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Jack Getze's Discussions

France Calls Amazon "Destroyer of Bookshops"
14 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by John McFetridge Jun 7, 2013.

Austin Carr's Blog

Katee Sackhoff Saves TV Show

When LONGMIRE the television series was cancelled last year by a network we won't name, four million viewers cried "No freaking way!" And thankfully, after weeks of negotiation, Netflix stepped into the fan-rescue role, contracting to air the show's fourth season sometime later this year. Filming began this week in New Mexico.

It's a fun show, based on Craig Johnson's mystery novels, which I think of as a combo of cops and robbers plus cowboys and Indians. Longmire stars Australian actor Robert Taylor as Walt Longmire, the nonverbal (strong and quiet) Sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming.

Lou Diamond Phillips, Bailey Chase, Cassidy Freeman and Adam Bartley co-star, as does the lady who graced our pages back in November as Redhead of the Week ...

I know you haven't forgotten Katee Sackhoff.

Well, obviously I can't reveal my sources, but I have it from a major figure concerned with the show* that without Katee onboard, this show was destined for reruns. The first network says they dumped the show because its viewers were too old, an audience profile advertisers didn't like. (I can't imagine why. Geezers like The Famous Author spend money, too.) And having Katee with the show -- she's popular with millions of young men because of her starring science fiction and fantasy roles -- convinced Netflix to stream the new season.

Thank you Katee! Here's her website where you can browse her private store for pictures, autographs and tickets to her various charity events. She works hard and not only for herself. I just sent away for a signed picture ... I hope she thinks I'm a peach.

Click here for Katee's store.

* -- Key words for journalism students are "major" and "concerned with." Could be a director, producer or six-foot, 250-pound fan.

Redhead Still Has Her Smile & The Cash

It's been over seven years since Academy Award-winning actress Nicole Kidman first graced our pages. As Redhead of the Week on Tuesday, November 27, 2007, we reported Nicole ranked among the highest paid actresses in Hollywood. $130 million was the figure Celebrity Networth placed on her net assets. She'd won the Academy Award for Best Actress by playing Virginia Woolf in The Hours, starred in hit movies like Cold Mountain, Fur, The Stepford Wives and Bewitched, plus sold a ton of Chanel No. 5 by appearing in perfume advertising.

Unfortunately, times have changed. Though The Crimes of Austin Carr still loves Nicole -- we are forever loyal to our redheads -- the world of Hollywood has turned. She's too old for the big parts, they say, especially after her latest film "Grace of Monaco" bombed. One British critic -- where she was voted Worst Acress of 2014 -- described the film thusly: "A plucky woman fights to stop the super-rich having to pay their taxes."

Unsuccessful films like Grace of Monaco will not affect Nicole's current net worth but could cut the movie offers.

Born on June 20, 1967, Kidman received her breakthrough in the 1989 Australian thriller, Dead Calm. Performances in To Die For, Days of Thunder, Moulin Rouge and The Hours won her worldwide critical acclaim. In 2003, Kidman received her Star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. Kidman is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and a successful recording artist.

Because she was born to Australian parents in Honolulu, Hawaii, Kidman has dual citizenship of Australia and the United States.

Thanks to Nicole, Wikipedia and Celebrity Networth

Ten Strange Things About TFA

As a reporter for The Los Angeles Times, TFA rode with the Associated Press and The New York Times on an oil tanker (The Arco Juneau) out of Valdez, Alaska. They were loaded with the first oil traveling the Alaska Pipeline from Prudhoe Bay, and were the target of multiple bomb threats -- something they told him AFTER they arrived at Cherry Point, Washington. Way to get the scoop, TFA.

He used to work with the grandson of a very famous New York mafia don.

He once delivered -- in person --  a rich dentist and the dentist's large campaign donation to California Governor Jerry Brown and his rock singer girlfriend Linda Ronstadt. She pretended TFA wasn’t there.

He didn’t get the job once because his shoes weren’t shined. What a dope!

His friends call him TFA (The Famous Author) because he is so NOT famous.

