Wednesday, May 31, 2006

ITW: KATHRYN MACKEL, PT 3

Wrapping up our three-part Q&A with novelist and screenwriter Kathryn Mackel, member of International Thriller Writers, Inc. She was on the screenwriting team for Left Behind: The Movie, and Frank Peretti's Hangman's Curse. The acclaimed author of The Surrogate and The Departed, she resides in Boston, Mass., with her husband. Her latest novel is The Hidden (WestBow Press).

* * *

PART THREE

WHAT ONE THING ABOUT WRITING DO YOU WISH NON-WRITERS UNDERSTOOD?
That it’s hard, ugly, lonely work. And that a sale doesn’t guarantee wealth.

WHAT ONE THING ABOUT WRITING DO YOU WISH OTHER WRITERS UNDERSTOOD?
That it’s hard, ugly ... oh wait. You all know that, don’t you?

FOR THE WRITER WITH A NEW BOOK, WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE BEST THING TO PROMOTE IT?
I don’t know the answer to that. I’ve tried everything, including spending thousands on a wonderful publicist. And I still am not sure what a writer can do that will make a difference.

I’ve enjoyed internet promotions. For Outriders, we created an online aptitude test to see what role one might fill in serving the new Ark. I don’t know that it sold any books but readers have enjoyed it. (Birthrighters.com)

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND JOINING AN AUTHOR GUILD LIKE ITW?
If you have the time to participate -- definitely. It’s hard to keep up relationships and promotional efforts, and still keep writing. A writer needs to choose one or perhaps two organizations, and be fully involved. I made the mistake of scattering my efforts and all I’ve reaped is a lot of self-imposed guilt at not doing enough!

OF ALL THE FINE AUTHOR ORGANIZATIONS AVAILABLE, WHAT ABOUT INTERNATIONAL THRILLER WRITERS DO YOU FEEL SETS IT APART?
They "get" how to promote. It’s an excellent model for niche promotion. And professionally presented.

BONUS: THE MUNSTERS OR ADDAMS FAMILY?
How I wished the bonus was "YANKEES or RED SOX?" But if I must ... Addams Family for sure. Not even a choice. (The proper question would be: "John Astin or Raul Julia?" For me, it’s Raul Julia hands down. And could Christina Ricci’s Wednesday be any creepier?)

* * *

Many thanks to Kathryn Mackel! Visit her online at KathrynMackel.com. Her novel The Hidden is available from Amazon and other fine retailers.

Related links:
KATHRYN MACKEL, PT 1
KATHRYN MACKEL, PT 2

Sign up for the FREE "Thriller Readers Newsletter" and keep up with the latest profiles, news and reviews in the world of thriller fiction. Subscribers are also entered to win FREE BOOKS!

More ITW links:
Q&A: ROBERT LIPARULO (Comes a Horseman)
Q&A: VICKI HINZE (Bulletproof Princess)
Q&A: THOMAS O'CALLAGHAN (Bone Thief)
THRILLERFEST 2006
ITW SPOTLIGHT ON CHRIS WELL (ME)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

JOIN THE CLUB

As I pursue my new career as a novelist, we have started this email list to help everybody stay posted. If you would like to receive announcements, news and reminders throughout the year, sign on up!

ITW: KATHRYN MACKEL, PT 2

Continuing our Q&A with thriller novelist Kathryn Mackel, best-selling author and acclaimed screenwriter for Disney and Fox. She also writes fantasy novels and children's books.

Her thrillers include The Hidden, The Surrogate and The Departed. Kathryn is also a member of International Thriller Writers, Inc.

* * *
PART TWO

WHAT ARE YOUR WRITING HABITS?
Ugly. I try to write a couple hours every morning, a couple more mid afternoon, and maybe one or two after supper. Like most writers, I can be distracted by a moth fluttering on the window. And though we’re empty nesters, I can manage to find laundry at a moment’s notice.

When I’m under deadline, I need to leave home to write. A friend has a beach home in Maine that I borrow. Or, if I can’t leave the state, I often go to my church—a little New England building—to write.

ARE YOU AN "OUTLINE" WRITER OR A "MAKE IT UP AS YOU GO" WRITER?
Both. I work from a general outline. But every few chapters, I rework it. What I try to do is outline in detail four chapters at a time. Because I began life as a screenwriter, I use the ‘three-act’ structure to build my stories.

ARE YOU A FULL-TIME NOVELIST?
Yes. Though I still pick up screenwriting work when I can.

WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU HAD "MADE IT"?
I “made it” with a script sale. Screenwriting supported me for the first five or six years of my career. (I’ve been writing full-time for ten years now). I switched to novels because it is a much more satisfying process. I haven’t “made it” yet. I still have to hustle for contracts.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ASPIRING WRITERS?
Write, even when you’re not inspired. Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. Don’t be afraid to rip apart your book and start all over. Writing is like our Christian walk ... we need fire to burn away the dross. That can hurt but what emerges is something precious.

Read and LEARN as you read. Pick the masters of the genre you’re writing in and see how they structure chapters, reveal plot points, present their characters. But be sure to find your own voice. And that goes back to rewriting to find the gold.

I had sold five children’s novels (HarperCollins) before I wrote my first adult novel. I struggled with pretentious prose, decided I would fail horribly. Then I just fell back on my kids’ voice…because it’s me. And I let the process transform that voice, rather than trying to create a new voice.

* * *

Come back tomorrow for the conclusion of our Q&A. Meanwhile, visit Kathryn Mackel online at KathrynMackel.com. Her novel The Hidden is available from Amazon and other fine retailers.

Related links:
KATHRYN MACKEL, PT 1
KATHRYN MACKEL, PT 3

Sign up for the FREE "Thriller Readers Newsletter" and keep up with the latest profiles, news and reviews in the world of thriller fiction. Subscribers are also entered to win FREE BOOKS!

More ITW links:
Q&A: ROBERT LIPARULO (Comes a Horseman)
Q&A: VICKI HINZE (Bulletproof Princess)
Q&A: THOMAS O'CALLAGHAN (Bone Thief)
THRILLERFEST 2006
ITW SPOTLIGHT ON CHRIS WELL (ME)

ON TO IMPORTANT THINGS ...

TVShowsonDVD.com reports that the short-lived comedy series Police Squad! (which led to the Naked Gun movies) and the animated Star Trek are both coming to DVD in November.

