Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Writer Uses Cute Dog In Cheap Ploy for Attention!

I am running this cute puppy photo as a cheap device to get you to read what I really DID write about today, which is how characters are defined by their "stuff." I hope it works ...

By Shane Gericke

Hi, ho! (Or is it, Heigh, ho!? I can never remember.) Rebecca is painting her nails today--er, nailing the final dramatic scene in her next book!--so you're stuck with me again.

Today, we are to discuss how clothes, cars, gadgets and other "stuff" help define our characters. But first, something fun, which is, believe it or not, related to the topic at hand:

It's a Colt revolver in .38 Special. It's covered in shiny silvery nickel, with handsome walnut grips. It belongs to Al Capone. The Al Capone of Chicago/gangsters/The Untouchables fame. 

It's for sale. 

Here's the link to the auction: http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=5459315&sid=b819d24b-5bbe-4ac1-99aa-5d77b3056b90

Yep, you could be the proud owner of one of Bad Al's famed "heaters." Since Criminal Minds readers are wealthy beyond measure, I thought you'd want to pick up this little six-shooter for yourself. And, then, mail it to me. Because Criminal Minds authors are NOT wealthy, and I'd desperately like to have this little "equalizer" for my cell in the word factory. 

Which leads me to how this item is actually related to this week's topic . . . 

My protag, police detective Emily Marie Thompson, is a regular kinda gal. She wears jeans with casual tops and Nike sneakers. She keeps her long chestnut hair (with natural henna highlights) in a purple scrunchie. She drives a black Honda Accord sedan, or did until her boyfriend, Marty Benedetti, smashed it into flinders (isn't that a great old-timey word, flinders?) while trying to rescue her from the clutches of a serial killer. She replaced it with a new  Accord. In the first book, BLOWN AWAY, she carried a nondescript cellphone. In the third and current book, TORN APART, she's upgraded to an iPhone. 

All nice and regular-ish, but not particularly memorable. Fortunately, there are three things that really DO define our Em: 

1. She eats French vanilla ice cream every night (and the occasional morning). She uses a spoon from her childhood, because it's symbolic of her Dad. French vanilla was her father's favorite ice cream, because he was badly wounded in World War II, and French farmers saved his life by hiding him from the Nazis till he could walk again. Ever since he extolled all things French, from fries to films, and he gobbled down some French vanilla ice cream every night with his  beloved daughter, Emily. After he died, she  continued the tradition--and used his silver spoon.

2. When she's not driving her Accord, she's goosing a high-speed, low-drag Dodge Charger. It can do 160 mph on the straightaway, which generally is a rural stretch of interstate west of her home in the Chicago suburb of Naperville. She and the aforementioned Marty, a fellow police officer, are amateur racers, crazy about cars, and together with a friend who appears in TORN APART, turned her Charger into a street-racing muscle machine. She listens to head-banging metal music while she flies, windows down to feel the howl and rush in her ears. It makes her come alive.

3. But mostly, Emily Thompson is defined by her gun. She carries a one-of-a-kind Glock Model 17, a 9-mm. semiautomatic pistol that's one of the finest combat handguns ever made. She had it customized with night sights, hand-hugging grips, exquisitely sensitive trigger, polished mechanicals, the whole enchilada. As a cop battling ferocious serial killers, she's put it to very good use. Here's a photo, which I took after she sent it to me for safekeeping (just as you will that Capone pistol). Try not to drool: 

Because as my dear pal and uber-novelist Toni McGee Causey likes to say, Girls Just Gotta Have Guns. 


Since we're talking guns, I thought I'd show this video, which features people to whom you should never, ever send a Capone pistol or anything else that goes "bang" or even "dribble."

Thanks for letting me play here today, and see you next time a CM needs the day off!


Shane Gericke finds out July 9 if his crime novel TORN APART wins the Thriller Award for Best Novel of 2010 (Paperback Original) by the International Thriller Writers, or if he remains the lonely, bitter loser that everyone assumes he is. Please pray for Mr. Gericke to win, as he requires the sales boost to keep his writing career going, which has to occur because he isn't remotely qualified to do anything else. Please visit him at his website, www.shanegericke.com.There are no cute puppy photos--a sad oversight--but there are the first chapters from all his books, a biography, purchasing links, foreign covers, and a bunch of other cool stuff. Again, it's www.shanegericke.com


Joshua Corin said...

The last time I fired a gun, it was an old .22 rifle and I was lying belly-down and I pulled the trigger and the round actually jammed in the barrel. I was not a happy Boy Scout camper.

Also, you forgot to mention one of the most important items Emily carries around: her spare key!

Shane Gericke said...

Imagine how your Boy Scout shootin' instruction feller guy felt about your stuck bullet, having to dig it out of there for you and all.

And, I have to believe that her Glock IS her spare key. I shall ask her at lunch today ...

Oh. Wait. THAT spare key. For the handcuffs. You devil. You DID read my book. Bless ya.

Shane Gericke said...

And, why is that the Boy Scouts insisted on building their rifle ranges in the middle of mosquito-infested scrub forests growing willy-nilly atop reclaimed strip mines? Were rolling meadows filled with frolicking lambs and songbirds not available?

Meredith Cole said...

Keeping my fingers crossed for you, Shane, and hoping you'll hear good news on July 9th.

I shot a gun once at a Sisters in Crime field trip... It did not jam, and I was pretty pleased with my shooting skills.

That Al Capone gun is pretty, but it looks like something a cowboy would own (not a gangsta)

Laura Benedict said...

Dude, you know we can't mail you a gun. *sheesh*

That cute puppy pic totally sucked me in! xoxo

Michael Wiley said...

I think the puppy is a stroke of genius, Shane. Now, I plan to bring one on tour.

Shane Gericke said...

Michael, if we can't dazzle them with our witty words, conquer them with a cute puppy dog, I say.

Laura, of course not. That would be illegal, sending me a gun. But you could DRIVE it all the way to my house. That would be so right and me me so happy. Pretty pretty please? I'll even run a couple more cute puppy photos if you do!!

Thanks, Meredith! I personally was hoping one of Bad Al's Tommy guns would be on sale, but it was just the shiny happy pistol. But a Tommy would probably go for . . . geez, I can't count that high it'd be so expensive.

Susie McCray said...

Great post. That shooting video was funny yet scary. I can visualize 80% of those folks shooting themselves. Anyway...
I hope you win the contest.