Wednesday, September 23, 2009

You Have the Right to Six Words - Reed Farrel Coleman

I mentioned several weeks back when I highlighted Hank Phillipi Ryan that the enthusiasm of the writers for this project has been a strong motivator for me. When I receive the e-mails with excited memoirs or the beautiful thank you notes, I am so energized I think I could do this forever. Well, maybe not forever, but you know what I mean.

One of the people who really made me excited about this project is Reed Farrel Coleman. Leave it to the poet to bring this memoir thing to life. I'm devoting this whole post this week to Reed for two reasons. First, it's a tribute to the release of his collaborative work with Ken Bruen. Their novel, THE TOWER, is released this week by Busted Flush Press and should show up in stores by the end of next week. And secondly because when I e-mailed Reed to ask him to participate, he responded and said, "sure, I'll try anything." And he came back with this memoir:

Dad, standing at the hospital window.

He asked me if I wanted an explanation. So, me being me, I asked him if maybe he would do an interview with me and he can explain it then. He said "yes"! So look for that in the future; he's kind of busy with the whole TOWER book tour and all, but I'll check back with him later.

Not long after, I received another e-mail from Reed who said, "here's three more to keep in reserve:"

My mom, at the mirror, empty.

Sheepshead Bay, Brighton Beach, Coney Island.

Saturday morning, my brothers, we're happy.

So, of course I'm deliriously happy. The award-winning author of the Moe Prager series and the Dylan Klein series is getting into my project! How cool is that? And while I'm still reeling with excitement, I receive another e-mail that says, "When you’re ready to post, let me know and I’ll give you two more so you can have 6 of 6." Six 6-word memoirs! He's a clever guy that Reed is! So, I knocked on his e-mail door once more on Sunday, not real sure if he'd have time to come up with two more since he is preparing for the tour and all. But sure enough, he sent two more:

My children. My wife. Our life.

Ken, Reed, Tower, movie rights sold.

I absolutely love this six-pack look at Reed Farrel Coleman. As I was preparing for his post, I learned that Reed and I are both Aries and we both come from families with three children. I'm the oldest of three girls; Reed is the youngest of three boys. But the similarities come to a screeching halt there. Reed grew up in New York and discovered his love of writing in high school where he served as editor and chief of his school literary magazine.

After college, Reed worked in the cargo area at Kennedy International Airport and met many of the people who would go on to inspire the characters in his writing. Also during this time Reed took a night class in detective fiction, which thankfully brought him to this genre. Besides his distinct style of writing, Reed thinks he may perhaps have another characteristic that sets him apart from any other writer in the crime fiction genre: he is licensed to drive hazardous materials!

Reed served as an Executive Vice President of the Mystery Writers of America. He has published ten novels, poetry, short stories and essays under his own name and his pen name, Tony Spinosa. And on his resume he can claim a Barry award, an Anthony award, a Shamus award as well as nominations for the Edgar, Macavity and Gumshoe awards. As I mentioned earlier in this post he is now adding to that distinguished list his collaborative work with Ken Bruen, THE TOWER.

I hope that you all have enjoyed Reed's "6 of 6" today as much as I have. Let me know in the comments what you think your favorite is. I like them all, but I think I may be leaning toward the first one because there's just such mystery to it.

Many, many thanks to Reed for having so much fun with this and inspiring me. I'm still smiling as I type this. Happy Reading everyone!


Ryzmomplus2 September 23, 2009 at 6:55 AM  

Love this Jen! I just finished Walking the perfect square so it was so interesting to learn more about the author! I think my favorite of his 6 words was the first one "dad, standing at the hospital window" - I can't wait to read tower now!

Margot Kinberg September 23, 2009 at 7:35 AM  

Thanks for sharing these! I agree - the first one is really powerful and as you say, full of mystery. Intriguing to think about...

Cara Powers September 23, 2009 at 9:36 AM  

Love the 6x6. You also have my vote for best recurring feature next year. My favorite is "My children. My wife. Our life." If I ever manage to get author interviews, I think I'll ask them to write an autobiographical haiku. Love Haiku.

le0pard13 September 23, 2009 at 9:41 AM  

I got to check out Tower, Jen. Another great set! Thanks.

Kaye Barley September 23, 2009 at 12:34 PM  

Jen, this feature of yours is one of my favorite things on the whole internet!!

These are wonderful!!

I love them all, and they each seem to tap something a little different in me.

I'd have to say the first two felt sad.
the third felt a little melancholy.
And the last three felt joyful.
But who knows, maybe #2 was his mom feeling outrageously happy 'cause all the kids are grown and gone from the house and she can look in the mirror and find a minute of peace and quiet?!
But I loved them all.
AND I loved TOWER.
anyway - I loved 'em.

Corey Wilde September 23, 2009 at 1:06 PM  

The dude's a serious over-achiever. Looking forward to Tower.

Lori L September 23, 2009 at 2:23 PM  

I loved them all, but I think, if I had to chose a favorite, it would be the first one.

Corey Wilde September 23, 2009 at 3:09 PM  

Coleman could give a master class in how to say a lot in six words.

Paul Brazill September 23, 2009 at 3:42 PM  

For sale. Double bed. Never used.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 11:44 PM  

It was my pleasure to take part in this and I appreciate all the comments. I look forward to doing that interview soon, so I can answer everyone's questions about the origins of these six word memoirs. I think they're a great idea and revealing regardless of how skillfully they're done. Thanks again for the opportunity.

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