Friday, August 19, 2011

LICKING WOUNDS ~ By Absolutely*Kate

By ~ Absolutely*Kate

I had a puppy named Happy. Happy was a be-everywhere, but mostly real close right-at-your-barefeets-in-summertime kind of wagging-his-love-where-he-rambled dog. The summer I was sixteen he sat beside me on the bottom cement patio step when a couple of tears did that slow-motion slide from a first love about something or other that might've not gone right the date the night before. I don't remember the date or what might've gone wrong, but I don't forget a Happy dog that didn't leave the side of a sad girl in summertime. The next day, everything must've gone right with lovin' and livin', 'cause Happy followed me through the big back yard to the garden at the long white fence where I picked daisies, roses and blue bachelor's buttons. Nothin' like a summer bouquet when you're feeling as Happy as your trusty dog's name. Those are the days that give a life well lived a certain center of meaning.

All our dogs were named Happy, from the time when I was two to sixteen and probably even beyond that. Good-natured Aunt Barb would come to visit and wonder right out loud why our dog lived so long. The last Happy I remember was some kind of combo spaniel and full-fledged pal to all ends. He led a dog's life in a dog-eat-dog world with a family who flourished like summers tend to do ~ brighter lights, more warmth, and constant growing. You know, like the way colours collide in a garden out back by a long white fence.

 Love and laughter, as corny/cliche as it sounds,
 is the best nourishment for 
a good happily ever after, after all.

 There were five of us kiddos who grew and knew Happy at our sides, nippin' at the spokes of trikes and two-wheelers going up our dead-end street to meet friends and take on adventures. We grew up in all our own stories that friends, adventures and a laughing family with a Happy dog made possible. We're spread across this big ol' country now. We're figgerin' out how to go about our new sense of happy 'cause we lost our hero, our core, our Dad, last summer. Our Mom was his sweetheart from when she was just nineteen. Imagine that! Valiantly, she took on the home and the gardens and the friends and the family that came to call with casseroles and concern at the house where Happy used to live. Through the empty NFL fall and the brittle playoff winter she rooted for herself and Dad's Steelers, but her heart finally caved. That's what solitude of loneliness can do in a house where Happy used to live. Dad's Steelers made it to the SuperBowl. Mom didn't make it to Mother's Day. Like Happy though, each of us five kids made it to her side when feelings or healings needed ~ well, a sense of understanding, as close as one could get. Memories adhered. Knowings without words passed within, the kind emanated to last through all our ages.

Happy went into the woods like loving dogs who are part of a laughing family do when it came the time for him to end his time on this earth. There's a kinder nature that comes outta love and loyalty. Natures like that lick wounds so loved ones don't have to sensate so much suffering. 

Paul and Fran, together again
I thought grieving Happy not coming back from his woods and grieving Dad and Mom not coming back from their hospitals would show me how to know nature's subsidings. I did all the right take-care-of-stuff, said all the right words to splendid caring folks giving empathy's way.  I did the tending to's that parents who taught by example to fully appreciate a life well-lived would be proud of, and in my creative have-no-bounds imagination, Happy would still wag at the edges of my sensibilities, tucked into my side on the warm summer bottom cement step to the backyard which nourished spirit and soul.

Recently, I've gone into the proverbial woods ~ barefoot through sun splotches on a back deck back in Connecticut after fonding my final farewell to the Ohio homelands. I took two days, fully alone, first sick and then better . . . me and the sun, with a sense of happy at my side . . . thinkin' 'bout all the family,  friends, Ohioland neighbors and good-gumption author folks who were all along the journey down a deadend street headed back into adventures.

There's something to be said for giving in to licking wounds. You come out of your  woods not ever the same person.

It's good. 

This was me, writing
 to you to say,
 "Thanks, for being around".

You wanna go run or throw a ball or take an adventure with me or somethin'?

Happy Good ol'Summertime,

~ Absolutely*Kate

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN . . . "MARY & HARRY, QUITE CONTRARY?" ~ Sleuth Sanderford on the Scene


Mary & Harry?
Quite Contrary?

~ Sleuth Sanderford on the Scene


brings you behind the scenes of the hot new summer show folks are hepped up, talkin' about:

"If it's Tuesday, it must be Take The Money And Run," Absolutely*Kate quipped Harry's way, watching the click, click, clackity click of the shiny smokin' silver remote.

Harry had that big grinnn spin on his chin, you know the one -- the kind that does all the preamblin' of a speakout for a rootin'tootin' talented cowboy-surfer writer-guy ... as well as masterful TV-watcher of what's hot and what's not.

Harry B Sanderford knows a shore thing
"Gotcha a little surprise here, Katie*Girl," Harry B. Sanderford drawled. "Did me some direct checkin' out of the new girl in TV-Land, since you and your detective fellows delved into what makes her co-star, that Paul Bishop fellow tick, last show. I plumb think all the good folks who plop themselves mighty comfortable into the red velvet seats AT THE BIJOU are gonna take a hankering to it."

