Monday, March 31, 2008

Book Chat 1

Book Chat 1: Sean Stewart/ Perfect Circle

March, 2008

William "Dead" Kennedy has problems. He's haunted by family, by dead people with unfinished business, and by those perfect pop songs that you can't get out of your head. He's a 32-year-old Texan still in love with his ex-wife. He just lost his job at Pet-Co for eating cat food. His air-conditioning is broken, there's no good music on the radio, and he's been dreaming about ghost roads.

Sean Stewart won the World Fantasy Award for his novel Galveston. He has garnered many other award nominations. Perfect Circle was a Nebula and World Fantasy Award finalist, A Book Sense Notable Book, and made Best of the Year lists with: Booklist, Locus and The San Francisco Chronicle.

Stewart's bio and more about Perfect Circle may be found at his web site: .

An edited (for clarity) version of the chat transcript:

Sean said...All right. I'm here. --Sean

Evil Editor said...Welcome, and thank you.

Sean said...I thought maybe I could try to provide a bit of a framework first... I am a little hesitant to put forth a lot of Official Authorial Opinions about any of my books. Mark Twain’s comment that explaining a joke is like dissecting a frog—it can be done, but the frog tends to die in the process—applies to novels as well, and makes me want to tread very lightly through these kinds of questions. (Also, there’s Samuel Delaney’s memorable, “For an opinion about a book that *really* misses the point, ask the author.”) I can tell you that a ghost is a tricky antagonist; a climactic scene where a human “fights” a ghost by casting counter-curses or whatever strikes me as missing some essential element of being haunted. It treats ghosts as if they were dragons or Mafia hitmen or something. One of the central insights of the book—one it hit me over the head with right after I had decided to chuck the whole project as a dumb idea—is that a ghost never “does something to you.” It makes you do something to yourself.

When you start there, at the proposition that Will himself is the only real weapon the ghost has, I hope the book begins to make sense. In a very blunt synopsis:1) Will is very very very very angry and hurt

2) Will is very very very scared of feeling that anger and hurt

3) Paralysis feels like a really good option

4) Feeling returns to Will—often externalized or projected onto “ghosts” like AJ and Hanlon--and those feelings are every bit as dangerous and hurtful as he had feared

5) In the end, Will is back in the world of feeling; he is no longer a ghost himself, a memory, a haunting. Time starts. Life goes on.

Except, you know, denial doesn’t last forever. (Or makes for a boring book, anyway…)

Robin S. said...The baptismal scene at the end of the book – Will wonders (to his dead uncle) if being a nonbeliever will render moot his river baptism. But he is reborn, and he can feel it, sense it, see the colors change and brighten with a new kind of sight – one that isn’t murky and dark. Will’s redemption/rebirth leads the reader to believe that he will have an easier time of it from this time forward, even though he’ll still see the dead (a good thing, given his new and potentially successful career path). When you wrote the book, what did you feel would be the cause of his redemption? Did you already have the confluence of events/wakeup calls that changed him in mind, or did they grow organically as you wrote the novel?

Sean said...A book that’s any good is an act of exploration; the book is always smarter than you are, and a lot of writing is writing down your dumb ideas quickly and then listening carefully as the book tries to tell you more clearly what you screwed up and what actually it wants to be. (You can think of Michaelangelo’s “shape inside the marble” saying, “That’s my ELBOW, moron! Watch it with the chisel already…”)

Robin S. said...Hi Sean- Great answer to my question- thanks-I was surprised to see Hanlon manipulating Will to kill Josie - but it made sense - for the reasons you just mentioned.

Dave F. said...I thought the baptism was more of a reward for DK's coming to terms with his dead girlfriend.

Robin S. said...The narrative style you chose for this novel- scenes and flashbacks, rather than a straight “historical” narrative – I thought as I read that you might have chosen this style to fit the way Will’s mind worked, with his ghost road encounters and his scattershot approach to life. Is that right?