Monday, May 29, 2006

ITW: KATHRYN MACKEL, PT 1

For the next three days, we turn the spotlight on thriller novelist Kathryn Mackel, a best-selling author and acclaimed screenwriter for Disney and Fox.

Her thrillers include The Hidden, The Surrogate and The Departed. Kathryn is also a member of International Thriller Writers, Inc.

* * *

PART ONE

WHO ARE YOUR LITERARY INFLUENCES?
Reading Ted Dekker and Brandilyn Collins was instrumental for wooing me to Christian suspense fiction. On the secular side, I’d like to learn to write like a John Sandford (Lucas Davenport books), without the profanity and over-the-top violence.

WHO ARE YOUR PHILOSOPHICAL INFLUENCES?
Madeleine L’Engle. I’d love to say C.S. Lewis, whom I adore. Though I was an English lit major, I’ve lost enough brain cells so Donald Miller is a lot more accessible to me. Same with Charles Williams, who is spectacular but makes me feel downright uneducated.

I like anyone who makes me think in a way I’m not used to—as long as their information and argument has integrity.

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ANYONE SAID ABOUT YOUR BOOKS?
I just got an email from a reader who said The Hidden was the best book they ever read. Angie Hunt blessed me when she said she almost missed a plane because she was reading it. (They had to page her.)

But what I’m still longing for is an email that says, “Wow. You helped me see Jesus.”

WHAT IS THE WORST THING ANYONE SAID ABOUT YOUR BOOKS?
The Publishers Weekly review of The Departed said, “Squeamish readers might want to look elsewhere.” I suppose they’re right.

People meet me and say, “How does such a nice lady like you write these scary books?” I suspect many of us who write edgy Christian fiction are “nice.” It’s the security of faith and family that allow us to peek out over the edge.

HOW MANY BOOKS DO YOU READ A MONTH?
A better question would be how many magazines do I read a week? I read Entertainment Weekly, World, Sports Illustrated, Hollywood Reporter ... cover to cover.

I used to read two newspapers every day but my husband finally got fed up with the Boston Globe’s distortion of the truth. (I do miss their sports section ... )

* * *

Come back tomorrow for the second part of our Q&A. Meanwhile, visit Kathryn Mackel online at KathrynMackel.com. Her novel The Hidden is available from Amazon and other fine retailers.

Related links:
KATHRYN MACKEL, PT 2
KATHRYN MACKEL, PT 3

Sign up for the FREE "Thriller Readers Newsletter" and keep up with the latest profiles, news and reviews in the world of thriller fiction. Subscribers are also entered to win FREE BOOKS!

More ITW links:
Q&A: ROBERT LIPARULO (Comes a Horseman)
Q&A: VICKI HINZE (Bulletproof Princess)
Q&A: THOMAS O'CALLAGHAN (Bone Thief)
THRILLERFEST 2006
ITW SPOTLIGHT ON CHRIS WELL (ME)

Saturday, May 27, 2006

"THE GOLDEN AGE" REDUX


To make it more convenient for readers, my short story "The Golden Age" is now available in three different flavors:

Read Online
Download PDF
Print Ready

In this self-contained excerpt from Deliver Us From Evelyn, Detective Charlie Pasch disobeys orders to save his local comic book store from the mob ...

Friday, May 26, 2006

SUMMER OF CHRIS WELL

Most of the time, I post like three items a day about movies or DVDs or artificially flavored cheese snacks. (Well, actually, that last one has never come up—but I always meant to post something about that.)

But for the past few days, my brain has been on hypermarketing overdrive—that's what it takes for an up-and-coming young(ish) novelist to make it in these competitive days. That's why instead of the usual frivolous media reports, recent posts have been about TRY CCM MAGAZINE FOR FREE!!! and 10 (MORE) REASONS TO GO "OVER THE HEDGE" and FORGIVING SOLOMON LONG: 2006 RETAILERS CHOICE AWARDS! and (this is going to come up a lot) FIRST FRIDAY: DELIVER US FROM EVELYN.

I have been spending all my creative energy planning out ways to get Deliver Us From Evelyn (Harvest House) in front of more people.

In the next two weeks alone: A radio interview on June 1 (which you can listen to online), the "first chapter" event on June 2 (almost 30 sites signed on so far, and counting), and my very first public signing on June 10. (I'll share specific details about each of these next week.)

Then we have a super-secret event coming up later in the summer—even my own street team does not know about this yet. (We'll probably break the news for that in July.)

Then we have a second, even-more-super-secret event coming up in the fall. (This one will probably be announced September or October.)

And now I find myself already scheming up ideas that will start rolling the first of next year—leading up to the publication of my third novel, scheduled to hit bookshelves March 2007.

The downside? I find myself sliding and sliding further and further behind with said Novel #3. But I find myself caught up in trying to market #2, so that there will be more demand for #3. (I wonder, will this hamster wheel ever get easier?)

Of course, you're probably more upset that it's been days since I posted anything about DVDs. (Such as, for example, this.)

FIRST FRIDAYS

On JUNE 2, blogs, websites and MySpace pages all over are joining together to post the first chapter of my new novel, DELIVER US FROM EVELYN. (See a sample entry here.)

If YOU want to take part: By Monday, tell me your NAME, the name of your SITE or BLOG, and the URL so you can be included in the press release.

If this goes over well enough, we could make a regular event of it, promoting a different author every month.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Q&A: MINDY STARNS CLARK, PT 3


Today we conclude our conversation with mystery novelist Mindy Starns Clark, author of the "Million Dollar Mysteries." Her "Smart Chick Mystery" series includes The Trouble With Tulip and Blind Dates Can Be Murder (Harvest House Publishers).

* * *

PART 3.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Get spelling, punctuation, and grammar out of the way and then learn POV, pacing, and story construction. I see so many manuscripts that don't even have the basics right! If you want to be published, first make sure that the mechanics aren't getting in your way—then and only then are you ready to start telling really great stories that will end up in print.


What one aspect of God do you most hope your readers will take away after reading one of your books?
I hope they'll see that a relationship with God is an all-day, every-day sort of thing—and that God's desire is for us to live in complete surrender.


What one thing about writing do you wish non-writers understood?
Bottom in chair, hands on the keyboard. Bottom in chair, hands on the keyboard. Bottom in chair, hands on the keyboard. Day after day after day. Writing is hard work. Period.


