Sunday, September 24, 2006

Weird Things

I just returned from a quaint regional book conference in the town where I was born. Loved the place, loved the people, but I did get the "you can't go home again, feeling." Not that the goat at the booksigning, or the very loud, very exuberent marching band crammed into a small banquet room while the attendees were supping on barbecue was a bad thing. It was just not something I've ever seen at a book festival.

Anyway, my contribution to the event was a talk on how I went from a small town girl in west Texas to a multi-published author. Most of the attendees were libraians and teachers, very few writers, so I knew not to talk much about the craft the writing. I decided instead to tell stories about my creative adventures. Once I got talking, everyone was fascinated, even the other writers on the panel. See, I thought all writers had these weird woo-woo experiences, but apparently not.

Woo-woo thing #1

My hero from LICENSED TO THRILL, Mason Gentry e-mailed me. Yep, you heard that right. I got an e-mail from a fictional character. I couldn't sleep one night and at 3 a.m. Got up, ambled to the computer as I'm prone to do when I can't sleep, and checked e-mail. There in my in box was an e-mail from Mason. Tenatively, I opened it up. He wrote, "Funny things happen when you google your own name. I'm glad you think I'm so handsome and sexy." Freaked me out. I closed the e-mail without responding.

Woo-woo thing #2

I wrote this suspense novel about domestic abuse that I never tired to sell. The alcoholic, wife-beating villian is named Jimmy Blue. About a year or so ago I got a fan letter from a prisoner. Guess what his name was. Yep, Jimmy Blue. I didn't have the courage to read the letter. Just handed it to my husband and asked him to take care of it.

Woo-woo thing #3

A few months before Jennifer Wilbanks, the runaway bride, pulled the stunt where she pretended she was abducted--I came up with the following concept for a book--A high-society bride-to-be stages her own wedding day abduction only to discover the man who takes her hostage was not the man she hired. I was working on another book at the time and planned to pitch the idea to my editor at Warner when I got through. Meantime, Wilbanks goes AWOL and I think my story idea is dead because of it. Loving the little high concept pitch, but saddened I wouldn't be able to use it, I put the example in a workshop I was doing on writing high concept. I mention my workshop and the high concept in passing to my editor. She was so excited by the idea that Warner offered me a two book contract on the spot and when my agent anounced it on Publisher's Marketplace we received interest from eight movie production companies. That book, THERE GOES THE BRIDE, comes out in March 2007.

Woo-Woo Thing #4

At the RWA conference in Dallas a couple of years ago, my editor had taken me and another author out to eat at one of the most exclusive restaurants in Dallas. While we were there, my editor was asking us about how we became writers, our childhood influences, etc. I told her that when I was fourteen, my best friend and I used to lay on her bed scribbling our stories in notebooks while we listened to the likes of the Beatles and Rod Stewart on the record player. (Yes, I'm giving away my age.) Suddenly, a ripple went through the restaurant and everyone was whispering that Rod Stewart had come in with his fiance. Stunned, I excused myself to go to the ladies room, but it was merely an excuse to get a peek at Rod. Disappointed that I couldn't find him, I turned to go back to the table and as I started down the stairway, there was Rod coming up. We brushed shoulders as we passed.

Woo-woo thing #5

The whole Men in Trees things is the most recent woo-woo event. Check out my post from a few days ago for that story.

Woo-woo thing #6

At the RWA conference in Atlanta, I was giving a workshop and I referenced a quote from Morgan Free to the group. Thirty minutes later I was meeting someone for lunch at the Ritz-Carlton. I arrived a few minutes early and as I waited for the person I was meeting, I looked down the hallway and guess who was walking right toward me with his escort, headed for the restaurant. Yep, you got it. Morgan Freeman.

Woo-woo thing #7

Okay, this is the big one. In my book Mission: Irresistible, the hero is an archeologist. For the plot, I needed for him to to have found the remains of a mummy in Egypt. I realized no one had found any artifacts of consequence in the Valley of the KIngs in 80 years, but I thought, let's just pretend. So I had him find the remains of a mummy named Kiya near King Tut's tomb in the Valley of the Kings. The book was published and right afterward, they found a new tomb near King Tut. But wait, weirdness does not end there. This summer, archeologists finally were able to get inside the tomb and indentify whose it was. They believe the tomb belonged to King Tut's mother and her name was, drumroll here . . .Kiya.

So am I weird? Do I have special intuitive powers. Or do other writers and creative people have these experiences? I'd love to hear from people who've experienced something woo-woo. Come on, let me hear from you.


Shelley Bates said...

I'm loving Men in Trees! I've always thought that Anne Heche had this charming, goofy vulnerability, and it's perfect for the Marin part. I'm hoping the producers don't make her overdo it and turn her into an annoying screecher ... but just keep it understated and funny enough to bring us back every week.

The other reason I like the show is that it's filmed outside Vancouver, B.C., my home province. Which means it has a couple of alums from another favorite show, Da Vinci's Inquest, i.e., Sarah Strange and Suleka Mathew.

Which means there's a distinct possibility we might see Callum Keith Rennie in Elmo.


Shelley Bates

Diane Perkins said...

I'm totally spooked, Lori! I can say I've never had a woo-woo experience even remotely close to yours.
I do wind up feeling my characters are "real" people, so I wind up caring about them, as if they were real. I like to at least pretend that perhaps I lived in the Regency times that I write about--of course, I'm reasonably sure I was a scullery maid. Doing dishes is about the only household chore that I don't mind much.
(Here's to your getting a HUGE contract for film rights!)

Lori Wilde said...


I can't figure out if it's because I live so much in my head. I"m constantly thinking story to exclusion of much else and I wonder if I'm tapping into some cosmic consciousness. Because I never feel woo-woo until things happen after the fact.

Susan Crandall said...

Hey Lori, I believe you win the woo-woo trophy! I have had a character email me after a book was published, Dean Coletta from Promises to Keep. And I put together that name thinking it was so original!

The one that freaks me most is Jimmy Blue ... and he knows where you live (basically). Let's hope he's incarcertated for life.

Shari Anton said...

I think I'm now glad that I write historicals. My heroes all have old, old names, and few have last names, so it's rather doubtful anyone would get a google match!

You get the woo-woo prize of the month, Lori!

Shari, who may have to check out Men in Trees

Anonymous said...

Hi Lori! Can't say I've had any woo-woo experiences but I surely did enjoy reading yours!!!!