Sean said...On narrative flashback technique:Well, sure, I’ll take any credit I can get. Seriously, the key point of being haunted is that there is something in your past you can’t let go. That paralysis, that way of seeing the world through the lens of unfinished business, is as much part of Will as seeing ghosts. You could say, in fact, that the two things are the same….

Robin S. said...So the ideas did grow organically, then? You had a general idea, and then the rest followed on?

Dave F. said...His Grandfather keeps saying you've left a pert of yourself behind and he has. He's given up his wife, he's given up his child, and he just seems to say, I'm going to live alone, unwanted and miserable by my own choosing. He uses his seeing of the dead as an excuse not to live, not to drive, not to marry, not to have a job, not to see the dead. You can't give up that much of yourself.

Jenna Black said...I hope it's considered on topic for me to say: hey Sean, your books rock! I've been a huge fan for many years now. I was really glad EE was around to point me toward PERFECT CIRCLE!

Evil Editor said...So, Jenna, which Sean Stewart book should those who've read only this one read next?

Jenna Black said...Wow, tough question! I'd probably have to say RESURRECTION MAN. (But I also really love PASSION PLAY and NOBODY'S SON.)

Sean said...First of all, Jenna, flattery is never off topic, at least with any entertainer I know. :)Generally speaking, I think PERFECT CIRCLE generally aligns with MOCKINGBIRD and RESURRECTION MAN. But Jenna is kind enough to read the straight up SF/F stuff as well.

Evil Editor said...Passion Play is a mystery...sort of?

BuffySquirrel said...Passion Play is a mystery. EE, you rock. Sean, are you a fan of REM or is it just DK? Just askin'.

Evil Editor said...If REM produced DK's favorite album ever, I would expect him to listen to a lot of U2, Springsteen...REM. DK's taste in other music seems less mainstream.

Wes said...Sean, your depiction of redneck culture was marvelous. Spot on, fresh, colorful, insightful, etc.

Wes said...Your portrayal of dialect with idiom and word choice rather than phonetics was excellent. It caused me to rewrite some of my stuff.

Evil Editor said...While we wait, topic for discussion: Fish hooks: clever fighting ploy or profound symbol?

BuffySquirrel said...They can't be both, EE?I suppose they might symbolise the fact that threats in the book are hidden from others--only DK can see the ghosts.

Jenna Black said...A fishing lure plays a major role in RESURRECTION MAN as well. I was wondering if there's some deep meaning behind the fishing implements, or if it's just a coincidence. They seem to have a somewhat sinister role in both books.

Sean said...Sorry, Blogger punted me there for a sec.Dave, I think your read on the book is very sharp.Sqrl, you caught me. I am probably a bigger fan of REM than Will is; he listens to a lot of hardcore stuff. One of us has a bunch of Gun Club albums, and it isn't me...Vis a vis redneck culture...This is my family, for better or worse. Most of the characters in the book are probably uncomfortably true to life.

Xenith said...Now that's what I was going to ask. It did have an insider's flavour to it.

Dave F. said...As someone who grew up from Elvis and standard 50's bar music (my musician wannabe days), I have to ask the SCI FI question...I grew up on Isaac Asimov, AC Clark, Bester and Heinlein, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits,- - Why is this Sci Fi? To my mind it's a ghost story and those were not Sci Fi that many years ago. Yet suddenly, ghost stories are Sci Fi.

Sean said...Heck if I know. But then, I don't think that term was ever a useful one, except for marketers. Certainly "The Handmaid's Tale" (never marketed as such) qualifies far more than "Perfect Circle"The real answer is an exercise in field biology more than in tasonomy: my first book was an SF novel from an SF publisher, therefore I am an SF writer......for all the same reasons and to about the same degree as, say, Karen Joy Fowler (author of that noted SF classic, The Jane Austen Book Club)genre fiction and non-genre fiction have been steadily folding back together, really ever since 100 Years of solitude, but unmistakably in the last decade. Genre SF is also all but dead as a commercial sector of publishing; expect to see anything that might get a lot of readers reclassified as YA, Contemporary, Slipstream, or just Another Cool Michael Chabon Book

Evil Editor said...Somehow Vonnegut wrote SF without being classified as such. What was his first book?