Absolutely*Kate sails - Harry's on deck.

"As usual, Harry's right. Here's this week's show on the show, folks. Watch it Tuesdays on ABC. Have your snacks all spread out by 9. And after his interview, watch Harry catch a wave. Right now though ~ Mary's the latest rave!"


Mary & Harry?
Quite Contrary?

~ Sleuth Sanderford on the Scene

Mary Hanlon Stone is one of those busy beavers that somehow finds a few more hours in her day than the rest of us do. She is a deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County, a best-selling author of the YA hit Invisible Girl, a wife, mother of two and now, co-star/interrogator of the new ABC show Take The Money And Run. I checked out the first and second episodes the last two Tuesday nights and had a few questions that Mary found still more time in her day to answer:

What are you wearing...Oh wait, *shuffle*shuffle* er...sorry, notes for a phone interview I’ll be conducting later.

*shuffle*shuffle*...ah, here we are:

HBS: First of all Mary, congratulations on getting Take The Money And Run to air at all! Judging by the first episodes you seem ready to make a nice run for it yourself but I know it didn’t happen without a lot of hard work. What was your most difficult obstacle?

Mary and Paul give it good in episode 1 - "Oh Brother"
MHS:  My most difficult obstacle was getting over feeling guilty about being aggressive with people who have not done anything wrong.  The contestants are normal, nice people, not “bad guys”.  I am used to being nurturing to the victims I help get justice and only being aggressive with criminals.  I literally cried when we were breaking Paul I felt so bad.

Super Harry, reporting swell
HBS: Speaking of breaking Paul, in the first episode your interrogation tactics really worked on him and his brother Raul. You had them both wanting your approval. So much so, they became almost apologetic when you simply accused them of lying. They are supposed to be lying! The isolation though is what really seemed to work on Paul. At one point it looked like all they had to do was keep quiet overnight and they’d win $100,000, but Paul couldn’t do it. Do you find in your real life cases that younger suspects so used to being constantly in touch electronically, have greater difficulty sitting chilly when left all alone with their thoughts?

MHS:  I do think younger people are used to constant stimulation from electronic connections.  However, the most significant difference between real life and the game is in Take The Money And Run, there are no constitutional protections for the “suspects”.  They cannot tell us they do not want to talk to us.  They cannot exercise their right to remain silent.

HBS: $ilence is golden.

HBS: Surely someone approached Steve Miller about using his song with the same title for the theme music. No love from the gangster of love? What gives?
MHS: Ha, ha!  I can’t say I have met the gangster of love, but if he would like to be a contestant…

HBS: Hear that Steve?

Harry's Q's hit hard
HBS: You’ve proven with your successes that you do not have to choose between law enforcement, writing, or television. But if you had to, which do you find gives you the most satisfaction?

MHS: Oh, you ask the hardest questions!  The only answer I can give you is that my passion is the study of the human condition.  I LOVE figuring out what makes people tick—like, why does a certain person commit a certain crime?  Or, why can some people not commit to relationships?  Why, why, why?    
I live to figure out the whys and the interrelationships between people.  As a DA, I not only get to figure out the “whys” but I get to figure out the whole puzzle of the crime and take care of victims, so I love that job.  As a writer, I can create my own universe of people with motivations, vulnerabilities and problems so I absolutely LOVE that—I have been writing my whole life and it would be like cutting off a limb to stop.  Being on Take The Money And Run allows me the challenge of a puzzle, like a real criminal investigation and the challenge of connecting with a person who doesn’t want to connect with me.  I honestly can’t choose which I love best because they are all so satisfying on intellectual and emotional levels.
HBS: So, you’d like to direct...kidding, nice job on the, “Which child do you love most?” query.

HBS: The third episode of Take The Money And Run airs Tuesday night on ABC. I’m hoping for somewhat more challenging Hiders this time. I’m not rooting against you, just hoping to see you and Paul dig deeper into your bag of tricks. Were you to handcuff me to the briefcase, I think I have my game plan figured out. You must have given it some thought. Tell me, how would you do it?

MHS:  Of course I have given it some thought!  I already have a plan.  And it is foolproof, but, as they say, if I told you, I’d have to kill you and then I’d get arrested and convicted and I really have no time to waste being in prison!  So, sorry, can’t give out my secret.
HBS: Ha ha, that’s ok then, you keep that one under your hat.  I’ll stick with my plan; maybe see if Steve Miller wants to team up.

HBS: Thank you so much Mary for joining me AT THE BIJOU and sharing a little bit of what makes a girl like you a girl like you. I wish you continued success in all your endeavors and I’ll be tuning in Tuesday nights.