What one thing about writing do you wish other writers understood?
That there's not one right way to write a novel. So many writers will tell you "just hammer out a rough draft, don't edit as you go", but I'm incapable of that type of writing. I simply MUST edit as I go. It works for me, so that makes it okay.


For the writer with a new book, what do you consider the BEST thing he or she can do to promote it?
If I knew the single best way to promote a book, I could make a fortune! Unfortunately, marketing is a scattershot deal, and you never know what's going to work. I've tried to hit it across the board: personal appearances, direct mail, conventions, book signings, cold calls, internet promotion, reviews, etc. I sure wish I knew the best thing, 'cause then I would only do that. As it is, most writers I know do a little bit of everything.


BONUS: “The Munsters” or “The Addams Family”?
Neither. I was always more of a Gilligan's Island kind of girl. :)

* * *

Many thanks to author Mindy Starns Clark! Visit her online at MindyStarnsClark.com and read her recent interviews at Cruse'n With Lonnie and the Harvest House site. Blind Dates Can Be Murder is available from Amazon and many other find retailers.

Q&A: MINDY STARNS CLARK, PT 1
Q&A: MINDY STARNS CLARK, PT 2

Related links:
CHRIS WELL ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS!
Q&A: GINNY AIKEN (Decorating Schemes)
Q&A: HOPE LYDA (Altar Call)
Q&A: CRESTON MAPES (Full Tilt)
Q&A: BRANDILYN COLLINS (Web of Lies)
Q&A: TASHA ALEXANDER (And Only to Deceive)
Q&A: LONNIE CRUSE (Murder In Metropolis)

INTERVIEW ARCHIVE

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

HOW DO YOU SPELL RELIEF?

If you write short fiction, J. Mark Bertrand has joined the staff of Relief Journal, a new Christian print journal that makes its debut this fall. (Actually, this is true whether you write short fiction or not.) The first issue of Relief: A Quarterly Christian Expression is due out in November.

Q&A: MINDY STARNS CLARK, PT 2


Continuing our series with mystery novelist Mindy Starns Clark, author of the "Million Dollar Mysteries." Her "Smart Chick Mystery" series includes The Trouble With Tulip and Blind Dates Can Be Murder (Harvest House Publishers).

* * *

PART 2.

How many books do you read a month?
One or two. Sad, I know, but now that I'm writing full time I find that there's not enough room in my brain for reading as well.


What are your writing habits?
On good days, I'm at my desk by 8 a.m. and I write straight through until the kids get home at 3 p.m. On not-so-good days, I'm busy handling the other aspects of my career (paperwork, marketing, public appearances, etc.) plus being a mom of two teenagers, which takes more time and effort than I ever expected!

With every book, I go away by myself for a week or so at a time, to concentrate solely on the writing. Thank goodness my husband is so supportive and is willing to handle the home front while I'm gone. Usually, I'll do this at the beginning of a book—to plot it out and create my outline—and again at the end—to read what I've done and make sure it all pulls together nicely.

So I guess you could say my writing habits are fairly uneven, but I'm able to do what it takes to finish a book, which is the most important thing!

Are you an “outline” writer or a “make it up as you go” writer?
I have Adult ADD, so I have to use an outline; otherwise I might wander around for several thousand pages before I reached the end. Basically, I'll hammer out about a 20-page version of the entire novel, nothing structured, just a "she does this, then this happens, then he does that" sort of thing that tells the story from beginning to end.

When my outline is finished, I print it out and set it next to my computer, and that's what I use for my guide each day as I write. Sometimes the minor details and order of events will vary, but by and large I stay pretty consistent with what I've mapped out.


Are you a full-time novelist?
Yes, and I love my job!


How many books did you write before you could go full-time?
Thanks to my husband, I only had to replace a small part-time income, so the day I got my first advance is the day I quit doing anything but writing. It's hard enough to juggle writing with mothering, being a good wife, and doing church work. I don't think I could hold down a second job as well, though I greatly admire those who do.

* * *

Come back tomorrow for the conclusion of our conversation. In the meantime, visit Clark online at MindyStarnsClark.com and read her recent interviews at Cruse'n With Lonnie and the Harvest House site. Blind Dates Can Be Murder is available from Amazon and many other find retailers.

Q&A: MINDY STARNS CLARK, PT 1
Q&A: MINDY STARNS CLARK, PT 3

Related links:
CHRIS WELL ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS!
Q&A: GINNY AIKEN (Decorating Schemes)
Q&A: HOPE LYDA (Altar Call)
Q&A: CRESTON MAPES (Full Tilt)
Q&A: BRANDILYN COLLINS (Web of Lies)
Q&A: TASHA ALEXANDER (And Only to Deceive)
Q&A: LONNIE CRUSE (Murder In Metropolis)

INTERVIEW ARCHIVE

Monday, May 22, 2006

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE


Today is the birthday of Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930). Read his biography here.

SHERLOCK HOLMES: PAGE TO SCREEN

Q&A: MINDY STARNS CLARK, PT 1


For the next three days, we are featuring mystery novelist Mindy Starns Clark, who started her career writing plays, musicals, textbooks, comedy routines, short stories, articles, speeches, catalog descriptions, marketing and PR copy—before breaking into Christian fiction. The author of the "Million Dollar Mysteries," she has also recently launched the "Smart Chick Mystery" series, the first two volumes of which are The Trouble With Tulip and Blind Dates Can Be Murder (Harvest House Publishers).

* * *

PART 1.

Are you an “entertainer” or a “minister”?
I began writing as an entertainer, and my choice to do Christian fiction was purely an editorial one. I simply found that my characters seemed more real and easier for me to envision as I wrote about them if they grappled with matters of faith. (If God is the center of my life, how can I flesh out characters who don’t even mention God?)

After several books were out, however, I began to realize that people were being ministered to through my stories. I also began to feel convicted about my own spiritual growth—i.e., if I'm leading the way for others, shouldn't I be growing spiritually myself? I began concentrating on the spiritual disciplines such as prayer, study, and fasting, and through doing so God began to use me in much more powerful ways. Now I consider myself a minister first, entertainer second. The way I tell my stories is the same, but my goals, prayers, and aspirations are different. So is my heart.


Who are your literary influences?
To see writing at its best, I study the works of Kate Chopin, Michael Connelly, Frank Conroy, Earnest Gaines, Jodi Picoult, Anne Tyler, Eudora Welty—and I'm sure there are more I'm not thinking of. Of course, my work doesn't hold a candle to any of the above, but I do find that my writing is better when my reading is better, if that makes sense.