Xenith said...Because Vonnegut was first published before the whole "marketing divisions genre is everything" thing took off?

Sean said...Player Piano, in Vonnegut's case. The funny thing is, a lot of his early books include references to Kilgore Trout (who is PK Dick, who used to be an SF writer, and then became a Post Modern Master of Pop Culture, and is now a Hollywood Engine.)A comparable case is DF Wallace, whose Infinite Jest is steeped in SF six ways to sunday, but started at Atlantic Grove. Go figure.(Actually, SF superstar Neal Stephenson started at Atlantic, too, but only hit commercial success with his Very SF book Snow Crash from ...Bantam, I think. Meanwhile, he was writing pseudonymous technothrillers like Interface (which I like a lot) that were very similar but courted the Tom Clancy market instead.Authors are, I think, consistently bemused by the ways in which the industry tries to pigeonhole what we do.That isn't to say they are wrong: with 6 zillion books to choose from, there have to be some shorthands employed in the hope that people can find what they will like.As it happens, the tags have never applied very well to me.

BuffySquirrel said...Yeah, but Dick's mainstream novels--which the agent for his estate is finally getting published--are shelved under SFF, at least here in the UK.

Dave F. said...I got this off Wikipedia: Vonnegut's first short story, "Report on the Barnhouse Effect" appeared in the February 11, 1950 edition of Collier's. His first novel was the dystopian novel Player Piano (1952), in which human workers have been largely replaced by machines. He continued to write short stories before his second novel, The Sirens of Titan, was published in 1959.[22] Through the 1960s, the form of his work changed, from the relatively orthodox structure of Cat's Cradle (which in 1971 earned him a master's degree) to the acclaimed, semiautobiographical Slaughterhouse-Five, given a more experimental structure by using time travel as a plot device.

Robin S. said...Are you thinking of doing a follow-on novel with Will?

Evil Editor said...Am I the only one who would want to read a book starring DK as a successful businessman?

Wes said...Actually, DK would be a great negotiator as a business person because he can see the ghosts haunting his adversaries.

Robin S. said...I agree, xenith. Same with some of Margaret Atwood's stuff, as mentioned earlier.Good writing is good writing. too bad'good writing' isn't simply its own genre. That would solve a lot of problems.

Robin S. said...I liked the style of the book. it seemed that I was reading in Will's 'style' of thinking.

BuffySquirrel said...I'd like to discuss the concept of "loving a woman enough to kill her", which I find very creepy, but does seem to be at the heart of the book. How can that be viewed as the ultimate expression of love?

Sean said...First of all, you have to take any idea that comes out of Hanlon’s mouth with a hefty dose of salt. In Will’s case, the risk of feeling at all is the risk of feeling some very dark things. Hanlon’s words, like those of the witches in MacBeth, are whispers aimed not at the conscious man, but at the dark places he carries inside himself. Personally, I don’t buy that “loving a woman enough to kill her” stuff for a second: but art always acknowledges that passion can be a dark magic, terribly dangerous to everyone involved. (cf. Medea, Othello, Wuthering Heights, Nine Inch Nails, etc…)

Wes said...Re: loving a woman enough to kill her-----There is a tradition in English folk music and American mountain music of men killing the women they love. Don't blame me, I didn't write it. Someone help me, what is the old traditional song Johnny Cash redid----Deep in the Dungeon????Sean, is this a reflection of redneck culture, or a coincidenc

BuffySquirrel said...I suppose in a way DK decides that he loves a woman enough not to kill her, lol

Sean said...Wes made a very interesting comment about folk music, to which the answer would be, "I dunno." I can say that I wrote large portions of this book with a song on autorepeat playing ICREDIBLY LOUDLY on autorepeat. The three songs wereWerewolves in LondonWho are You...and a dobro/steel guitar/mandolin version of Hey Joe that is about as incendiary a cover as you will ever hear: this chattering, chiming machine gun with this country voice howling, "Gonna shoot my old lady, caught her messin' around with another man."The management does not endorse this view. (Happily married for 21 years, 2 kids, swear to god.)

