Tuesday, June 4, 2013



Last week I mentioned the finalists in the Daphne du Maurier Awards sponsored by the Mystery/Suspense chapter of RWA. I specifically pointed out that it appears five books out of the thirty-one finalists were self-published, which I think is a very good thing.

This week the finalists for RWA’s Rita Awards were named and, as I mentioned a year ago, the 2012 finalists were all from Big Publishing Houses. This year, 2013, there was one slight change. Although there were no self-published books among the finalists, four were from Montlake Romance, Amazon’s relatively new romance publishing imprint. Considering the size of the parent company, I suppose one can’t call it a “small publisher,” but, in my opinion, it’s a good thing when different publishers show up and the Big Five don’t walk home with everything.


In the interest of publicizing my newest romance novel, THE ITALIAN JOB, I’ve been asked to provide some Blog posts and one of them was to list my ten favorite movies. As I said in that post, among the hundred-plus in our DVD collection, I have a list of forty favorite films, so choosing only ten was hard. Although I didn’t intend to be even-handed, I ended up listing five comedies and five dramas.

The most recent was THE FUGITIVE released in 1993, twenty years ago. I won’t say, as others have done, “they don’t make ‘em like they used to,” but in fact it’s true. Thanks to the ability to produce astounding special effects these days, movies rely more and more on images at the expense of character and story. But then, I’m a writer, and must rely on character and story because they haven’t figured out yet how to make a bomb explode in a reader’s face. (But, given time, they might some day.)


I’ve also written in my occasional blog posts about correct grammar. I cringe when I see word mistakes in books, magazines or newspapers. Yet, in spite of a wrong word in the first song in the show, MY FAIR LADY is my favorite musical. What word? It’s when Prof. Higgins hears Eliza Doolittle’s Cockney accent and laments to his friend, Col. Pickering, “Why Can’t the English learn to Speak.” And the word is “hung.” No educated Englishman - certainly not a professor of the language, would say, as he does in the song, “By rights, they should be taken out and hung.” Of course, the word should be “hanged.” A man might have “hung” his clothes, but people are “hanged.” However, Lerner and Lowe were writing a song, not dialogue, and the word needed to rhyme with “tongue.” I forgive them. (But don’t let it happen again.)

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