Who are your spiritual influences?
There are a lot!

I greatly admire the ministries of Steve Arterburn, John Townsend and Henry Cloud. Information I've gleaned from their books and their radio show has shaped much of my own work.

My favorite radio preacher is Pastor Paul Shepherd of Enduring Truth, and I also enjoy listening to Nancy Lee DeMoss, Chuck Colson and Chuck Swindoll.

For reading, I love Max Lucado, Pam Farrell and Joni Earickson Tada.

For daily devotions, I use My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers.

On the home front, I have an amazing pastor, a neat small group, and a wonderful church. Add to that a loving, Christian husband and two wise Christian parents and I guess you could say God has me covered on all sides!


What is the best thing anyone said about one of your books?
My favorite review says "Mindy Starns Clark may be the one to bring mystery to the forefront of Christian publishing." I loved that! I read it just before dinner and when it was time to wash the dishes, I said to my husband, "Sorry, I don't do dishes; I'm busy bringing mystery to the forefront of Christian publishing."

On a more personal level, a fan once wrote to say that by studying my character Callie Webber, she learned how a mature Christian woman should conduct herself, especially with regards to purity before marriage. If my fictional character can serve as a flawed but sincere example for a real person, then I know God is using my work in ways I could never have imagined.


What is the worst thing anyone said about one of your books?
A man wrote to tell me that my books were "okay, but you should write more like Ed McBain." Hmmm …

* * *

Come back tomorrow for the second part of our conversation. In the meantime, find Clark online at MindyStarnsClark.com. You can also read recent interviews with her at Cruse'n With Lonnie and on the Harvest House site. Blind Dates Can Be Murder is available from Amazon and many other find retailers.

Q&A: MINDY STARNS CLARK, PT 2
Q&A: MINDY STARNS CLARK, PT 3

Related links:
CHRIS WELL ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS!
Q&A: GINNY AIKEN (Decorating Schemes)
Q&A: HOPE LYDA (Altar Call)
Q&A: CRESTON MAPES (Full Tilt)
Q&A: BRANDILYN COLLINS (Web of Lies)
Q&A: TASHA ALEXANDER (And Only to Deceive)
Q&A: LONNIE CRUSE (Murder In Metropolis)

INTERVIEW ARCHIVE

Friday, May 19, 2006

ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONS! (PART TWO)

The readers asked the questions and best-selling suspense novelist Brandilyn Collins got the answers: Part Two of her Q&A with me is now posted at her blog, Forensics & Faith:

Part 1
Part 2

Related links:
Q&A: BRANDILYN COLLINS (Web of Lies)
ITW: ROBERT LIPARULO (Comes a Horseman)
Q&A: CRESTON MAPES (Full Tilt)

INTERVIEW ARCHIVE

Thursday, May 18, 2006

ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONS!

Brandilyn Collins recently conducted a Q&A with me over at her blog, Forensics & Faith -- and opened up the floor to questions from her readers. The results: Forensics & Faith: Chris Well Interview--Part 1

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

FROM PLOT TO PRINT: THE MAKING OF A NOVEL

Here is a question left over from my recent Q&A at Brandilyn Collins' blog, Forensics & Faith:

Q: Chris, I loved Forgiving Solomon Long. From concept to print ready, what does your novel writing process look like?


With the Kansas City stories, I start with the inkling, the idea that is sort of going to serve as the spine of the novel:

A hit man is haunted by a preacher’s dying words.


An eccentric billionaire is missing and his tyrant wife is more worried about running the company than in finding him.


I start to think about what some of the ramifications might be, and how some of the various characters will intersect with and interact with this story. Each character is going to have his or her own agenda, or his or her own personal stake in what is going on. At this point, it’s a lot of scribblings in a spiral notebook.

During this phase, I also start writing down conversations between the characters. I find that one way to help me explore them and learn about them is to put them in a room with another character and start an argument. Sometimes the end result will show up in the final draft, sometimes not. Either way, I have learned something about both characters.

And as I get to know the characters, their own subplots start to bubble to the surface. Then I write up character descriptions and a summary of the various plots as I expect them to turn out.

Somewhere in here, I start working up the marketing copy, for lack of a better phrase. For me as a novelist, this is the target in my head. But this copy will turn up later, too, when the publisher is working on the back cover copy.

I was in progress for the second and now the third book when the publisher asked for a different title. I have found that the new title we end up with also plays into the feel of how the novel is written. WHERE IS BLAKE? became DELIVER US FROM EVELYN, and that meant the target shifted a little. As a result, I wrote a different novel.

We have just changed the title of my third novel. The first title was dark and scary, even though the novel is going to be kooky. The new title carries more meanings—it is both dark and bright. I suspect that Detective Charlie Pasch will likely make a big deal about the new title.

I want the novel to be paced in a certain way, so I actually make a document where I number the chapters and start to drop in where I think the various events need to hit. I tend at this point to write in three acts, so I make sure all the major twists take place at the one-third and two-thirds marks. I also try to spread the subplots around in such a way that we rotate among the various characters evenly.

Then I do the actual writing. If I have any material that drops in later, I’ll put in the chapter earmarked for it. But otherwise, I start at the beginning and write a chapter at a time.

As I get in deeper, I find myself rethinking things. All of the structural stuff I did in advance is just a guideline—and I may shuffle around some of the planned plots, I may find characters moving in a different direction than I expected.

At the one third point—my first set of major plots twists—I stop and do a revision and evaluate what I have. With Deliver Us From Evelyn, I got to the one-third point and decided I had too much going on, and pulled one entire subplot altogether. Several times through the first draft, I may stop and revise and rework what I have.

Even after I get a draft, I will revise that once or twice before I show it to the publisher. In my years as a magazine editor, I have found a rule of thumb—which turns out to be true for me as a novelist, too—is that your first draft is about 20-percent fat. If you want your document to be a certain word count, your first draft needs to be 20-percent larger. Then, as you pull out the fat, you should end up with the right words count. Since my Harvest House contract calls for 80,000 words, I shoot for 100,000 words in my first draft.

Of course, a novel is so much larger than a magazine article, that you can’t be as precise. As a result, Forgiving Solomon Long ended up 75,000 words, and Deliver Us From Evelyn 85,000.

Working with my editor, we may add or subtract certain elements, fill in any gaps or add some scenes to change the tone of the novel.