BuffySquirrel said...Werewolves of London? Wooh!

ril said...Sean,I find if I take the view there aren't any such things as ghosts, and they're all in Will's mind, the book still works for me, though it makes Will a somewhat different character. There's no real confirmation even that the ghost Hanlon hears and the ghost Will sees in Hanlon's house are the same. Was it your intent for this to be ambiguous, or would you say "yeah, Will sees the ghosts and the ghosts roads; they're there"?

Sean know this is probably a frustrating answer, but I actually don't care if there "are real ghosts" It's like the question "do you believe in god" -- it's asking the wrong question in the wrong way.Will has a certain experience, finis.Put another way, there is a set-piece in fantastic writing in which the character puts their head between their knees and says, OMG, Am I GOING CRAZY? It's always a dull interlude in a book because of course they aren't, or the story wouldn't be happening. So I have always been allergic to that real/not real dichotomy. Characters have the experiences they have: and with luck, those experiences are not just the ticking of the plot clock, but things that have real emotional meaning to them as people.

ril said...Sean,Thanks - not frustrating at all. I felt there was ambiguity in much of the book, in the plot, in the characters and their experiences, and I like ambiguity -- that's reality.

Jenna Black said...I'm glad to hear there's someone else who doesn't like those "am I going crazy?" scenes! I've always avoided them like the plague. (Except when my editor insisted I put one in. Gak!)

BuffySquirrel said...I like the scenes where someone convinces the protagonist that they're crazy--or tries to--for Some Nefarious Purpose.

Evil Editor said...Many of your books were published by small presses, even after you'd won major awards. Is this your choice?

Robin S. said...Oh - I'm very interested in your answer to EE's last question re: small publishers.

Sean said...whoa, a run of great questions:first, small presses:Long tiresome story with this book. Short version, it was time to try a new publisher, so I left Ace, which had done the first 7 books, on an offer from a powerful editor at a big house for Perfect Circle. I wrote the book and turned it in: at which point said editor left for another job. At my old publisher. So now a junior editor was suddenly trying to figure out what to do with this book she hadn’t asked for. She said they might still be willing to publish the book, as long as I took out all the humor and the stuff about family.…At that point, I kinda decided that the money on the table wasn’t enough to justify wrecking the book I had wanted to write. I had a long-standing offer from Kelly & Gavin at Small Beer, so I called them up and asked if they would like to do the book. They did, and subsequently reissued another one of my books, Mockingbird.

Dave F. said...I really enjoyed the TON of exposition about Hanlon as he burned to death and DK tried to leave the house before he passed out. That's a great way to shove all that backstory inside and yet not bore the reader. And still, the ghost is tied to the past and a ghost ties the one they haunt to the past.

Xenith said...I was interested in the way you use specific details to paint the pictures e.g. "My father isn't wild about spending forty-eight hours sharing two campground porta-potties with upwards of a hundred Smithers, depending on how many are out on patrol", rather than "My father isn't keen about spending all weekend at a (insert adjective) family reunion".Is something you learnt or do naturally?

Sean said...using specific details rather than generic stuff:Many writers believe that the particular is always more compelling than the generic; it's sharper and more to the point. It's also (as in the example you quote) funnier, and the book kind of needed to be funny (cuz otherwise it's kind of a depressing journey)And I absolutely had to force myself to learn to do this. A great deal ofthe discipline of revision is replacing the generic with the specific, at least for me.

