Monday, July 24, 2006

I Blog, Therefore I Am...

By Paul

Why do we blog? Isn’t it an act of towering ego to think that others give a hoot about our musings? Well, yes. But the same is true about writing a novel. It takes some chutzpah to hammer out 100,000 words in the belief that anyone will notice, much less like your work.

I don’t know about my fellow bloggers, but I am always plagued by doubts. Usually, it’s midway through the damn thing that I start to hate it.

I can’t finish it. If I do, critics will hate it, no one will buy it, and my career will be over.

Somehow, at the beginning of the third act, everything comes together. Not always, but usually.

All that is a prelude to what Dave Barry calls “strumpeting” your work. I have a book coming out September 1. It's Kill All the Lawyers, a mass market original from Bantam, the third in the “Solomon vs. Lord” series. Today, "Publishers Weekly" gave the book a starred review, and tonight I’m opening a blue-and-white hand-painted ceramic bottle of Clasé Azul tequila. That’s right, tequila, not champagne. The smooth reposado, liquid silk going down.

And here’s the review that has me sipping the agave:

This clever, colorful thriller from former attorney Levine (The Deep-Blue Alibi, etc.) focuses as much on the age-old conflict between Mars and Venus as on delivering legal wisecracks and page-turning suspense.

Miami defense attorney Steve Solomon and his partner in law and love, Victoria Lord, rarely see eye to eye. He bends the rules, and she plays by the book; he wants to buy a house, but she dreams of high-rise living. Housing is the least of their problems, however, when Steve's former client, convicted killer Dr. William Kreeger, discovers that Steve lost his case on purpose. The threats start with a 300-pound fish dangling from Steve's door and quickly escalate.

But how does one outwit a lethal psychologist with a genius IQ? Levine ratchets up the tension with each development but never neglects the heart of the story-his characters. The wily, rough-around-the-edges Steve, the Manolo-loving Victoria or Steve's anagram-obsessed and utterly endearingnephew are each drawn with a fine hand, making them feel more like friends than figments of Levine's imagination. As a result, readers will leave this series entry with the hope that many more will be forthcoming.

Well, I hope so, too. I've posted the first chapter of Kill All the Lawyers on my website.



  1. Plagued by doubts? Moi? I'll answer that a resounding YES. And never more than when I finish one book and am faced with starting another as I am now. I always think: I can't do this again. I have nothing more to say. I guess writers blog to know that we're not alone in this.

    Congrats on your starred review! As one of your legions of fans, I'm delighted for you but not at all surprised. Today stars, tomorrow #1 on the NY TIMES list.

  2. GREAT NEWS ABOUT PW!!!! Good for you!!!!!!

    And Doubt is my middle name, right after Puke and Angst. It's kind of long if you try to monogram it on anything.

  3. Ever have a teacher paste one of those gold stars on your paper?
    This is the same feeling. Way to go, Paul.

  4. Oh, cool. Another Paul-book coming out soon. Since I own *all your other books* I'll be first in line to buy this new one :::making note to self to be first in line on Sept One:::

    As for doubts, I alway have 'em and always will. I just hope people are laughing with me, not at me.

  5. Great review. I'm looking forward to reading it to review, too--on my schedule for the first full week in August while I'm hanging by the beach at Higgins Lake. If the first 2 are any indication, I'm sure I'll love it.

    As for doubts, ah, that leap of faith. Sometimes I think that leap of faith is what writers are paid to make.

  6. IF this book does well, then perhaps you'll be "worthy" of this:
    Bottle of Tequila Sells for $225,000

    MEXICO CITY (July 21) - Forget about the kind of tequila you slam down on the bar or knock back at parties in throat-burning shots with salt and lemon. If you're paying six figures, you might prefer to savor it in small sips.

    An impossibly upmarket brand of tequila -- 100 percent blue Agave lovingly aged for six years and sold in a limited edition platinum bottle with fancy artwork on the label -- went on sale in Mexico on Thursday night for $225,000 a bottle.

    "Tonight we are trying for the Guinness Book of Records with the most expensive bottle in the world," Fernando Altamirano, chief executive of producer Tequila Ley .925, told a launch party for the liquor.

    Tequila Ley .925 has produced 66 bottles of the "Pasion Azteca" tequila, half of them pure platinum bottles and half of them gold and platinum-decorated bottles that sell for the slightly less extravagant price of $150,000.

    "Since we started out, we began with the idea of making the finest, most expensive bottle of tequila in the world," Altamirano told Reuters.

    For those on a smaller budget, there are 999 bottles of the same tequila in silver and gold bottles priced at $25,000.

    Showing off one of each type, Altamirano said they had already been sold to a collector, but declined to give away the buyer's identity.

    Altamirano, whose company has won awards for its stylish bottles, said his next goal was to create a million-dollar tequila bottle made from diamond-encrusted platinum and auction it at Sotheby's next year.

    07/21/06 08:37 ET

  7. Mr. Levine,

    I think the Solomon vs. Lord series has been great and I look forward to reading your new novel in a month. I stumbled upon this blog while telling some friends about your work. Hope all is well.

    Let's Go State,

    Mike Gallo