Somewhere in here, I am presented with the back cover copy, which is loosely based on the summaries I have provided at the beginning. We’ll tweak those a bit. With each novel, I learn a bit more about what may or may not work. The cover copy of Forgiving Solomon Long does a poor job of describing the contents—and I am as responsible for that as anybody.

And even later, after I have had some time to live with it, I may ask for changes. When the Evelyn galley came in, I cut like three chapters and an additional 10 pages to tighten it up. I added a couple of scenes, too.

It’s like they say, there is no great writing—there is only great rewriting.

COMICS ON TRIAL

Another comic book retailer is on trial based on an apparent misunderstanding. Publishers Weekly reports here.

By the way, the Charlie subplot in Deliver Us From Evelyn—available as a free download, "The Golden Age"—is inspired by a true case.

Related link: DEFENDING COMIC BOOKS

(MORE) CHRISTIAN SF/FANTASY BLOG TOUR

Our friend Mir is giving away the FIREBIRD trilogy as part of the Christian SF and Fantasy blog tour. If it is not too late, go post your comment at Mirathon.blogspot.com now!

Related link: BLOG TOUR: CHRISTIAN SF AND FANTASY

"DA VINCI" AT CANNES: NOT SO GOOD

Apparently, the film adaptation of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code met with a cold reception at the Cannes film festival—even among critics who liked the book.

'Da Vinci Code' meets with catcalls (CNN)

The Da Vinci Code secret is out: critics hate it (Reuters)

Critics cold as The Da Vinci Code secret is out (Reuters)

Ron Howard Answers 'Da Vinci' Critics (AP)

Related links:
DA VINCI CODE: MORE WRONG THAN YOU KNOW
THE "DA VINCI" DOC
DITCHING "DA VINCI"
DON'T "DA VINCI" -- GO OVER THE HEDGE
DA VINCI: THE CONSPIRACY GAME

Monday, May 15, 2006

THRILLER: THE BOOK

The first anthology from International Thriller Writers now has its own site. Thriller offers 32 heart-pumping tales of suspense from some of the most critically acclaimed and award-winning names in the business. From the signature characters that made such authors as David Morrell and John Lescroart famous to four of the hottest new voices in the genre, this blockbuster will tantalize and terrify.

Go to the site to learn all about the book, all about the authors, and to see how you can listen to some of the stories online for free.

More Thriller Writer links:
Q&A: ROBERT LIPARULO (Comes a Horseman)
Q&A: VICKI HINZE (Bulletproof Princess)
Q&A: THOMAS O'CALLAGHAN (Bone Thief)
ITW SPOTLIGHT ON CHRIS WELL (ME)

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BLOG TOUR: CHRISTIAN SF AND FANTASY

Throughout the day, bloggers are uniting to highlight the genres of Christian fantasy and science fiction.

BLOG TOUR: Christian Fantasy and SF (Christian Worldview Fiction)

FOCUS ON CHRISTIAN FANTASY (Christian Fiction Review)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

NOMINATED!


HEY!


I have just been informed that my debut crime thriller, Forgiving Solomon Long (Harvest House Publishers), has been nominated for Christian Retailing's 2006 Retailers Choice Awards in the "Mystery/Suspense" category!

Huzzah!

Here are all the mystery/suspense nominations (check this out—I am the only debut author on the list):

The Assassins
Oliver North, Joe Musser

(Broadman & Holman)

Dead Man's Rule

Rick Acker

(Kregel Publications)

The Ezekiel Option

Joel C. Rosenberg
(Tyndale House)

Fighting for Bread & Roses

Lynn A. Coleman
(Kregel Publications)

Forgiving Solomon Long

Chris Well
(Harvest House)

The Last Judgment

Craig Parshall
(Harvest House)

Last Light

Terri Blackstock
(Zondervan)

Qi

David Aikman
(Broadman & Holman)

Congratulations to all the nominees. Buy one (or all) of these titles at your local Christian retailer today!

Related links:
FORGIVING SOLOMON LONG: TOP 10 AT BOOKLIST!
FORGIVING SOLOMON LONG: THE ENDORSEMENTS
FORGIVING SOLOMON LONG: THE REVIEWS

Saturday, May 13, 2006

DA VINCI CODE: MORE WRONG THAN YOU KNOW

Here, we have been up in arms about the historical and theological errors in The Da Vinci Code—but it turns out that the author got a lot of the technical and geographical stuff wrong, too.

Related links:
THE "DA VINCI" DOC
DITCHING "DA VINCI"
DON'T "DA VINCI" -- GO OVER THE HEDGE
DA VINCI: THE CONSPIRACY GAME

MYSPACE, URSPACE

For those who keep track of such things, I do have a MySpace page. So far, though, the blog is just a place to repeat key entries you have already seen here.

LEARN WHAT WORDS MEAN, PEOPLE

To all you UFO conspiracy theorists out there:
It's Official: UFOs Are Just UAPs
The British government conducts a thorough, and thoroughly secret, investigation into unidentified flying objects, concluding that UFOs are probably unidentified aerial phenomena. Ufologists remain unconvinced. Nigel Watson reports from Plymouth, England.
You see, here's the thing: The word "unidentified" means "I don't know what that is." The SECOND that you IDENTIFY it as a "flying saucer," it is NO LONGER "unidentified."

That is all.

ITW: MORE FROM LIPARULO

Novelist and fellow member of International Thriller Writers Robert Liparulo has extended his seven-book contract with WestBow to 10 books. This on the heels of a major movie deal for Comes A Horseman with Hunt for Red October producer Mace Neufeld. Liparulo's second novel, Germ, which deals with biological warfare and designer viruses, releases in October.

The three new books in the 10-book contract form the "Legacy Trilogy." The novels, tentatively titled Recoil, Recon and Return, will be published in 2008 in four-month intervals.

More Thriller Writer links:
Q&A: ROBERT LIPARULO (Comes a Horseman)
Q&A: VICKI HINZE (Bulletproof Princess)
Q&A: THOMAS O'CALLAGHAN (Bone Thief)
ITW SPOTLIGHT ON CHRIS WELL (ME)

Sign up for the FREE "Thriller Readers Newsletter" and keep up with the latest profiles, news and reviews in the world of thriller fiction. Subscribers are also entered to win FREE BOOKS!