Watch Mary Hanlon Stone thwart 'Hiders' 
who Take The Money And Run ... Tuesday nights, ABC @ 9


Mary's book, invisiblegirl
is available at booksellers, nationally

Novel next is  ~  The Comedown Life, 
coming out next year


Super Interview Mary & Harry!
~ Absolutely*Kate
and our ritzy staff of renown
Where Writers' Raves are Readers' Faves

Monday, August 1, 2011


~ Sleuth Absolutely*Kate


^  C L I C K   A N D   S E E  ^

You know the score. You've heard the hoopla. A lot comin' down on the streets don't escape your awareness. No sirree bub. That LAPD detective and author of deft tellings, Paul Bishop, has himself a spiffy new TV show. ABC on Tuesday night. Don'tcha dare miss it. Makes reality TV as thrilling as dodging bullets from a moving train in the dark of the night again. So keep your peepers peeled.
And say? How would you stash some cash? Let's think in briefcases full of $100,000, shall we? Unmarked small bills? Not sure, but this is reality TV so it's the keen green, if you know what I mean. Put it away cold for 48 hours while takin' on the heat from hard-driving-their-points home interrogators with a lot going on under the old fedora. Could you do it? Could you? Watch on ABC, beginning Tuesday, August 2 at 9pm. See if that palooka Paul and his lovely lively partner, magnificent Mary can get those canaries to talk.

TALK? Wonder if I can get that big lug Bish to dish ~ Yes, the very same feller who runs BISH'S BEAT of pulp fiction, Rat Pack razzamatazz, spy guys and the 60's scene sensations. He's a star on his own risin' horizon . . . LAPD detective -- author -- and soon a TV star who even Sheriff Andy of Mayberry could take a shine to. Why, he's 3, 3, 3 sleuths in one.

Better call in the big guns
     for help on this case:  

So Bish,
Shoot straight.
Are you going to turn out to be the hero of your own life?

 Sam I’m not so sure about this hero stuff – I’m just a guy in love with a girl (or whatever other Mickey Rooney / Judy Garland reference you want to make).
Seriously, I’ve been really lucky to be able to do the two things professionally I love best – putting words on paper and putting villains in jail.  And now I get to co-star in a TV show on a major network.  It doesn’t get much better.

Why this show Mr Bishop?
What segment of your psyche let it slide out to better churn on the high interests of your vast viewing public?

 Detective, you know sometimes it is all about being in the right place at the right time.  Six months before getting tapped for this show, I’d been pitching a TV series about a team of elite interrogators going around the country solving crimes to a VP and her staff at Bruckheimer Productions.  As part of the pitch, I did a mock interrogation of the VP, which really put her on the spot and made her feel a little of the heat of what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a professional interrogator’s questions.  
Bruckheimer Productions eventually passed on the series pitch, but the interrogation part of the pitch had left an indelible impression on the VP.  So, when it came time to look for an interrogator to actually play the part of an interrogator for Take The Money And Run, the VP immediately picked up the phone and dialed my number – right place right time.

Hmmm, zat eees quite an eenteresting observation Paul, I may call you Paul?
Now, detective to superior detective, precisely what percentage of hiders vs seekers do you theenk are going to get away with the dash of how they stash the cash?

Inspector, that’s hard to say without giving away too much.  Hiding the briefcase is the easy part.  Not giving away its location for 48 hours is a lot tougher than most people would think.  However, if I were a betting man, I’d be putting my money on the briefcase being found.


Books, let's get back to books.
Surely a clue as to how expertise covers a wide realm?
What say you Bishop?
Are your talents elementary?

Precisely, Inspector Holmes. I’ve been a professional writer for as long as I’ve been a cop.  The careers have simply run parallel and in some ways fed off each other.  I’ve had ten novels published, written a dozen hours of episodic television, and a produced feature film.  Now, with the publicity from Take The Money And Run, all of my titles have been given fantastic new covers and reissued as e-books – look for them on a Kindle, a Nook, or a Smashwords reader near you.
Most of what I write has been police/mystery related – especially my novels featuring LAPD homicide detective Fey Croaker.  One critic described them as “Prime Suspect meets Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct,” which was a great compliment.
As well as police thrillers, I’ve written westerns (Shroud of Vengeance), sports novels (Penalty Shot), and amateur sleuth mysteries (Suspicious Minds).  I’ve often said, if they would pay me to write the back of cereal boxes, I’d be writing the back of cereal boxes.  To make a living as a writer you have to be adaptable.

Writing is work.  I love ‘having’ written, but creating stories and putting the words down on paper is mostly hard slog.  You have to be driven to do it, to tell your stories, to get the characters and situations whirling around in your head into a readable form.  There are the rare days when everything flows easily from your fingertips to the keyboard, and they make a lot of the others worthwhile.
Whenever I’m stuck on a plot point or trying to figure out what happens next in a story, I go running.  I’ve run every day for most of my life -- I still grind out five to eight miles every day.  So, the act of running is second nature, my physical body going through well recognized motions, allowing my subconscious to free itself to be creative.  Works every time.

