Thursday, April 27, 2006

Putting audiences to sleep, one reader at a time.

More Thrillerfest news. Thanks to my friend, Dusty Rhoades, I've been invited to share a panel, Walking on the Dark Side. I am grateful, but completely in the dark about the dark side. Thank goodness, we have other people on the panel who actually know what they're talking about.

Dusty will moderate, and as he's a trial lawyer by profession he will, before the hour is up, convince the audience that someone on the panel deserves hard prison time, and we all now who that will be. Other unfortunates drawn into this vortex of dysfunction will be Blake Crouch, Bette Golden Lamb, JJ Lamb, and Louise Ure.

Let me apologize to these kind people in advance.

I've been on a few panels, and I enjoy it. Anything to keep from writing. I particularly enjoy the audience questions as someone always brings up language. Here we are, people who write about violent death, wrong cops, and beatings aplenty, and this reader is offended by bad words. The last time someone asked, I said, "I write dialogue that is in keeping with the character. Since most of my characters are bad-ass motherfuckers kicking the holy shit out of some limp-dicked douchebag, they tend to work blue."

That's probably the last Career Day I do at Powe Elementary. As I was being escorted to the car, one of the second-graders yelled from the window, "Get fucked, you wrinkled old cocksucker." I would have flipped her off had it not been for the handcuffs, which I think was a bit of overkill, don't you?

So, if you're at Thrillerfest and you're worried about bird flu or some other contagious disease you can catch with your pants on, you might want to check out Dusty's panel and avoid the crowds.

Oh, and fuck you.


Karen Olson said...

I spoke at a library recently and a lovely woman in the front row said, "Your character is very rough, she uses rough language. I was curious to meet you ... but you're not like her at all!"

She's never seen me on deadline.

But I know what you mean about this, David. People who claim to be offended by the language in my book actually bother to email me about it. I've wondered if it's because my protagonist is a woman, but from your post I can only surmise that if language is going to be an issue for them, they should just not read the book. Seems simple, doesn't it?

Sandra Ruttan said...

This was discussed at Harrogate last year - the ridiculous notion that it's okay to write about the most horrific of crimes, cut the little girl up and burn her in the stove sort of stuff, but my oh my did you have to use one of those naughty words?

"What's that? A call to scrape some little boy's brains off the road. Oh dear. What a shame. Someone raped and tortured him, cut his privates off and stuffed them down his throat before they bashed his head in? How unfortunate. Tragic. This bad man obviously hasn't been hugged enough."

More like, "Holy fucking shit, where's the Goddamn sonofabitch, I'll wring his fucking throat if I get my hands on him..."

evilkev being on emergency services out here, I hear how the cops actually talk on scene all the time. And they don't say, "Lovey, would you mind not stepping in the evidence dear, that's it, just step back." More like, "Get the fuck away from the brain and blood and let us do our fucking jobs you dickhead!"

But my characters never swear. And they're all virgins.

Stephen Blackmoore said...

Well, we'll make sure to have a ringer in the crowd, just in case nobody brings it up. If we're lucky we can have a brawl break out.

David Terrenoire said...

Fight! Fight! Fight!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Don't forget the white t-shirt dress code, mud and water.

JD Rhoades said...

I for one am honored to be the moderator.
And by "honored" I mean "scared shitless."

David Terrenoire said...

Dusty, I've decided to wear a cup for this panel. What does that tell you?

Lori G. Armstrong said...

Omigod, I about pissed down my goddamn leg this post was so fuckin' funny! My kids came running upstairs to see why I was howling with laughter. Course, if I were the upstanding mother, I'd say, "Sorry sweetie, you can read this when you're older." Instead, I used it as an example of how bad language can be perfectly funny!!

Yeah, yeah, I get the "your character has a bad mouth" comments all the time. Gonna take David's advice and call them unenlightened cocksuckers next time...

secretdeadartist said...

What do you mean when you say you're in the dark about the dark side? You did spend all those years in advertising didn't you?