Wes said...Why is AJ's speech not in quotation marks?

Sean said...No quote marks for AJIt's almost as if it was DK's thoughts, rather than a second character speaking, isn't it?(and here I would put a smile or something only Blogger has been severe with me when I tried stuff like that...)

Wes said...Clever use of no quotes.......

Dave F. said...And you must answer the Brian Lamb question: Where and how do you write? meaning do you have a special place? or time? or pen and ink? computer? The physicality of it.

Xenith said...So who gets to ask "where do you get your ideas?" ;)

Robin S. said...Hi Sean,I think I read on your website that you have input re: the covers, right? I'd love that kind of interaction and input. (At this point, I'd love ANYthing coming my way, but still...)ANDWhat about the fish hooks?

Sean input on coversI have never had, or tried to exercise, iron control on covers. For one thing, I am extremely color blind, so not the guy you want making those calls.That said, most of my editors have been willing to talk about covers, and, you know, worried about it if they proposed something I absolutely hated.It also depends on what you are publishing, perhaps. If you are writing epic fantasy for DAW, they pretty much think they know how to sell that stuff, so they might not be so interested in your opinion.Book designers feel like they went to school to learn graphic design, and they don't tell you how to punctuate, so why don't you let them do their job and try to make a cover that sells the product. Authors don't help themselves much when they complain at length about, "It says on p. 153 that here hair is AUBURN, not BROWN" -- as that is missing the point of what a book cover is for.(Tying together the last two comments, you know the old joke: the purpose of a great fishing lure is to catch fisherman. Fish don't put money in anybody's hand...)

Evil Editor said...I was highly annoyed when DK's ex warned Don about the fish hooks.

BuffySquirrel said...Yes, EE, me too! It's not like DK had a lot of chance to win otherwise!

ril said...Josie had a tough choice. Be sympathetic to Will and keep quiet or be loyal to her husband and warn Don. I kind of wanted Don to lose, but I pretty much understand why Josie couldn't let Will win in that way.

Sean said...I can chat for a little longer, but I can also shut up and go away if our host needs to split.Re: warning Don. I'm glad if people can see that Don isn't a wholly bad guy...even if, in our heart of hearts, we want Will to kick the crap out of him.Josie *is* in a hard spot; in fact, there has just never been anything easy about being with DK.

Sean said...Fish-hooks(forgive me if I miss stuff and thanks for reposting the Q)I had a friend who spent a year in Edinburgh and gang there do that trick, with the fishooks under the lapels. Stuck with me; vivid detail, isn't it?And then again, a fishhook is a small sharp wicked thing you can't get away from, however much you thrash.And of course, the only time I ever went fishing was in Texas, so there's that, too.

ril said...When I was growing up in England, it was the peak of the "football hooliganism" era. I knew at least one person who (claimed he) did the lapel trick, but with razor blades, not fish hooks. Nasty.

Evil Editor said...I believe there are ghosts.

BuffySquirrel said...EE is haunted by the ghosts of manuscripts past.

Robin S. said...Sean,I also believe there are ghosts. Probably because I want to believe.That, and you made them believablewith Will's trip down the ghost road with the little girl, when he was young. That was one of my favorite parts. I loved it.

Dave F. said...I get the impression from a whole bunch of bloggin that between editors and agents, you need one to have faith in the book you wrote and not the book they want. (that might win me friends out there)

Dave F. said...Well, AJ is his own personal ghost. There is no guarantee that anyone else experiences her. Whenever I read a newspaper story about someone who saw Jesus in a piece of toast, or a stain on wood, or a tree stump - I never doubt. That can be their personal revelation. As existentialist as I am, I still believe that all that spooky, religious stuff is personal and YOUR revelation is YOURS, and not mine.