BIG NUMBERS is a conglomeration of exaggerated true stories: Fish drowning fishermen; brokers marrying their rich clients’ widows; men living in cars trying to make alimony payments.

TFA loves things from Mexico, especially Mariachis, chili Colorado and tacos.

He has a sometimes dog and a permanent cat that he grouches at for coming in and out of the snow.

He actually believes the third time is the charm because after two divorces, he tried one more time and has now been married 35 years to the same woman.  
He gets sinusitis every winter when the house heat goes on.

He grows secret vegetables in the wife’s flower garden every summer.

Thanks to Jack Getze for being the butt of this joke.

The Silent Takeover by Mama Bones

I write funny, or screwball mysteries, but I scared myself silly writing Big Mojo, the third novel in my Austin Carr series. Maybe the book really is a thriller. What happened, a supporting character -- Angelina “Mama Bones” Bonacelli -- took over as my favorite writing voice, and that is not supposed to happen. Austin Carr is my chosen speaker, the man whose strange ideas about life found voice inside the devil on my shoulder. Austin’s the star of the show. He talks in first person. It’s his series. Says so on the cover of every book.

Looking back, examining Mama Bones' creation and early appearances, it’s hard to say when and how the change-over occurred. Austin did all the talking in book one, Big Numbers. Mama Bones tickled my funny bone when she showed up in book two, Big Money, by playing out a story I’d heard about one of my wife’s aunts who cheated at a church-sponsored bingo game. In my fictional version of this family story, the cheater — Mama Bones — was the mother of Austin’s boss and tougher than week-old tomato pie. She was hard-edged, owned a sarcastic sense of humor like Austin, but she also had a gigantic heart. And though no scenes were written from Mama Bones’ point of view in either book one or two, I knew she’d be back in Austin’s life.

Why? Because I enjoy making other people laugh, telling stories that crack people up, but I enjoy stories even more when it’s me doing the laughing. Pecking away at that tiny computer keyboard, I like to giggle and hoot while I’m making this stuff up, and I’ve discovered through the comments section of Goodreads and Amazon that if the scene, characters or dialogue make me chuckle or laugh, chances are excellent my fans will enjoy the work as well. Good thing, eh? Or maybe that’s why they’re my fans.

Another reason I knew I’d be coming back to Mama Bones was the wealth of tales I had about my wife’s old aunts and uncles, people now dead. The stories were safe to tell now and way too interesting for this writer to ignore. Thus, I have Mama Bones growing up in the summer resort of Asbury Park where her parents leased special soda-making equipment and illegal betting cards to venders on the Jersey shore, a business begun in the 1920s by her grandparents. Mama Bones’ grandma and grandpa were also political organizers, collecting cash from new Italian immigrants and boardwalk businesses, then delivering the bag money and the local Italian vote to whichever party paid them most.

I wanted to use this background, so in Big Mojo, the third and current series offering, I gave Mama Bones dozens of scenes from her point of view. Like I said, I’m not exactly sure when, but somewhere during the writing of her dialogue and thoughts, she became my favorite character. She was funny, tough and eccentric enough to keep me entertained, verbally abusing her son for being outsmarted by Austin; wondering if she should go for the Sig Sauer 9mm under her pillow; or creating a magic potion to dunk Austin in shark-filled waters.

Yes, I love people that make me laugh, and Mama Bones did the job. I tried her out for a bigger role in Big Mojo and she jumped on it — the whole relationship between her and Austin being funny because the two of them always try to out smart-ass each other. In addition to the humor, though, what gives their interplay a tough edge is underlying tension over Mama Bones’ beloved son Vic, Austin’s partner. Austin can’t be sure of Mama Bones’ intentions — or loyalties. One of Big Mojo’s climactic scenes is probably a good example. I don’t want to give the ending of book three away, but in book four, coming out later this year, Austin briefly recalls what happens in Big Mojo: “And while it is true Mama Bones saved my life several times, the most recent occasion involved only a last minute change of heart, her outlaw hand on a switch that could have ground me into mincemeat.”

I can't wait to find out what she does next.

