Cabbages and Kings

A diary by the authors of the Louis Kincaid series

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Location: Fort Lauderdale/Elk Rapids, Florida and Michigan, United States

We are the New York Times bestselling authors of the Louis Kincaid series and other stand alone thrillers. We have taught writing at major conferences for ten years.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The James Patterson Defense

There is now official evidence that James Patterson's books cause brain rot. The latest soap opera running on Court TV -- Idaho vs. Sarah Johnson -- took an interesting turn this morning. Teenager Sarah Johnson is on trial for murdering her parents because they didn't like the guy she was dating. Sarah's cellmate in detention said on the stand they both loved James Patterson's books because they were "scary" and "about murders." I gotta say, this girl's zombie-like demeanor -- "disassociation," as the Court TV psychologists call it -- was a helluva lot more scary than anything Patterson or the rest of us could ever concoct.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Right Stuff

Did you happen to read the Essay in the back of the NYT's book review today? It's all about the pressures put on authors today to be marketable entities. It's not enough to just write a book anymore; now you have to become the face that launched a thousand shippings. The competition for space in bookstores (there were some 150,000 books published last year) has created a frenzy among publishers who are desperate to get their authors noticed. Sexy book jacket pix, an insouciant TV style, the ability to articulate the odd alchemy that goes into making fiction -- it's all required ingredients in the complete promotional package. Writers aren't expected to just SELL their products; they are increasingly expected to BE the products. Most my writer friends hate this idea, yet they grumble and groan and play the game, in varying degrees. Some of them are naturals at this promotional thing. But pity the poor girl whose words make you weep but who never got over thinking that Janis Ian's "Seventeen" was her personal sound track. Or pity the poor guy who spins gold on paper but can't speak in public without breaking out in flop-sweat. Wanna be the next Author du Jour? Forget about learning the craft. Just go get those teeth Starbrited, bunky. I know I am naive and maybe a tad bitter, but do people who love books really care what the author looks like?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Birth of a Blog

So, tell me. Did you keep a diary when you were a kid? I did. One of those pink fake leather things with the lock and key in which I dutifully recorded my lust for John Lennon, names of girls in school I wanted to kill, what my sister Kelly had done to piss me off that day, and how I was going to get rid of Cynthia Lennon once I got to England. I stopped the diary somewhere around 10th grade and have never felt the urge to journal since. (Egads. "journal" as a verb? Call William Safire, quick). So it is with great trepidation that I am joining the blog world. I am very comfortable delving into the psychological depths of the fake people in our P.J. Parrish books. But ask me to open one of my own veins in public and I gotta wonder: Who wants to read this junk? is a promise. This won't be self-indulgent twaddle. It will be a writer's log (stardate 6-22-05) and in it I (and my co-author sister Kelly) will give you a look behind the green curtain at how we do what we do. We are JUST getting ready to start the next Louis Kincaid book, and we will take you through the process. It might be painful and not always pretty. But I promise it will be an honest diary. At least as much as the pink fake leather one was.