Robin S. said...So you've got a little art imitating life going on there, huh?Good!
Funny how some of refer to Will Kennedy as DK and some as Will.I'm wondering if that means anything.AND...I'd love to see Will in a second novel. Any chance of that?

Evil Editor said...We shouldn't keep our guest more than an hour if he has anything else to do.

Dave F. said...
Several years ago, the magazine HEAVY METAL was asked shy it always but barely clothed women on its cover. They answered simply: sex sells more magazines.

Robin S. said...Yeah- I wanted that damn Don gone.

Evil Editor said...But not taking Josie and the kid with him.

Robin S. said...Exactly. Leave Josie and the daughter with the one they should be with.

Wes said...Don was a good antagonist. He had realistic reasons for his actions, and he was sympathetic in that he didn't know Will was shooting at a ghost and Don had lost his job.

Robin S. said...I hated Don.

ril said...The self-destructive loser. Yes.;)

Sean said...I would actually like to write another book about Will. For one thing, those who suffered through his loserdom might enjoy seeing him get his act together a little bit.And, honestly, it's one of the few ideas I've had that lends itself to A Series Of Adventures.That said, you'd have to find some way to keep the books psychologically relevant, I think.The other small sad true fact is that I have to make a living and put kids through college, and unless a miracle occurs, nobody is going to offer me enough money to write another book about DK to do that.In my Alternate Identity as New Media Guru Dude, I have thought of bringing Will back for one of the online projects, but there are No Firm Plans right now.Oh--side story. So this is the only one of my books ever to be optioned by a film company: Jim Henson enterprises.They SAID they were thinking live action: but can't you just see Kermit as Will, with Miss Piggy as, as, as...(gives up)

Robin S. said...Hey- I think this would make a powerful film in the right hands.And I think a second novel - with Will in the driver's seat- and learning how to be there - and that it isn't all it seems - complete with ghosts- would be amazingly good.

Dave F. said...The SCI FI series FARSCAPE featured muppets. That was a Jim Henson Company thing.

Evil Editor said...You have a long-standing offer from Evil Editor publications for the sequel. If it's funny.

ril said...Sean,I did see from your website that you're doing some experimental(?), new-media type stuff. Is this the future of publishing, or just your future?

Sean said...Re: new mediaYeah, it's the future, but not exactly the future of publishing. Traditional books aren't going away: but just as they lost market share to movies and TV, they are going to lose market share to storytelling that is built for the wired world.By pure fluke I fell down the rabbit hole into a chance to be in on the ground floor of this stuff, for which I will be eternally gratful.Cathy's Book is an example of bok 2.0 (kinda) -- Cathy's phone number is on the front, and you can dial it and hear her voicemail and leave a message. The websites in the book are real, and the email addresses, etc., so the story spills off the page and into the world of, frankly, blogs and forums and chit chat generally.The defining art form of the 21st century is going to acknowledge and participate in the interactive, community-oriented world of the web. To quote myself (sorry) the internet is a printing press, and that's the kind of art it wants to make.Now, that doesn't mean that books will go away, any more than movies will... but everyone will roll toward the side of the bed, and sooner or later some folks (epic poetry, anyone?) will fall out.

Evil Editor said...That sounds cool. I assume everything we need to know to check it out is at your web site?

Robin S. said...Sean,I see what you mean about the new stuff coming along - but God, I love books. I love the look, the feel, the keepablity, even the smell. How could that ever be fully replaced?

Wes said...Would you consider a series like the Stephanie Plum series where you have a likeable loser who sees ghosts who get him wildly funny situations?

Evil Editor said...Like shooting at his ex-wife's husband.

