But first, if you will indulge me, a skosh of Shaney-centric promotion . . .
My third thriller, TORN APART, went on sale worldwide this week. (It is indeed on Amazon.de and other foreign book sites; I fact-checked that "worldwide" jazz.) It's a recession-friendly $6.99 paperback, and you can find it in any bookstore: bricks-and-mortar, online, or e-book. (Kindle, Nook, iPad, more.) On my website, you can read the first chapter, learn about the characters, read my "Shaneville" blog, see my kickin' new book video--that's the video thingy right at the top of this essay--find out where I'll be speaking and signing (today: ThrillerFest in NYC), click on the buying links, and a whole lot more. Just go to:
And let your fingers do the walking. I vastly upgraded the website for this launch. Hope you like it. And I really hope you love the book as much as I did writing it. Jeffery Deaver did. So much that he put his endorsement on the front cover. Lee Child did too. Tess Gerritsen, Erica Spindler, Ken Bruen and Gayle Lynds grace the back. I invite you to find out for yourself by buying a copy. And thank you for all your support this year on Criminal Minds and with my books. The honor is mine, believe me.
But now, back to business.
MY GRAMMAR PEEVE
First off, I hate "peeve." It's such thin gruel. I prefer "annoyance." Better, "pissiness."
Whatever you call it, my grammar buzzer sounds whenever someone says their grammar pet peeve is . . .
See? I just did it myself.
But mine was intentional. So many other writers, not so much, judging by how many times I see that mistake in the media. (Fun fact: "media" is a singular, right? As in, "the media is ready for battle." Wrong! Some bowtie in Language Arts deemed it a collection of smaller parts, as in a whomping kludge-up of newspapers, magazines, reporters, photographs, video clips, blogs, TV news anchors, and the sideshow barkers on talk radio. Thus, a collective, as in, "the media were ready for battle." Sigh. "Media were" sounds stupid, I know. But that's grammar.)
Anyway, I refer of course to singular-plural agreement. There's probably a fancy bowtie name for it--Gerund? Pluperfect past participle?--but the phrase essentially means, "If the reference is singular, make everything connected to it singular, ya ding-dong." Ditto plural. Like oil and water, they shouldn't mix. Like the Gulf, they often do.
It comes up a bunch in business sections, in the medium of newspaper. "Comcast today reported their net profits as . . ." No, dammit. It should be ". . . reports its net profit as . . ." because Comcast is a singular entity. As well as a crappy Internet service provider, not that I'm having trouble with my e-mail or anything.
Sigh. Whatever it's called, it grates on me like a wood rasp.
I'M AT THRILLERFEST. WHY AREN'T YOU?
Hey, kids, if you're reading this at home, that means you're NOT at ThrillerFest. And you should be! We're having a swell time here in New York, and I'm not saying that just 'cause I'm chairman. The world's biggest and best literary conference devoted to the thriller novel (and this year, thrilling nonfiction with the addition of the True Thrills award for best nonfiction book) is five years old today.
I've attended every one--worked them, actually, from running charity auctions to directing AgentFest to becoming deputy conference chair to, this year, chairman--and they are a joy. So many writers! So much warmth and comraderie! Expensive New York prices! Well, nothing's perfect. And the bar at night--where the real work gets done at literary conferences--is awesome. Many of your favorite Criminal Minders are here.
So if you're within shouting distance of Manhattan and have nothing to do today or tomorrow, come on down to the Grand Hyatt Hotel (next to Grand Central Station) and boogie with us. Day passes are available for today, tomorrow, or both. More information at:
And see you tonight.