Author's Info Blog

Sharing the things you want the world to know around the literary industry.

The Writer's Life 7/2 - Fore!

After not playing golf at all last year due to concern about my right hip, two things have surprised me. One, the absence of pain (knock wood); two, my ball striking is no different than it was before the hiatus. In fact, it's a little better, and this despite the fact that we've lost five rounds to weather. I expected it to be the last thing to come around, especially since I'm now 62. Surprisingly, age has not yet become a factor. Although my chipping was decent today, I've been struggling with it since Cuz and I visited Ocean City about nine years ago. Don't ask me how it happened. All of a sudden I started hitting the ball with the edge of the club instead of the face, and it got into my head. I dreaded every chip shot and even began to use my putter from off the green....
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The Writer's Life 6/29 - Genius


I've now seen both the Swedish and American versions of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Which is better? I can't say. More than a year passed between viewings. Whose portrayal was better, Noomi Rapaci's or Rooney Mara's? Both were excellent, but I lean to Rapaci's, perhaps because it was my introduction to Stieg Laarsen's great protagonist, Lisabeth Stander. What I don't understand is why the second film was made at all. It doesn't bring much that is new to the story. I wonder if the producers considered bringing the action to the states instead of keeping it in Sweden. Were they restricted by the estate of Laarsen, who passed away from a massive heart attack in his early 50's? Strange. Speaking of strange, the opening credits were bizarre, backed with a cover of Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song. I thought they were ridiculous. A couple of online reviewers deemed them ingenious....
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The Writer's Life 6/28 - Evil

The nature of evil has been much debated. Is it innate or acquired? I don't think it really matters, although I believe a tiny percentage of the human race has a genetic disposition to it. Whatever the case, the evil must be stopped. In today's NY Post, Andrea Peyser's column focuses on the life of ease some murderers have behind bars. The article cited one miscreant in particular, Danny Robbie Hembree Jr., 50, who is on death row in North Carolina for the murder of a 17-year-old girl. He has admitted to killing two others. He recently wrote a letter to a local paper. Here are some excerpts: "Is the public aware that I am a gentleman of leisure, watching color TV in the a/c, reading, taking naps at will, eating three well-balanced meals a day?" "I am a man who is ready to except [sic] his unjust punishment and face...
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BROKEN PROMISE By V. BROWN


As a child Promise Brown lived the life that every girl in the ghetto would have loved to live. Her parents, Sweet Pea and Biggs, were the head of a fledging drug empire that stretched from coast to coast. They were way passed hood rich but refused to leave the hood—the same place that contributed to their downfall. The hood bred jealousy and envy which would ultimately affect the Brown's livelihood.Just when Promise had gotten use to the good life things went downhill. Her parents were arrested and later imprisoned because of a snitch who hid behind false pretenses causing DEFACS to step in and make her a ward of the state.Now all she wants is out! Escaping the clutches of the system, Promise runs back to her old hood. There she runs into her mother's childhood friend's nephew and together they devise a way to get paid.Promise never imagined she...
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Copyright

© Valia Brown

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The Writer's Life 6/26 - Hard-Boiled

Sara Paretsky has written 17 novels. 15 feature intrepid female private eye V.I. Warshawski. I just finished the fifth in the series, Blood Shot (1988). I enjoyed it. The mystery was engaging from the start and the characters were well drawn, particularly the protagonist. While not as hard-boiled and cynical as Dashiell Hammett's Sam Spade or Raymond Chandler's Phillip Marlowe, V.I. is close. She is well-educated, an opera buff. I enjoyed the literary references sprinkled throughout the narrative. The writing was not as polished as I prefer, but that may have been intentional, as the story is a first person account in the words of someone who is not a writer. It may also have been due to my own carelessness. I read much faster than I should. Paretsky's work has been translated into 30 languages. On a scale of five, three-and-a-half. The character was brought to the silver screen in...
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