THE "DA VINCI" DOC

This weekend, "The Coral Ridge Hour" is airing the documentary The Da Vinci Delusion. Author and minister Dr. D. James Kennedy leads more than a dozen experts and scholars in a fact-checking expedition May 13 and 14, testing Da Vinci Code claims against evidence from history and the Bible. For more info, go to DaVinciDelusion.org.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that top cardinals bemoan "the religious ignorance they say fuels worldwide interest in the best-selling novel."

Related links:
DITCHING "DA VINCI"
DON'T "DA VINCI" -- GO OVER THE HEDGE
DA VINCI: THE CONSPIRACY GAME

Friday, May 12, 2006

GINNY AIKEN, PT 3

And now for the third and final installment of our correspondence with novelist Ginny Aiken. Her "Deadly Decor" mystery series includes Design on a Crime (2005), Decorating Schemes (March 2006) and the upcoming Interior Motives (August).

* * *

PART 3.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
It’s almost too dumb, really. They need to read, read, read as much as they can get their hands on, and not just the kind of book they want to write.

The other so-called "secret" is to just sit down and write. You get better at the process only by doing it over and over and over again. Practice may not make perfect, but it will make you pretty good.


What one aspect of God do you most hope your readers will take away after reading one of your books?
There are actually two. First and foremost, is that He’s always there ready to welcome you back to His unending love, comfort, and grace. Reconciliation is only a prayer away. The other thing I hope readers take away from my writing is that God has a great sense of humor. Let’s face it, the God who created humans with all our quirks and foibles has to know how to laugh.


What one thing about writing do you wish non-writers understood?
That it’s hard work. Sometimes when I’m on a writing tear (that’s when the images flash through my mind super-fast, and my fingers can barely keep up), I’ll shut down the computer and crash—literally. I’ll be so drained, yes, even physically, that I’ll sleep for a couple of hours before I’m able to do anything else.


What one thing about writing do you wish other writers understood?
I don’t think it’s so much a matter of what I wish they understood, but rather what I wish they remembered more often. It’s easy to forget how hard it is to be on the outside looking in.

The aspiring writer struggles to break in, and too often a published author doesn’t keep in mind how it felt to be in their shoes. A word of encouragement is priceless.


For the writer with a new book, what do you consider the BEST thing he or she can do to promote it?
I’ve done the whole promo postcard/bookmark/local and not-so-local book-signing thing, and I’ve come to one conclusion. Unless the writer is on a major, publisher-sponsored book tour, the best thing he/she can do is to write the next really good book.


BONUS: "The Munsters" or "The Addams Family"?
Ah ... if you’re asking me to compare mine to those families, then you’re out of luck. Our insane crew defies description. Let’s just say that as the mother of four sons, I also have an assortment of more than a hundred of their friends who at one point or another have called me mom.

Besides that, our days are ruled by two spoiled dogs and a four and a half ounce Sun Conure. What is a Sun Conure, you ask? It’s a colorful, beautiful, but insanely screechy loud parrot. And I’m a writer on deadline. Peace and quiet, anyone?

* * *

Many thanks to ouir guest! Ginny Aiken's Decorating Schemes (Revell) is available at Amazon and other fine retailers.

Q&A: GINNY AIKEN, PT 1
Q&A: GINNY AIKEN, PT 2

Related links:
Q&A: CRESTON MAPES (Full Tilt)
Q&A: BRANDILYN COLLINS (Web of Lies)
Q&A: RANDY SINGER (Self Incrimination)
Q&A: TASHA ALEXANDER (And Only to Deceive)
Q&A: LONNIE CRUSE (Murder In Metropolis)

INTERVIEW ARCHIVE

BOOK TRAILERS

A growing number of books are being marketed with video trailers. (Ted Dekker started doing this a few novels ago, and Marvel Comics tried it briefly a few years ago.) Publishers Weekly reports:

The Book Standard is trying to generate interest, and an audience for, video book trailers. At an event last night in New York the VNU-owned website unveiled three 30-second video spots for titles provided by Bantam Dell. The summer books—Richard Doetsch's The Thieves of Heaven, Alexander Masters' Stuart: A Life Backwards and Cody McFadyen's Shadow Man—were given to film students at a smattering of schools across the country with the directive to make a compelling visual to entice readers to buy the book.

Watch the winning trailers here.

Suspense novelists with promo videos on the Web include my friends Eric Wilson and T.L. Hines. (And, no doubt, more to come.)

YOU (STILL) ASK THE QUESTIONS!

Still time to take part in the Brandilyn Collins/Chris Well interview! Post a question for me here, or email a question here. I'll be answering your questions all weekend -- about the art, about the business, about the craft -- and Brandilyn will post the results next week. Thanks for your help!

"WAIT -- SHOULDN'T THIS BE A HUGE SECRET?"

The new arc continues with #95 of The Miller Sisters, the online comic strip created by my wife, Erica Well. Julia's inherited superpowers are revealed ... but what does she do now?

(If you don't see the latest strip, click the "refresh" button on your browser.)

Listing at Onlinecomics.net

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Q&A: GINNY AIKEN, PT 2

Continuing our online conversation with novelist Ginny Aiken. The latest book in her "Deadly Decor" mystery series is Decorating Schemes:

Design job? Check. General contractor/sparring partner? Check.
Dead body, mystery to solve, and guilty suspicion? Check, check, and check.

Haley Farrell is getting her life under control. She's got a great design business, a successful auction house, and loving friends and family. But finding a dead girl on the patio is not a good way to start a decorating job -- especially when your general contractor is the main suspect. And the body is only the beginning.

Haley sets out to solve the crime. Even though she finds Dutch Merrill infuriating, she can't believe he's involved. But with the karate chop cop, Lila Tsu, watching every move and the neighborhood "Jessica Fletcher" constantly under foot, will Haley be able to free Dutch? Or will she paint herself into a very dangerous corner -- with a murderer lying in wait?

* * *

PART 2.

How many books do you read a month?
Far fewer than I’d like to these days. I spend so much time writing and researching that I’m lucky to read two or three books a month. That’s down from an average of one book a day right before I put my rear in the chair and started down this writing road eighteen years ago.


What are your writing habits?
Pretty boring, actually. I hit the office after I finish my coffee, after my husband and sons head out the door. Most of the time, I work until around three o’clock, when I have to get to the bus stop to pick up my youngest. If I’m on a tight deadline, I’ll put in a couple more hours in the evening. If things get really bad, those hours stretch into the wee ones of the morning.


