I’m very lucky to live in a place where there are lots of other writers around. We celebrate when one of us gets a “yes” from a publisher, and we step in when one of us gets a “no” and threatens to jump off a ledge.
We write in different genres and are of different ages and backgrounds, but we share a profession that’s as satisfying as it can be humbling
This afternoon I ran into one of my writer buddies, Melodie Johnson Howe.
Born and raised in LA, Melodie always dreamed of being a writer. But she was “discovered” by Hollywood at age 21 after acing a screen test at Universal, and was signed to a seven-year contract.
“For my first job, I was shot dead, covered in a sheet and carted away in an ambulance,” she writes on her web site. “Only my hair showed.”
Other roles followed, including one opposite Clint Eastwood in a movie called “Coogan’s Bluff.”
I once asked her what it was like to make out with Clint, and she wasn’t very enthusiastic. Apparently, all they did was soak in a tub filled with Tide.
“After a week of shooting, I said to my husband, ‘I don’t think Eastwood will make it as an actor.”
Melodie’s first novel, “The Mother Shadow,” was nominated for an Edgar award (the mystery genre’s equivalent of an Oscar) and featured a female duo of crime solvers.
She brought the characters back for her second book, “Beauty Dies.”
She also writes short stories for “Ellery Queen” magazine and posts weekly on a mystery writers’ blog called “Criminal Brief.” What really endears her to me is her passion for baseball.
I saw her today outside our local bookstore, seized the opportunity to talk about our favorite sport and whipped out the She-Fan Cam. I take it everywhere these days, causing most people to flee whenever they see me coming.
It’s just a tiny Flip Video camcorder. Nothing to be afraid of.
Will the Yankees and Dodgers meet up in the 2009 WS? Writers have vivid imaginations, but anything is possible.