Monday, September 04, 2006

Writers for New Orleans

I just wrapped up a fantastic conference and book signing - Heather Graham's Writers For New Orleans, over the Southern Decadence weekend (picture Halloween in the Castro on Bourbon Street - yeow!) - and, well, you can imagine what my head feels like just about now! I had more fun than is probably legal in a significant number of states.

I'm doing the monthly Spotlight interview over at (the message board for professional screenwriters) - yes, while on tour - and while I was waiting for my next connection at the Memphis airport I checked in and found that along with a flurry of questions about how I made the transition from screenwriter to novelist, I got a kind of in-joke question: "How do you feel about singing?" (from Bob Levinson, the visionary producer of the Killer Thriller Band - see previous posts on ThrillerFest).

But since I am not at the moment capable of coherent thought about real issues of transitioning from screenwriter to author, I actually started sleeplessly and hungoveringly pondering Bob's question, and realized it was - well, relevant.

Singing is so far the best part of being an author - out of a million great things. Who'da thought I'd be using my musical theater training more now than at any time since college (and my lost theatrical period immediately after...?)

My friend and sister Killerette, bestselling author (of 125 books!!!) and force of nature Heather Graham, does these great musical productions for Romantic Times and other conventions, including this one of hers this weekend, and she and a band of her children and devotees, now including me, somehow learned seven New Orleans-centric songs in a four-and-a-half hour rehearsal, complete with historical revue - and performed the whole show Saturday night. And then somehow ended up doing Hand Grenades in a male strip club, and that was all before midnight. I don't dare to start about what happened AFTER...

There is actual relevance to the singing part, though. Being an author is so much about YOU. It's, in fact, ALL about YOU, to a degree that is positively unnerving for me as a screenwriter. For an author, getting any kind of attention and focus is good. I sold a ton of books at the Sunday signing - and I know it has a lot to do with having been front and center in the entertainment portion of the conference.

The fact that one of those songs was Lady Marmelade probably didn't hurt, either.

I LOVE this whole unexpected part - I suddenly feel I have a second career as a rock star.

Kind of.

Along with all those weird and wonderful rock star things like waking up in a different town every day and meeting the most amazing people and bonding with them in ways that you would never expect and knowing that they're going to be friends for life. Nothing like OTR, as my sister and brother and I say... On The Road.

Going to bed, now - but I'll again leave you with the link to the Bourbo Cam. Check it out about eight pm (PST) or 11 pm (EST) tonight - should be some Decadence still going on. At this very moment, not a creature is stirring - the hangovers will last for WEEKS...

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