Friday, December 4, 2009

MY EMBARRASSING MISTAKES ...


No, no--these aren't embarrassing mistakes. (Shame on you for even thinking that, O dear reader!) They are reader Kaye Barley (center) and crime writers Ken Bruen (left) and yours truly at Bouchercon 2008. I'm running this photo because Kaye's the November winner of our Barnes & Noble gift certificate! More on that below; meantime, Shane's Biggest Mistakes . . .

It's true. I've never had a reader point out a mistake. I've been reamed on a few occasions for something a character said or did, but never for a factual error.

Which is not to say I haven't made one. I surely have an array of bonehead errors over the course of BLOWN AWAY and CUT TO THE BONE. I will surely have more in TORN APART, coming to bookstores July 6. (Yes, I took a correspondence course in plugging myself while confessing my sins. I got an A.) I certainly will eff-up in every book I write.

Why? Cause I'm human.

I take extremely seriously my duty to prevent errors, to the extent of driving for hours to locations to see if facts on the ground match my Mapquest research (online maps are mostly right, but not infallible); dripping gasoline on my tongue to accurately describe the taste (bitter and metallic, with aftertones of leather, citrus and persimmons); and wading into an icy river to see what physical reactions my detective hero, Emily Thompson, might experience when escaping a serial killer (for the record, that would be shivering, gasping, curling in on myself, and shrinkage, though that's a problem for the author, not Emily, cause she's a girl and, um, yes, well, let's move on, shall we?)

But nobody's perfect, and the face-reddening errors are probably there. It's just that readers haven't called any to my attention. (This is where Rebecca and Kel would normally jump in to shout, "What readers????" but they're imbued with the holiday spirit and thus holding themselves back.) Naturally, I choose to take the readers' silence as, I Have Committed None.

Who says denial is just a river ...

NEWS FLASH: NOVEMBER'S WINNER IS KAYE BARLEY

Applause! Applause! The fabulous and talented Kaye Barley, a voracious reader who brightens every book conference she attends, is the winner of November's Criminal Minds prize for ... uh, just being you. We appreciate your followage of our efforts no end, Kaye, and to prove it, I'll send you a Barnes & Noble gift certificate. And, if you promise not to point out my embarassing mistakes, an autographed copy of CUT TO THE BONE, my current book. Everone join me in huzzahs for Mrs. B, and check out her own wonderful blog at:
http://meanderingsandmuses.blogspot.com/

PEOPLE I WANNA SLAP SILLY(CONT.)

A Sarah Palin speech scheduled at the private College of the Ozarks in southwest Missouri was expected to draw a crowd of 5,000, and the school said it agreed to keep out reporters. The few media outlets that did manage to gain access to the speech did so by using one of the free tickets given away to the public, and the college asked they not report on Palin's address."I can't take their tickets and ask them to leave, but we have asked them (local reporters) not to (attend)," said College of the Ozarks spokeswoman Elizabeth Andrews.

My comment: The public has every right in the world to hear the thoughts of this highly public figure who might run for the presidency, Ms. Andrews. We do that through reporters, as we can't be there outselves. Which is why your "no reporters" closure reminds me so much of the "No dogs or Jews" signs we saw on public beaches not so terribly long ago. What are you afraid a reporter might see, anyway? It's not like a presidential candidate would say something inane like "I can see Russia from my front porch ..."

Shane Gericke's third crime thriller, TORN APART, will be published July 6, 2010, by Kensington. Visit him at www.shanegericke.com

15 comments:

Kaye Barley said...

Shane Gericke!
YOU, my friend, are a devil.
and I love you to bits.
Thank you.
(you couldn't have given me a little bit of warning?! Made my heart jump to about a beezillion beats a second seeing this wonderful picture (i love this picture - don't you love this picture?!) under the heading "My Embarrassing Mistakes" I'm thinking WTF???!!!!)
anyhooooo. . .
I'm blathering, right?!
oTAY . . .
Thank you.
very much.
For the honor of being Criminal Minds' November Winner (you guys all just rock!).
and for the kind words which mean the world to me. always.
Hugs and Hugs and MORE hugs!
And I cannot WAIT for TORN APART!!
Kaye
who joins you in your thoughts on who you'd like to slap silly. Oy.

Kelli Stanley said...

Three cheers for Kaye!!! :)

Thank you, Shane, for celebrating the wonderful Kaye, who is fabulosity and grace incarnate. :)

And buddy--thanks, too, for defending the importance and necessity of the fourth estate!

xoxo

Kelli

Sophie Littlefield said...