(The lovely portrait adorning our page today is not actually Mama Bones. Mama Bones is a fictional character and doesn't sit for photographs. I think this is a portrait of my great friend, Carmela Mastria, a lady whose brains and brawn helped me create the Mama Bones character. Or it might also be Aunt Bea.)


Jack Getze

Do Writers Need to Learn?

A former reporter for the Los Angeles Times and the L.A. Herald-Examiner, author Jack Getze writes the Austin Carr Mystery Series, some short fiction, and is Fiction Editor for Spinetingler Magazine, one of the internet's oldest websites for noir, crime, and horror short stories. In 2011 Spinetingler was nominated for an Anthony.

Pulitzer Prize Winner Richard Ford:

"To the extent I know how to write clearly at all, I probably taught myself while I was teaching others -- seventh graders, in Flint, Michigan, in 1967. I taught them with a copy of Strunk & White lying in full view on my desk, sort of in the way the Gideons leave Bibles in cheap hotel rooms, as a way of saying to the hapless inhabitant: 'In case your reckless ways should strand you here, there's help.' S&W doesn't really teach you how to write, it just tantalizingly reminds you that there's an orderly way to go about it, that clarity's ever your ideal, but -- really -- it's all going to be up to you."

It recently came to The Famous Author's attention (Somebody called him a "clown") not every writer holds in high regard THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE, Strunk and White's classic guide to "plain English." TFA was shocked. After he was given a desk and a typewriter, TFA's only other first-day gift as a reporter for The Los Angeles Times was a copy of Elements, and a warning to learn and follow its principles.

But do writers of fiction, especially "literary" authors, have to worry about Strunk and White's guidelines? You read what Richard Ford said. Pretty sure you could call him a writer of literature. Here's how William Strunk, Jr. (1869–1946) starts his Introductory:

"This book is intended for use in English courses in which the practice of composition is combined with the study of literature. It aims to give in brief space the principal requirements of plain English style."

S&W is about clarity -- telling the reader exactly what you mean, showing what you want him to see and hear. Maybe writers don't have to follow rules. But they should know what those rules are, and why they exist, before breaking them. Strunk put it this way at the end of that Inroductory:

"It is an old observation that the best writers sometimes disregard the rules of rhetoric. When they do so, however, the reader will usually find in the sentence some compensating merit, attained at the cost of the violation. Unless he is certain of doing as well, he will probably do best to follow the rules. After he has learned, by their guidance, to write plain English adequate for everyday uses, let him look, for the secrets of style, to the study of the masters of literature."

Thanks to Richard Ford, William Strunk, E.B. White, and Amazon


Jack Getze's Blog

All Kinds of Mystery Prizes Today

Posted on May 4, 2013 at 1:50am

Who is This Man and Why is He Smiling?

Meet Dan Brown, whose new novel, THE LOST SYMBOL, drops today with a print run of five million copies. Wow. No surprise, of course, as his previous novel, THE DA VINCI CODE, is the bestselling hardcover adult novel of all time. 81 million copies in print.

THE LOST SYMBOL will once again feature protagonist Robert Langdon. Brown’s longtime editor, Jason Kaufman, Vice President and Executive Editor at Doubleday said, "Nothing ever is as it… Continue

Posted on September 15, 2009 at 10:45pm — 1 Comment

Redhead of the Week is Hot, Hot, Hot

Firestar (Angelica "Angel" Jones) is a fictional mutant superhero in the Marvel Comics universe. She can generate and manipulate microwave radiation, creating intense heat and flames. She can also fly. In the comics, Firestar has been a member of the Hellions, the New Warriors, and the Avengers. In the cartoon from which she originated, she was a member of the X-Men and, later, of the Spider-Friends.

Firestar was originally created for the… Continue

Posted on August 26, 2009 at 12:19am

Anybody Else a Sherlock Fan?

If so, you have to try this new promotional website.

Fill in the five gray boxes with the password, IRENE, and you will hear and see Warner Bros. video for the new Holmes movie set to open Christmas Day.

