If you could have any author –living or dead – write your biography, who would you choose?
I am a writer. I have a distinctive voice. I would write my biography/autobiography. At least I would get the facts right unlike others.
Fine, you want a ghostwriter. Are you related to Evil Editor? She’s pushy too. Let’s see. Who would I pick?
WHAT? I’m thinking.
Lets see… Maybe… um no. Well, how about… ah… no. Well shit. I don’t know. Oh stop looking at me like that. I said fine.
I’ll pick my favorite writers
Ed McBain. [You may know him as Evan Hunter] Why? Because I write like him. Not exactly like him but I write like him. I understand his voice, Gertie and I bet he would understand mine. I’m still learning but I bet if you asked him, he would have said pretty much the same thing. Unlike Stephen “Gets paid per word” King, his books are interesting, concise and fast paced. His Obit in the Guardian will give you concise information. Hill Street Blues threw me until I realized it was like the 87th Precinct mysteries. There are 50 of them and that isn’t counting the other books he wrote. The man could write and he could write well. And he didn’t babble.
Robert Crais would be my next choice. The why is simple. I love his Elvis Cole series. You can watch his writing develop from his first Cole, The Monkey’s Raincoat to his current Cole, The Promise. Cole and Pike, his partner, develop as we read the series.
If I wanted to draw you in to an almost poetical prose in visualizations, I would pick James Lee Burke. In his writing, you can feel the sweat running off you from his descriptions of New Orleans and Louisiana as you read the Dave Robicheaux series. The crappy movies and bad actors never did the character or the book justice.
It’s like when they made Tom Cruise into Jack Reacher. Pathetic. Cruise is a one trick pony action and he portrays the same character over and over and over and over. He’s not a character actor but a personality actor. That means he carries his personality into each character instead of becoming the character. [Another who does this is Tom Hanks. He plays the nice guy in a bad situation. He could never do Hamlet unless you wanted him to be a nice Prince in a bad situation] His Reacher doesn’t exist in the books. I would have put Clive Owen in the role. Watch this from the BMW Short films in the Driver series. I promise you it is worth the 6 minutes out of your life then tell me he’s not Reacher. [It’s not grainy. It’s the still that is grainy. Just click play and I promise you that you will laugh and get satisfaction because we all have people in our life we would love to give them a ride like this.]
The shorts and his other films like the Croupier and Greenfingers are why I picked him as my mental representation of Mac in Standing Stone.
Back to James Lee Burke. His writing is visual plus evokes feelings. When he describe the heat of the day in a room with shutters, you can feel the heat and the time of the day. His character of Dave Robicheaux is complex, the Saint and the Sinner. Dave himself knows of the war within him. He portrays Dave as a real Alcoholic unlike many books out there with their strange ideas of what a drunk is like. Burke uses the Alcoholic and recovery as depth to the character never straying from the real into the fantasy.
They are worth the read if you haven’t read him. He’s one I can say I would give anything to write like. I won’t. It’s not in me. I am more spare and compact. His is more… well… poetical. He could do justice to how I grew up on the farm then the small town and my feeling as complex.
Each would be different but each would be good in their own way. I would dearly love to write like Crais and Burke but I’m afraid I’m more McBain and Elmore Leonard in style. I don’t have the patience for writing like Stephen King who wastes too many words losing the horrified feeling. Instead of a shock the feeling becomes “Yeah, yeah. Just get on with it. I don’t have all damn day.” boredom.
If there are errors, I apologize. I corrected but for some reason, WordPress wanted them in and when I updated, it left the errors in. Sigh. I’m really starting to hate this software.