Are you an "outline" writer or a "make it up as you go" writer?
I work from my synopsis to develop an outline on index cards. But no one other than me would consider what I scribble there an outline. It’s more like a few key words to steer me in the direction the story needs to go. As far as my characters go, they develop on the fly.


Are you a full-time novelist?
Yes. I have been for about ten years. I’m also a full-time mom. Only my oldest is married and on his own. He and his wife are about to make me a grandmother—couldn’t resist sneaking that in. I’m thrilled!


How many books did you have to write before you were able to go full-time? (When did you know you had "made it"?)
I was a full-time, stay-at-home mom when I started to write. I’m also blessed with a husband who encouraged me during the years before I earned enough to cover even my supplies.

On the other hand, I doubt I’ll ever feel I’ve made it. I’ve never focused on the business side of this, so the chance to reach as many readers as the Lord wants me to is what matters most. On those terms, I doubt I’ll ever ‘make it.’ There’ll always be another reader out there who might be blessed by the story God has me tell.

* * *

Come back tomorrow for the conclusion of our series. Decorating Schemes (Revell) is available at Amazon and many other fine retailers.

Q&A: GINNY AIKEN, PT 1
Q&A: GINNY AIKEN, PT 3

Related links:
Q&A: CRESTON MAPES (Full Tilt)
Q&A: BRANDILYN COLLINS (Web of Lies)
Q&A: RANDY SINGER (Self Incrimination)
Q&A: TASHA ALEXANDER (And Only to Deceive)
Q&A: LONNIE CRUSE (Murder In Metropolis)

INTERVIEW ARCHIVE

YOU ASK THE QUESTIONS!

Best-selling suspense author Brandilyn Collins is conducting an interview with me on her blog, Forensics & Faith. But here is the catch: YOU ask the questions! Go on over to her site for the introduction, and post your questions in the comments section!

Suggested topics of discussion:

- The challenges of writing crime fiction for the Christian market
- The challenges of writing Christian stories for a crime fiction audience
- Where the Kansas City Blues series is headed
- Art vs. Ministry

Related links:
Q&A: BRANDILYN COLLINS (Web of Lies)

INTERVIEW ARCHIVE

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Q&A: GINNY AIKEN, PT 1


Former newspaper reporter and ballerina Ginny Aiken discovered books at a very early age, writing her first novel at age 15. She is the author of the "Deadly Decor" mystery series, plus a frequent speaker at women's events and writers' conferences. Ginny lives with her husband and four sons in York, Pennsylvania.

* * *

PART 1.

Are you an "entertainer" or a "minister"?
I’ve always seen my writing as a ministry. I’m always amazed by how deeply the words I put on paper can and do affect readers. Some of the letters I’ve received have brought me to tears of humility and thanksgiving. I hope to always be mindful of the responsibility this kind of work carries. On the other hand, I hope I entertain my readers. After all, I’m most known for the humor in my books.


Who are your literary influences?
Way too many to list, but I’ll mention a few. With a B.A. in literature (French and Spanish, and a minor in English) I have to go back to Shakespeare. He always tells a great story. Of course, Jane Austen is a favorite, and, thanks to my dad’s love of a good mystery, Agatha Christie owns a lot of territory on my bookshelves.


Who are your spiritual influences?
A very personal one is my grandmother. She was a woman of deep faith, especially in the face of terrible circumstances. Two very public ones are Billy and Ruth Bell Graham. They have a strong marriage based on their love for Christ.


What is the best thing anyone said about one of your books?
A reader wrote to tell me that after she finished my book, she dug up her previously buried Bible, started to read it again, and returned to church. She’d been ‘lost’ (her word, not mine) for about a decade. A writer can’t ask for more than that.


What is the worst thing anyone said about one of your books?
Although I have my sprinkling of less-than-stellar reviews (most writers rack up a few) I’ve only received one negative reader letter. This reader said the book didn’t hold her attention and she didn’t finish reading it. Since she took the time to write to the author of a book she didn’t like, I have to wonder what that means! That book was one of my most humorous stories, so I’ve decided to assume she wasn’t in the mood for a smile that day.

* * *

Come back tomorrow for part two. Her latest mystery is Decorating Schemes (Revell), available at Amazon and many other fine retailers.

Q&A: GINNY AIKEN, PT 2

Related links:
Q&A: CRESTON MAPES (Full Tilt)
Q&A: BRANDILYN COLLINS (Web of Lies)
Q&A: RANDY SINGER (Self Incrimination)
Q&A: TASHA ALEXANDER (And Only to Deceive)
Q&A: LONNIE CRUSE (Murder In Metropolis)

INTERVIEW ARCHIVE

FAVE FINALES

Suddenly, everybody is talking about their favorite final episodes of TV shows (including writer Mark Evanier,writer Lee Goldberg, critic Kevin D. Thompson, and critic Rachel Cericola).

My own favorite series finales:

Angel
Newhart
Mary Tyler Moore
Cheers
Frasier
Everybody Loves Raymond
Arrested Development
Dallas
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Endings I particularly did not like:

Seinfeld
M*A*S*H
Friends
Magnum P.I.
Coach

CALL ME THE ANSWER MAN

Friend and best-selling suspense author Brandilyn Collins is going to feature me on her popular blog, Forensics and Faith. Tomorrow -- if all goes according to plan -- she will invite readers to submit their own questions for the interview.

She tends to update her blog pretty early in the morning, so feel free to drop by bright and early.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

SPREAD THE WORD

If big-selling novelists have taught us anything, it is that word-of-mouth is the most effective promotion of all. It is more important than any advertisement, more important than any press release.

As you should know by now, I have a lovely new zany crime thriller on sale in stores coast-to-coast, Deliver Us From Evelyn (Harvest House). It has only been available a few weeks, and early reviews are great.

If you want to help spread the word (I promise to remember you when I am famous), here are some helpful things you can do:


1)
Talk up Deliver Us From Evelyn on your blog or website. (Send me a link and I will send readers your way.)

2)
Email your friends and family and tell them to print out this form and take it to their local bookseller.

3)
Email your friends and family and encourage them to order the novel online from Amazon.com or Christianbook.com or one of the many other fine online retail stores.

4) Encourage your local bookseller to carry Deliver Us From Evelyn on their shelves.

5) Post a review of Deliver Us From Evelyn on Amazon.com or Christianbook.com or one of the many other fine online retail stores.