Sean said...I have enjoyed the hell out of Stephanie Plum, personally (except the D & D murder game one, c'mon, Janet, get a grip)I think you could do something very fun with Will in a similar vein: but I also feel that I would want to... respect the gravitas of the first book. Does that make sense? I don't think it could be Pure Hijinx; there would have to be some emotional weight to it.And thanks, EE, for the editorial option. I will try to bring the funny. (But seriously, it's white trash texas: that's just funny, ain't it?)Passion Play, I should warn you, is *not* especially funny. ahem. Although it is, in a weird way, a precursor for PC.I saw someone mention that book a week or two ago. I wrote the first draft exactly half my life ago. Hard to believe anyone even knows it existed anymore...

ril said...I think one of the things I liked about this book was that it was more about Will's ghosts than everybody else's ghosts. Like I said, I respect the ambiguity.

BuffySquirrel said...I thought the scene where AJ almost gets DK to kill himself was the strongest part of the book. Truly scary.

Dave F. said...AJ is a whole truckload of regret. DK or Will feels guilty that he couldn't prevent her death. He feels responsible for it. It's written all over his behavior.

Sean said...I like the scene between AJ and DK too. (If like is the word I mean). I sat there breaking CDs in my hands to see what would happen, and when I wrote the last line-it's something like, "they say no love lasts forever. Sometimes it does." i got that creepy hair-crawling feeling on my neck, such as has only happened a couple of times for me.(Another one was a line from Resurrection Man: "God hissed through the vents at Auschwitz." )

Evil Editor said...If not by just showing up, then through some very thoughtful answers/comments, I think you've made some new fans who will be reading your backlist. And those who forgot or couldn't make it will read the comments in the next few days.

BuffySquirrel said......and they shall rue the day they were not here!

Xenith said...Thank you for coming & sharing with us, it makes the book much more meaningful now (in an extra layers way).

Sean said...Thank you all very much for reading the book, and of course I am particularly grateful to our host. It was very nice that you guys decided to take a chance on the book, and I hope it mostly rewarded you for that.

ril said...It was a great book that I probably would never have stumbled upon but for this event. I do plan to read more of your work. Thanks for indulging us.

Evil Editor said...I hope all of our Chats go as well. Thanks again, sir.

uffySquirrel said...Thanks, Sean!

Evil Editor said...May the spike in sales from this push it onto the NYtimes bestseller list.

ril said...Thanks, EE, for pulling this together.

Robin S. said...Thanks so much!

BuffySquirrel said...We should do this again!Oh, wait...we are doing it again!

Evil Editor said...Yes soon.

Dave F. said...Good discussion, EE. Thanks

Wes said...Thanks, EE.

Evil Editor said...Darryl Ponicsan ( pronounced PAHN-i-son ) (born May 26, 1938) is an American writer.Ponicsan is best known as the author of the 1971 novel The Last Detail, which was adapted into a 1973 movie starring Jack Nicholson; and for the 1973 novel and screenplay Cinderella Liberty, starring James Caan. The films of those two novels were multiple Oscar nominees, including best screenplay for The Last Detail (the screenplay of Cinderella Liberty was nominated for a Golden Globe).

His pen name is Anne Argula, author of our next book, Homicide My Own.
I think she (he) will be able to attend. See you next month.

BuffySquirrel said...Nice job, EE :).

Brenda Bradshaw said...I wasn't able to be here but I loved reading every single comment. Thanks to Sean and to EE. (I don't see an open option to me...~cries~)

Ali said...Good discussion, sorry I missed it, I somehow managed to remember the time wrong. (Any chance you could post a reminder the day before for the next one, EE?).

Whirlochre said...I wasn't able to join in with this one but I've clearly missed out on a throbber.As fledgling ventures go, this bodes well for the future.I'm sure there were problems along the way, but given that this is not a chat room, it seems to have gone well in terms of do-ability.EE has moderated and directed things admirably, the nimions have been concise and thoughtful with their questions and Sean has got the whole enterprise off to a good start with the generosity of his responses and insights.Great stuff.

sylvia said...Sorry I missed it - I was a bit the worse for wear last night and didn't like to inflict myself on anyone. I did start reading then and just finished up today. Great stuff.