Congratulations to Kaye!! I look forward to meeting you at some future event.

And Shane, you always manage to look so...what's the word. Authorial? Imbued with gravitas? In your photos :)

Shane Gericke said...

It's our pleasure, Kaye. You do so much to promote authors, so giving you the coveted CM award for November just makes sense.

Besides, now you'll be nice to me in your blog :-)

Shane Gericke said...

Thanks, Kelli. Fabulosity is a grand word, and fits Mrs. Barley to a T.

Defending the fourth estate? You betcha. Yes, the press does a lot of things I can't defend--the drooling, peek-in-the-bedroom windows coverage of the Tiger Woods non-news just leads off my annoyance with how nation's news media conducts themselves.

That said, the news media are the only way We the People can pour disinfectant on all the various a-holes of the world. As such, we need to do everything we can to ensure they have access to EVERYTHING in the public interest. That includes covering the public doings of politicians. Just because the college is private does not make this a private event.

Unlike affaire l'Tiger, which is voyeurism disguised as "the public's right to know," the utterings of someone who surely will run for president IS our right to know. As citizens, we have the duty to remind people like this silly PR person that the media work for us, not her.

Shane Gericke said...

Authorial? Gravitas? Sophie, you charm me utterly. When I pose for pictures, I always hope I don't look too much like a dork.

Rebecca Cantrell said...

I always suspected you were perfect Shane. Or your readers are just scared of you. Either way, the PR works out nicely. :)

I cleverly brought Josh on just in time to NOT have to answer that question....

Shane Gericke said...

Perfect? Ah, Rebecca, you are much too kind! I think it's cause my readers are skeered.

Wait till you see the new Home Page on my website, which I'm having redesigned by people who actually know how to design websites. (As opposed to me having done the current one, which is ... meh.) I even skeered myself with my steely-eyed-edness. Course, Jerrle laughs her ass off when I say stuff like that, so it keeps me humble :-)

Shane Gericke said...

Then again, I might not have any readers except mom, who always says nice things.

Jen Forbus said...

Yay! Congratulations Ms. Kaye! And Sophie, I'm so embarrassed. I should have most definitely introduced you to Kaye at some point in Indy. Then again, Indy might not have been the same after all was said and done! ;)

Shane, that's awful brave of you to get in the cold water...I surely would not have made that sacrifice. If I ever write a book, I guess the whole thing will have to be set smack in the front of a roaring fire! :)

I cannot believe that they had the audacity to say the press couldn't come. I'm surprised they weren't overrun with journalists just out of spite. And I agree...the Tiger Woods coverage is pretty tasteless. Ick! But the country surely needs to know what Ms. Palin is saying, and not just through a book that's been gone over with a fine tooth comb, I'm sure!

Fun stuff, as usual, Shane! Thanks!!

Joshua Corin said...

So, for research purposes, you followed Mapquest to an icy river, swilled a shot of gasoline, and then waded into the river...all for the sake of verisimilitude?

Me, I just read stuff.

I think I may be the laziest writer ever.

Shane Gericke said...

I had to jump in that cold water, Jen--it was For My Readers. And also so I had an excuse to write about shrinkage ...

That featherbrained college is only one of the establishments keeping reporters out of Palin's book tour. It's maddening.

But it's partly the media's fault, too. When they started abandoning real journalism for the celebrity-infused bullshit that passes for news coverage, the public started taking them far less seriously. That allows the birdbrains to get away with media bans, because they know the public will not bark very much. Especially when they can read about Princess Di, Britney Spears, and Janet Jackson's boob.

Not that there's anything wrong with Janet's boob, of course ...

Shane Gericke said...

Verisimilitude?

See, THAT'S why I have to swig gasoline, Joshua. The rest of you guys use cool words like that AND speak Latin pluperfectly. I simply can't compete, so I tend toward Stupid Writer Tricks.

For the record, though, no more gasoline. Even one stupid drop on my stupid tongue gave me heartburn for days. Guess there's a reason they sell it from a hose and not, say, a coffee dispenser ...

Pop Culture Nerd said...

Wow, Shane, you really are a method writer. I must say, though, you made gasoline sound almost delicious, like my Aunt Bitty's egg nog.

You should have written about the shrinkage since you went to so much trouble to research it. I'd be interested to know if the shrinkage police corrects you on mistakes about that.

Shane Gericke said...

No, PC, I've never been corrected about my shrinkage reportage. Then again, when you're shrinking from seven yards to six and a half ... uh, never mind, move along everyone, nothing to see here ...