Monday, September 17, 2007

i've never been arrested...

So... I went to Autumn Cornwell's party. It was a hoot.

But I'm not a stalker.


I have never been arrested for stalking.

In this country.

But I digress. Here's a couple things about the shindig... There were lots of people there, and they were all so NICE. That kind of creeped me out, coming from the West Coast and all. And, remember how I told you I had dinner with the Ben Afflecks? (and I am not supposed to mention Ben Affleck's name again or I'm going to have my kneecaps busted by an angry German woman) Well... Autumn and her husband and baby are like a hundred times more adorable than the family whose names can not be spoken again (or I'll be charged with stalking).

Anyway... my wife won an ultra-cool Carpe Diem tee-shirt. And I won an equally-ultra-cool woven cylinder of reed-like material that does something that I haven't figured out yet because, like my freekin iPhone, it didn't come with instructions. But I'm sure it's cool.

Whatever it is.

And it all made me wonder... What am I going to give out when Ghost Medicine comes out? I am at a loss... so if you have any suggestions, please email them to me. I mean, I can't rightfully give out chewing tobacco or whiskey, so what else is there? I mean, really.

The other thing is that Autumn is just so dang happy and energetic. How can you do that? I told my wife that it must be the burden of writing a book as funny and happy as Carpe Diem. Good thing Ghost Medicine is so serious. Maybe I won't have to smile as much as Autumn does. Maybe I'll invite a bunch of angry and depressed people to my launch party. I know enough to fill the freekin Staples Center.

And I was fooling around with my equally-ultra-cool woven cylinder of reed-like material just now and I practically cut my freekin thumb off with it.

So that's what it does.

HEY!!! Everyone... you must buy and read the ultra-cool and funny Carpe Diem by Autumn Cornwell.

Or else... you know... I know where you live.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


The word "whiskey" appears in Ghost Medicine 32 times. It gets some of the characters in a bit of trouble, though.

I have a fondness for good whiskey. There is nothing more foul than bad whiskey, though. Bad whiskey makes fights and bad dreams happen.

It's not like I'm belting down the stuff right now, but writing about whiskey does kind of make me taste it. And I just drink it straight. Now that's a man's drink. I've never had a Cosmo or Sex on the Beach... I don't even know what goes into those things. So I guess I'm the kind of customer a bartender likes to have. There's no calculations or sloshing sugary mixer stuff all over the place when someone just asks for whiskey.

My favorite brand is Maker's Mark. That's real whiskey. And the folks at Maker's Mark put "Ghost Medicine" on the nameplate of one of their barrels, just for me. That's a picture of it at the top of this piece.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

school's in

My son started high school this week.

No more macaroni-glued Father's Day gifts from him.

It's worse than seeing him go off to kindergarten because I know he will only get corrupted by the vile teenagers he will encounter. He is quite a writer, though. I remember when I was in high school and I told my parents that I wanted to be a writer. It was over dinner (we actually used to eat together in those days, and moms didn't work), and both of my parents spit out what they were eating and said, "But what do you want to do for your real job?"

So I wrote in secret. Until my dearest friend Kel told me to get my shit together.

My son always said he wanted to be a writer. And I never said anything to him about it.

Then when I was offered representation from my most amazing and gifted agent he told me, "Thank you, Dad, for being a role-model to me."

I'm not making that up. It was the best thing I've ever heard in my life. And my kid actually said it to me.

I was never happy with the writing techniques he learned in school. They always put up with the lamest crap from their students, but I shut up about it. But I have been reading the stuff he's been doing in his English Honors class at high school, and I'm thinking this kid's really getting it. He reads constantly; more than I have time for. And he's going to be a hell of a writer one day.

Some dads get thrills over their sons pitching balls or making touchdowns. That's all great stuff, because I love sports too. My dad would have probably been happy if I became an engineer like he was, but that wasn't for me. Yeah, I'm a dad who writes. And I probably wouldn't have gotten back into it after writing copy for newspapers and radio stations if it weren't for all those nights I'd lay by my son and make up stories for him to put him to sleep... and then him saying thank you for being the dream that he has.

Do good in school, son.

I love you.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

ceteris paribus


Sometimes I am such a coward. I don't mind admitting it; personality shortfalls are a writer's bread and butter. Kind of like alcohol and feeling sorry for yourself. Ceteris paribus, the higher one's degree of personality afflictions, the greater the literary talent.

I got another batch of chapters from my editor last week. We're supposed to be finished by October first. 2008 is getting closer; my book's coming out then, it's an election year, and lame-duck politicians are scrambling to find romantic hideaways devoid of porcelain fixtures and urine on the floor.

She writes, "Andrew, These chapters are awesome. Wow."

Well, I don't know about that. I just tell stories that I like to tell. And I try to work slowly on my edits, just so I'll have something to do besides going crazy. I think one of the reasons why I've been crazy the last couple of weeks is that, besides my work on Ghost Medicine, I'm working on two other new projects and revising a third completed novel all at the same time.

I know.

Bad advice.

And I also keep getting hosed by the people I work with in my Stalinistic day job that I returned to after a three-month hiatus. They actually expect me to WORK. I can't figure them out at all. Smith never knits. And I think I have post-departum depression, a condition brought on by not hopping on airplanes and going places really far away. OK, I know... there's no such thing.

I used Latin in this post. Yeah, I'm pretty smart. Woo-hoo. I've even been on Jeopardy! But I got beat by Ken Jennings. Not cause he's smarter than me, though. It's cause I'm old and know nothing about Ben Affleck and J-Lo, and Ken's like sixteen and has the fastest ring-in-buzzer thumb twitch from all those lonely years he's spent cloistered away in his dark and quiet bedroom playing Mario Bros.

I suck at video games. When I play video games I look like President Bush trying to dance Hip Hop.

It's an awful and sad thing to watch. The only thing I'm good at is Wii Tiger Woods. I can beat my ten-year-old daughter at it. Oh yeah. And I tell her, "I own you!!! You know WHY I own you? Because you SUCK!!!!!"

Then she cries.

Well... it's what Ken Jennings said to me over lunch at the Jeopardy! set.

Just kidding. She doesn't cry when I say that.

Even if I did cry when Ken said it to me.

And I used Latin because I got invited (Woo hoo!) to a Hollywood party for Autumn Cornwell. Autumn's book, Carpe Diem, just came out and is in the bookstores. I loved that book, and we loaned it out to so many of our friends when we got the ARC for it. Everyone I know loved it, too. It's hilarious. You can read about it on

Of course, we are published by the same great publisher, and we share the same amazing editor, but I've never met Autumn face-to-face and she promises that she'll sign my copy for me... so it's off to Hollywood for me and the missus.