If you're a Holmes fan, you know the password IRENE remembers Irene Adler, the woman who once tricked Sherlock into revealing the…


Posted on August 23, 2009 at 1:30pm

Latest Activity

Stephanie Assa left a comment for Jack Getze
"Hello Dear, How is everything with you,I picked interest on you after going through your short profile and deemed it necessary to write you immediately.I have something very vital to disclose to you,but I found it difficult to express myself…"
Oct 17, 2014
Jack Getze replied to Kerry J Donovan's discussion Book promotion sites
"Are you a journalist being fair? Or an under-discovered author trying to be noticed? I see no reason not to ask family, friends, and fans to help you. It's not like they could make you rich or famous or even well-read -- it's a starter…"
Jan 29, 2014
Jack Getze replied to Kerry J Donovan's discussion Book promotion sites
"This is worth reading: The Fussy Newsletter Getting those early reviews A common frustration I hear from many of you is that it's tough to get the first 10 reviews in order for your books to be eligible for consideration on The Fussy Librarian.…"
Jan 27, 2014
Jack Getze and Kerry J Donovan are now friends
Jan 27, 2014

Profile Information

New Jersey Shore
About Me:
Currently Fiction Editor of Spinetingler Magazine, Jack Getze spent fifteen years covering national economic news for the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, and the London Times. His two crime novels, BIG NUMBERS and BIG MONEY, feature New Jersey stockbroker Austin Carr. www.jackgetze.com
I Am A:
Reader, Writer, Editor
Books And Authors I Like:
Anything and everything by Elmore Leonard, Robert Crais, Thomas Perry, Carl Hiaasen, Janet Evanovich. Old School: Edgar Allan Poe, A. Conan Doyle, Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, Dashiell Hammett, John D. MacDonald.
Favorite Novel: Hound of the Baskervilles, or Thomas Perry's "Sleeping Dogs"
Movies And TV Shows I Like:
Godfathers 1 and 2. Casablanca, The Big Sleep, The Deer Hunter, The Unforgiven. TV: I'm a cop show and Star Trek junkie, but The Sopranos was the best series ever. Right now enjoying Dexter, and trying to catch up with The Wire.

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At 9:52pm on October 17, 2014, Stephanie Assa said…

Hello Dear,

How is everything with you,I picked interest on you after going through your short profile and deemed it necessary to write you immediately.I have something very vital to disclose to you,but I found it difficult to express myself here,since it's a public site.Could you please get back to me on(stephanie.assa@yahoo.co.th)for the full details.
Have a nice day.

Stephanie Assa.

At 3:04am on April 20, 2013, Tim Griggs said…

Thanks for the invitation, Jack. That makes you my first CrimeSpace friend! Let me know what you think of the books, if you get the chance to pick one or two of them up.

At 12:33am on July 20, 2012, I. J. Parker said…

Jack, we might suit each other.  I usually exchange chapter by chapter or story by story, never more than 30 pages, and I use track changes.  I need someone honest, and I tend to be pretty darn frank myself.  My feeling is that you take what you can use and ignore the rest.

At 2:06am on September 7, 2011, I. J. Parker said…
Actually, I've been your friend all along! :) I always like what you have to say.
At 11:43am on March 15, 2011, Tanis Mallow said…
Hi Jack! Thanks for the invite. Currently on vacation (Vancouver/Whistler - it's rainin') will respond to your e-mail when I get a sec. See you around Crimespace and Spinetingler...
At 3:13pm on September 14, 2010, Copper Smith said…
Remember Goofus and Gallant?
Read all about Goofus's drift to the dark side in 'Always the bad example.'
At 8:20pm on July 8, 2010, Lindy Cameron said…
Thanks for the 'friending' Jack.
At 6:15am on May 2, 2010, Mike Dennis said…
Thanks for the invite, Jack. See you on Crimespace.
At 6:33am on April 16, 2010, B.R.Stateham said…
Jack--I see you have a new avatar. Makes you look more 'successful authorish.' How's that for a term, eh?
At 2:19am on January 25, 2010, Kris Neri said…
Thanks for the friend-invite, Jack.

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