Small-town crime

No matter where you live, always read the police blotter items in your local newspaper or website. Otherwise, you miss gems like these (from today's Redding paper):

"Residents on Nathan Drive in Anderson reported that three people were going door to door selling cleaning supplies and being extremely pushy."

"A man who reportedly looked like Forrest Gump was riding his bicycle on Highway 299 in Johnson Park. The man was shaking his head and waving his arms around."

Pedal, Forrest, pedal!


New website news

Because of problems with domain squatters, I've moved my author website to www.stevebrewer.us.com. It's pretty barebones for now, but it'll get bigger soon.

Check it out.


Quote of the day

"I hate endings. Just detest them. Beginnings are definitely the most exciting, middles are perplexing, and endings are a disaster."

--Playwright Sam Shepard, quoted in The New Yorker, 2/8/10.


Fiction leading fact?

Does art imitate life or the other way around? One of the age-old questions, but it keeps popping up.

Take, for example, last week's coup in the uranium-rich African country of Niger. Apparently led by an army colonel, soldiers shot up the presidential palace and ousted the president.

In my thriller CUTTHROAT, the hero, Solomon Gage, tries to thwart an international business scheme that includes an army colonel in Niger overthrowing the government by shooting up the presidential palace and ousting the president.

The book came out in late 2007.

Anyone could predict a coup in Niger, and the odds would be pretty good the forecast would prove true eventually. The nation has a history of such coups. Still, the headlines gave me a strange sense of deja vu.


First line fun

We've been talking about the importance of catchy opening lines, but I omitted the one from my personal favorite of all my books, BULLETS:

"Some people are ridiculously easy to kill."

Next thing I've got coming out in bookstores is a short story in the new Mystery Writers of America anthology, "Crimes by Moonlight," edited by Charlaine Harris. Each mystery in the anthology, which hits stores in April, has a supernatural element. My story is called "Limbo," and the opening line is: "I snapped awake on a cold autopsy table."

Got more?


More openers

Some other writers and I have been discussing which opening lines make us most proud. Here's a few more from my books:

From MONKEY MAN: "Nothing interrupts a nice chat like the arrival of a gorilla."

From FOOL'S PARADISE: "John Ray Mooney was dressed all wrong for a bank robber."

And I still like this one, though it seems a little overwritten now. From 2001's CRAZY LOVE: "Jealousy sits inside us all, a poisonous little package of possession, wrapped up in our insecurities and bound by need and fear."

What are some of your favorite openers?


Great openers

Over on Facebook, I used the first line of one of my novels for one of my tongue-in-cheek "Rules for Successful Living." The line is from my 1999 Bubba Mabry novel "Dirty Pool":

"Friends come and go, but enemies are forever."

Of all my published work, that's my favorite opening line. Great first lines are important to hook readers. What are some of your favorites?


You're doing it wrong

Today's tip for aspiring criminals: No matter how much you believe that you've made a clean getaway, you shouldn't call the police for help with your flat tire.

Two men in North Carolina forgot that simple lesson, police say. Four hours after a convenience store holdup, and long after police circulated the store's security video, an officer answered a 3 a.m. flat-tire call at a local Hardee's and recognized the culprits.

Full story here.