Friday, August 2, 2013

Five on Friday: David Handler

Happy Friday everyone! Here in Northeast Ohio we are having an absolutely gorgeous day! I hope yours is filled with sunshine and smiles as well.

I shared this link on Facebook earlier this week, but if you missed it you should definitely check it out. This is an article about the King family. I was especially interested in the part where Stephen King had his children read books and he record them reading so he'd have books on tape!

And I really liked this idea I stumbled over. I totally want to have a book exchange party now.  Sounds way more fun than candle or Tupperware parties, right?

O.k. on to the weekly contest round-up:

Criminal Element has a passel of opportunities for you this week. First is a chance to win the YA debut Prep School Confidential.  You can also enter for a chance to win Ellen Crosby's novel Multiple Exposure. And finally they have "the bag of cool scares" which is a seven-book prize.

And Friday Reads has an interesting pair to offer this week: Taylor Stevens The Doll along with Scott Adelberg's Spiders and Flies.

Now that the housekeeping is out of the way, allow me to introduce this week's Five on Friday guest. David Handler may be best known for his Hoagy and Lulu mysteries: a series featuring ghostwriter Stewart Hoag and his basset hound Lulu, but he's also the author of the Berger and Mitry mystery series. This series features a movie critic and a state trooper. If that weren't enough to keep him busy, David is embarking on a new series this month. The first book is called Runaway Man about Benji Golden who tracks down teen runaways.

And I'm tickled to have David on the blog for the very first time, so please help me make him feel welcome today. I'm fairly certain you're going to enjoy his visit!

The kitty better watch out if David is sick in bed!

The best gift I ever received was: In the late ‘90s I collaborated on a film project in New York City with one of my idols, the novelist and screenwriter William Goldman. I was, and still am, a huge fan of Bill’s offbeat thriller novel No Way To Treat A Lady. A little known fact about No Way To Treat A Lady is that it was not highly regarded when it first came out in 1964. In fact, it was so not highly regarded that no hardcover publisher wanted it. It was published as a Fawcett Gold Medal paperback original. Not many copies were printed. And Bill, who was regarded as a “serious” novelist at the time, was encouraged to use a pseudonym. He chose Harry Longbaugh, which was the real name of the Sundance Kid, who he would soon make famous in his Academy Award-winning screenplay for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Anyway, when No Way To Treat a Lady came out it immediately caused such a huge sensation that Fawcett rushed a second edition right into print with Bill’s real name proudly emblazoned across the cover. Very, very few copies of the original Harry Longbaugh first edition remain. Somehow, my girlfriend Diana managed to find me one for my birthday that year, e-mailed Bill and asked him if he’d mind inscribing it. He phoned her up and said, “Do you have any idea how rare that book is?” She said, “Oh, I have a pretty good idea.” She sent it to him at his apartment by messenger. He happily inscribed it for me, returned it to her by that same messenger and to this day it remains one of my most precious possessions.

The most daring thing I ever tried was: Shortly before my 26th birthday I marched right into the New York headquarters of CBS, which is known as Black Rock, and pitched them a pilot idea for a one-hour action drama about three young guys who decide to open a detective agency together. I was a clueless nobody. Nervous beyond belief, sweating, my innards roiling. But I did it. I actually pitched a show to an office full of stern-faced middle-aged network execs. And they freaking bought it! Mind you, the pilot was never filmed. In fact, after about 18 re-writes it went from being a one-hour drama about three young guys who open a detective agency to being a half-hour sitcom about two young guys who run a diner. The only thing that stayed the same from start to finish was the title, Heroes, except in the original conception it referred to courage and by the time the pilot was mercifully shelved it referred to…you guessed it -- the sandwich. That’s a true story, I swear.

When I’m feeling under the weather: On those rare occasions when I’m sick in bed with the flu I tend to get really, really outraged. My favorite antidote for such outrage is to dream up new and exotic ways to murder people. I believe I had a fever of 102 when I came up with the idea for hot-wiring the urinal in a TV star’s private bathroom -- so that as soon as he unzipped and let it flow he’d be lit up like the Christmas tree outside of Rockefeller Center. Not coincidentally, I’d picked up that particular flu bug from the male star of the show I was working on at the time. I ended up using that particular murder in my sixth Stewart Hoag mystery, The Man Who Cancelled Himself.

If I won the lottery tomorrow the first thing I’d do: Honestly? I feel as if I HAVE won the lottery. For the past dozen years I’ve been able to write murder mysteries full-time. That means when I wake up in the morning I actually get to do exactly what I want to do all day long. I write what I want to write. Every day. No one’s looking over my shoulder. No one’s saying no. For me – for any writer – this is a dream come true. I am constantly pinching myself so that I’ll remember how fortunate I am. Okay, ow, that just hurt.

The #1 item on my bucket list right now is: I would like to touch Donald Trump’s head with my own two hands and find out for myself just exactly what his so-called hair is made of. My best guess is that it’s actually Tang-colored cotton candy. But I want to KNOW. 

I hope that brought a little extra sunshine to your day like it did mine. A good laugh only makes a lovely Friday even better.

I'm excited to check out David's new book, which is out on the 20th. In the mean time, I hope your weekend is filled with great reads or listens (for my audiobook friends). Happy Reading all!


Bella August 2, 2013 at 11:52 PM  

Thanks for the link to the article about the King family. It was very interesting. I was quite surpeised to find out that Joe Hill is the son of Stephen. I had really enjoyed The heart Shaped Box and now I need to look into reading more books by the King family.

Maddee James August 7, 2013 at 12:10 PM  

I love love love love love you David Handler. :) Always funny and fresh!

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