6) Create an Amazon Listmania! list and include Deliver Us From Evelyn.

7) Encourage your church bookstore to carry Deliver Us From Evelyn.

8) Encourage your church's book discussion group to discuss Deliver Us From Evelyn.

9) Ask your local library to carry Deliver Us From Evelyn.

10) Do some amazing thing that gets you on ABC's Good Morning America. When Diane Sawyer asks about your amazing story say, "Enough about me, Diane, let's talk about Deliver Us From Evelyn."

This is just for starters, of course. And I know you can also think of some lovely and helpful ideas—you are ever so smart and talented! As always, thank you for your support.

(My name is Chris Well and I approve this message.)

Related links:
DELIVER US FROM EVELYN: HIT THE STREETS
ITW SPOTLIGHT ON CHRIS WELL (ME)

Monday, May 08, 2006

THE CONSPIRACY GAME

L.A.-based screenwriter, director and author Brian Godawa has created his own response to the rampant untruths of The Da Vinci Code—make fun of it. His six-minute film "The Conspiracy Game" takes the form of a gameshow in which three contestants are told the truth, and then challenged to come up with their own twisted conspiracy.

"I'm not a fan of boycotts," notes Godawa, "so after hearing the concerns of many in the faith community I decided to write and direct a piece that illustrates the fact that so many attacks on God and religion are often projections of one's own personal prejudice or political agenda, which is ironic because that is what religious people are most often accused of."

He says that while Da Vinci may be an interesting work of fiction, it's historical and theological validity is on the level of UFO abductions, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. But more significantly, it is like the hate-filled "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," written by an anti-semite to "expose" a non-existent conspiracy of a cabal of Jews to take over the world.

"Demonizing conspiracies like these tend to feed irrational bigotry against religion," Godawa says. "The game show was a fun way to get at the insane ideas that the book purports to present as fact. Dan Brown is a fiction writer, but when he claims to impart historical facts is when he gets into trouble. The difficulty with the film and the book is that he cleverly mixes fact, fiction and anti-Christian bigotry. Our short film will help bring that prejudice out onto the table for discussion."

For a limited time, Godawa's film can be downloaded free at TruthSeekerFilms.com.

Related links:
DITCHING "DA VINCI"
DON'T "DA VINCI" -- GO OVER THE HEDGE
DEBATING "DA VINCI"
THE "DA VINCI" HOAX

Saturday, May 06, 2006

"COOL!! I KNOW A SUPERHERO!"

The new arc continues with #94 of The Miller Sisters, the twice-a-week online comic strip created by my wife, Erica Well. Julia's inherited superpowers are revealed ... but what does she do now?

(If you don't see the latest strip, click the "refresh" button on your browser.)

Listing at Onlinecomics.net

Related links:
NEW COMIC: THE DEN
NEW COMICS AT STUDIOWELL
A NEW VOICE IN THE BLOGOSPHERE

JUNE 10: BOOK SIGNING & RECEPTION

My first official public signing is coming up in June. There will be a special reception and signing June 10, 2-4 p.m., at The Way Gallery & Art Studio, 6600 Highway 100, in Nashville. More details as we get closer.

Friday, May 05, 2006

MEET CRESTON MAPES ONLINE!


Infuze Magazine
blogger Brian Palmer passes along this info:

Suspense novelist Creston Mapes, author of Full Tilt (Multnomah), is doing a live online chat tonight at 9 p.m. (ET). Hosted by the Dancing Word Writers Network, he'll be talking about making a living as a writer, and about Dark Star, Full Tilt and The Rock Star Chronicles. Details here.


Related links:

Q&A: CRESTON MAPES (Full Tilt)
Q&A: BRANDILYN COLLINS (Web of Lies)
Q&A: RANDY SINGER (Self Incrimination)

INTERVIEW ARCHIVE

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

ELVIS SIGHTING: TENNESSEE TOURISM

A new tourism campaign finds Elvis in the driver's seat, with Dolly Parton along for the ride. From Adweek:
Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton are united through the magic of digital technology to promote tourism in their home state of Tennessee. Chandler Ehrlich, an independent shop in Memphis, Tenn., conceived the ad, which marks the first time an image of Elvis has been digitally altered to appear with another celebrity. The spot uses a 10-second scene from the 1967 Elvis film, Clambake.

See the whole story here.

MAKING THE BIG (STAR)BUCKS

Nearly every news outlet has picked up the "we want to promote movies!" part of this story ("A Small Step at Starbucks From Mocha to Movies") but few seem to have noticed that Starbucks is also announcing its intent to start publishing its own books:
Mr. Schultz said he was also considering self-publishing books for Starbucks stores. "I want to bring books to the marketplace that perhaps can't be found," he said, citing "The Kite Runner," a novel about an Afghan boy that won a huge readership through word of mouth, as an example of the sort of content he would seek. "There's no reason to believe we can't be a self-publisher."

I am sure publishers and booksellers are not thrilled to hear about this, but it does make a kind of sense. Something about sitting in a Starbucks does lend itself to writing ...

Monday, May 01, 2006

BROADWAY BOUND: "GET SHORTY"


Here is a phrase I thought I'd never say: Get Shorty is headed for Broadway.

The Hollywood adventures of ex-mobster Chili Palmer, as detailed in the classic zany crime novel by Elmore Leonard and adapted to the screen in the hilarious film starring John Travolta, is being retooled into a Broadway musical—by the same team also taking The Wedding Singer and Elf to the stage.

From Playbill:

Lyricist [Chad] Beguelin previously told Playbill.com, "We're currently writing a musical version of Get Shorty, which is completely different from [The Wedding Singer]. It's another movie where I went, 'I love this movie. I adored the book.' I went in to Clear Channel, which had a deal with MGM, and I said, 'I want to do Get Shorty,' and they thought I was crazy.

"But it's like City of Angels, it's like Guys and Dolls - mobsters making movies. We wrote a song for them called 'The Girl with the Scream,' and we sent it to them, and they said yes. And, then we had to get Elmore Leonard to say yes, so we sent him the song, and he said yes. We've got most of Act One done and about half of Act Two."

Die Laughing: Funny Crime and Mystery Fiction

SHE'S THE SHERIFF!

A woman with a complicated past returns home to become the small town's new sheriff. Best Mann For The Job is by the writer/artist team of Chris and Erica Well. Read it from the beginning at StudioWell.com. Watch the trailer on YouTube.