Yes, the creative subconcious. Works every time.
Just one more thing Bishop -- Just how much are your protagonists like -- someone you know you know?

Well Lieutenant, most of my protagonists start out with parts of my personality in them – even Fey Croaker – but as they grow on the page, they begin to morph into someone distinctly different.  There is still a little spark of me hidden deep inside, but they become very individual.

Paul, you're the kind of fellow who comes out from behind a shady typewriter who I could swap shots between drinks with or drinks between shots with, but tell me -- 
Could YOU get away with Taking the Money and Running?

Marlowe, writers are professional liars, so I think it would be a cataclysmic explosion – Bish, the immovable writer as professional liar, up against Bish, the unstoppable interrogator.  Of course, we might just join forces and disappear into the sunset.

Paul, you have to be always ruminating. 
With no holds barred, what would be 3 potential projects or publishings you'd make happen faster than some roscoe could flimflam a 45?

With e-books changing the face of publishing, it’s finally a time to be able to write books for niche audiences – and be able to reach them.  Coming in August Mike, I have a new book, Felony Fists, that is part of a series, Fight Card, I created with two other writers under the pseudonym Jack Tunney.  These are tales of the boxing underworld in the ‘50s told in ways that emulate the boxing tales of Robert E. Howard that appeared in Fight Stories and other sports pulps.
There is no way a traditional publisher would have taken a chance on these stories.  However, these are tales we are passionate about telling – and today we can do it and reach an audience who will appreciate them.
Next up, capitalizing as I can, is a new series from me under the banner, The Interrogators. Look for the first book in January.
Then, no holds barred, the big screen version of an existential, experimental, incomprehensible, best-selling autobiography I haven’t written yet.

Mr Bishop, you sure were ready for your closeup.  Thanks for the insights me and the boys detected from this interview. 
The evidence points to a great show Tuesday night at 9 eastern on ABC. I'd wish you and Mary Hanlon Stone good luck, but it's a foregone conclusion you're already a class act to contend with. Isn't that right Mary? ----- Miss Mary?

Thanks Kate, for letting me stay in the shadows behind the red velvet curtains AT THE BIJOU
This is quite a snazzy place you have here. A suspicious crew of characters too. Now about spilling the beans on my partner to spice up his spotlights?

Okay. Three things about my BFF:  He runs 8 miles a day. He loves jazz and he is one of those guys who will actually go shopping with you and not complain!

ABSOLUTELY*KATE:  Well folks, there you have it ~ Interrogative stars are hitting the big screen TV near you on Tuesday night. Quite likeable and impressive, wouldn't you say? Mary's talents in crime fighting as well as authoring The Invisible Girl are more than a Stone's throw away.

Do strut your stuff back over AT THE BIJOU next week for an interview into what makes the dame of fame of this partnership tick. If you're real lucky, it could be that surfer cowboy of scribing success, Harry B Sanderford, or even the media man who jives in tune to the words he tales, Anthony Venutolo, at the microphone. We'll just have to see who comes out behind the curtain.

This has been an ethusiastic non-shameless plug by a moxie skirt who believes in believers.
 ENJOY YOUR TUESDAYS and know where your briefcases are.

~ Author/Promoter Absolutely*Kate
Where Writers' Raves become Readers' Faves  

Photos from the luminaries' above, ala public promotions,
with a Raymond Chandler paraphrase slippin' outta Marlowe's mug



~ Traveling Time with ~ the butcher, the baker, the cunning candlestick maker AND Albert Einstein?  Keep those peepers peeled!

More Sleuthing next week with

Be there or be square

How would YOU stash some cash? 
Let's think in briefcases full of $100,000, 
shall we? Imagine 48 ensuing hours
 under intensive interrogation. 
You gonna crack or watch your back?
Send your scenario in a flash of a fiction note slipped under the AT THE BIJOU projection room doorway at We'll grandstand those great tales AT THE BIJOU and shine shimmering spotlight on your writing creds. 

Be creative. Beat the Bish.
We double-dog dare you.

~ Absolutely*Kate
and our notorious crew of renown

Just heard that our own author colleague ERIC BEETNER,  crime writer, screenplay master and television guru edited TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN . . . 

Small world that big successes fly in for authors taking ideas to  viewing pleasure screens, huh? You can read more of Eric Beetner's hits AT THE BIJOU right here . . . 

More on One Too Many Blows To The Head and Borrowed Trouble, his own fighters' one-two punch books along with co-author J.B. Kohl,  center the ring at Eric's contemplative writing site (It's like peeking into his latest notebook). Watch the multi-talents of this dynamo's destiny sail in the upcoming HARBINGER*33.