrina and establishing my identity.  We hit it off well enough.  He needed a roommate.  I needed a place.  So far it's worked out better than most of my living arrangements.  Trey knows enough not to ask too many questions. 

Smart man.