Thursday, May 26, 2011

Truth, Half-Lies and Outright Falsehoods

By Kelli Stanley

First things first: the answer to this week's question.

Death in my books is a dark, black thing, the one inescapable tragedy of life. I feel pain when I write about victims ... I feel a sober sense of resolute justice when a victimizer is slain. I don't celebrate death, even when the person is a mass-murderer and evil incarnate. I breathe a sigh of relief, and thank the Fates (and the Navy).

As a writer, I've regretted only the necessity of writing about the death of an innocent person. In CITY OF DRAGONS, one of the murders affected me almost as much as it did Miranda. In CITY OF SECRETS, too, writing about Pandora Blake--her back story--was an emotionally devastating experience.

Because I write noir, the criminals guilty of causing such pain and destruction are not always punished, let alone killed ... in this, the genre tends to mimic real life. Miranda does kill a man in CITY OF DRAGONS ... and he most definitely deserved to die. I had no regrets. Miranda, however, was scarred by the experience. Violence always leaves a mark, and taking another life--even one so resolutely sadistic as this one--leaves a wound.

One she deals with in CITY OF SECRETS ...

So, enough of that question. Let's move on!

Michael really scared me on Tuesday, so I've got to make this harder (especially because I can't remember what I've revealed at Bouchercon bars) ... 8 items below are true, 7 are false. Pick which ones are which!

1. I’ve sold advertising to an escort agency.

2. I turned down a scholarship to ACT (American Conservatory Theater).

3. I took Greer Garson home after a play.

4. I walked through a wax museum with Jason Robards.

5. I was arrested for disorderly conduct after a political rally.

6. I ate lunch with Robert Downey, Jr. and Leif Garrett during a political rally.

7. In college I earned infamy for spending the weekend at a rich oil scion’s ranch.

8. I once judo flipped an Italian on a Florence street.

9. I sang for tips in high school.

10. Anton LaVey (Church of Satan), Nicolas Cage and Robin Williams were customers of our family business.

11. I play the harmonica, piano, and clarinet.

12. I’ve written my own music.

13. Spiders bother me.

14. In college I hitchhiked through Europe for ten days.

15. I spent a weekend in a Florence hospital because of natural gas inhalation.

Let the guessing begin!


Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Such juicy offerings! My 8 guesses for the truth are: 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 10, 13, 14

Kelli Stanley said...

Good going, Sue Ann--you're right on half the count: 4/8!

Michael Wiley said...

I'm afraid that I'll never again live up to my single success, but here are mine:

1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 12, 14, and 15.

Kelli Stanley said...

Whew! I've been worried about our wiley Michael! ;)

You scored a very commendable 4/8! :)

Rebecca Cantrell said...

I actually know a bunch of these, so I will abstain from guessing. The mysterious ones are the truest! (of course)

Kelli Stanley said...

See? Too many Bouchercons and Left Coast Crimes together, Becks. But I trust you haven't unraveled all my secrets! ;)

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Wooo whooo, best score I've had yet!

Reece said...

You've really upped the ante here, Kelli! I'll guess that these are the true ones: 2, 5, 6, 10, 12, 13, 14 and 15.

Rebecca Cantrell said...

OK, you asked for it. I'm saying:

2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 10, 14, 15

Kelli Stanley said...

Sue Ann, your own spectacular stories are great inspiration ... so I wasn't surprised you scored high! :)


Kelli Stanley said...

Reece, my dear, you scored 2/4 ... but you can try again! ;)

Kelli Stanley said...

Close, Becks, but no cigar! You scored 4/8 ... that's because we were both drinking. ;)


Michael Wiley said...

I'm summoning my inner shrapnel for one more try:

1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 11, 14

Kelli Stanley said...

You're a brave man, Michael, and it paid off! :)

You scored 5/8 this time! I'll reveal all tomorrow AM ...

Gabi said...

I know I'm late to the party but I'm loving this game. You should have also put in the truth section that the rules don't apply to you since you upped the ante. Given that rebellious streak, here are my guesses.

2. (drama is in your soul), 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 and 12. I didn't even peek ahead first (which might be obvious by how many I probably got wrong).

Kelli Stanley said...

Good going, Gabs!! You scored 4/8. And now, it's time to reveal (nearly) all ...

1. True. A summer job (and I sold ads to more than just an escort service, but that was my biggest success)

2. False. I was a drama major (and acting remains a great love of mine), and I did indeed successfully perform for a high-level ACT person under a non-scholarship situation.

3. True. It was Sweeney Todd, and it's quite a story.

4. True. Also an interesting story.

5. False. I was disorderly, but no arrest. ;)

6. False. I did meet Robert Downey Jr. and Leif at a political rally for Dukakis and had a brief conversation with them, but no lunch!

7. True. It wasn't the South Fork Ranch, but came close.

8. True. It was pure instinct, after he thought he could get away with a passing grope.

9. True. I worked as a trail guide for my parents, and used to sing on horseback.

10. True. The business in question wasn't the riding stable ... it was a comic book store.

11. False. I play the piano and the harmonica.

12. True. I love music.

13. False. Earwigs kind of bother me, though.

14. False. I spent ten days sleeping on trains, but not hitchhiking.

15. False. I did spend about four hours in a Florence hospital because of gas inhalation, but not a weekend.

Thanks for playing, everybody!