Monday, June 16, 2008


Patty here…

I spent two days last week traveling the highways and byways of Los Angeles and Orange Counties with tour manager, media escort, and all around great guy, the indefatigable Ken Wilson. When he’s not with people like me, he manages the tours of high-profile authors like Janet Evanovich.

I’ve toured with Ken before and it’s always a rewarding experience. During the time we were together, he introduced me to booksellers, hyped Cool Cache with charm and finesse, and entertained me with a glorious array of compelling stories, like his encounter with the bear fence. It gives me chills just thinking about it. He also treated me to my only star sighting last week, Al Pacino on a street in Santa Monica. Here's Ken on the left with Nick from the B&N at the Westside Pavilion.

One afternoon, Ken and I were having coffee with a bookseller. During a lull in the conversation, she turned to me and said, “Did anyone ever tell you, you look like Kim Cattrall?” This was the second time in as many days that someone had made this comparison, because “Sex and the City” is in theatres and Ms. Cattrall’s picture is everywhere.

It was flattering of her to say that, but, in fact, I don’t look anything like Kim Cattrall except that we both have shoulder-length blond hair. And maybe—just maybe—someone might compare the sexy little mole beneath her lip with one of my GIANT freckles, sun damage from my misspent youth.

That was not the first time I’ve been told I look like someone other than me. In the past, people have compared me to Rosanna Arquette. (I think because we both have a bit of an overbite.) And Jill Clayburgh. (Okay, I sort of see that one.) And David Cassidy (Decoding this requires a shrink and a very dry martini.)

I don’t compare the characters in my books to famous people, because a wise person once told me it was lazy writing. I just try to describe the person and let the reader draw his or her own conclusions. On the other hand, I began to wonder if I was missing out on some fun. To test my theory, I studied the photos of my fellow Naked Authors. At first blush, they looked just like themselves. Then I took a second glance.

Cornelia Read: Our very own debutante appears wide-eyed and wistful and those pink rosebud lips make you just want to pat her hand and call her sweetie.

Then you see the sharp corners of that black leather jacket and you recall the dazzling narrative voice of her tough-talking heroine, Madeline Dare, and think—oh dear! Still, at her core I see the sweetness and the vulnerability sort of like Reese Witherspoon...

...okay, so maybe Reese Witherspoon running for student body president at The Crazy School.

Jaqueline Winspear: Our J is wise, grounded, and multi-talented, a person of substance that we all feel fortunate to call friend.

She is not content to gloss over the tough issues. Her compassion compels her to dig deep like the Messenger of Truth, she is, sort of like Diane Sawyer channeling Mother Theresa with a British accent.

Paul Levine: In his author photo, Paulie is sporting an irreverent smile that promises a little fun, perhaps at your expense. Then you look closer at his picture and you notice that he has this really amazing hair. So if you’re a guy you’re thinking, “How can he be such a great writer AND have hair like that? It’s so unfair.” If you’re a woman, you’re thinking, “How can he be such a great writer AND have hair like that? I wonder if he’s single.”

Even if he didn’t have hair, Paulie would still be a talented guy and a prince of a fellow, sort of like this guy except with a multi-book contract.

Wait a minute…the hair, the impish grin…nah, couldn’t be.

James O. Born: James O is a complex guy. In addition to being a successful law enforcement officer and a writer of award-winning novels, he’s a practical joker and a devoted dad.

He’s also gracious and generous, but don’t tell anyone I said that because he might shoot one of my books with his potato gun. Deep down, I suspect James O is the love child of Dirty Harry

and June Cleaver.

That was fun, but now it’s your turn to type.

Happy Monday!

P.S. This Friday, June 20th, I'm going to be interviewed by Hank Phillippi Ryan on the Jungle Red Writers blog. If you're in the neighborhood, please stop by and keep me company.


  1. Hi Patty - what a great post! I think the Kim Cattrall thing is due to the similarity in the eyes, mouth and hair - I guess you could say the whole face!

    I love the idea of Cornelia's sweetness channeling Reese Witherspoon, but I know our Miss C could run many, many rings around her (as you say, not so much Legally Blonde at Harvard, but Blonde in a leather jacket sorting out The Crazy School). And you're depictions of Our Paulie and Jim were interesting, to say the least.

    With bated breath, I waited to see who you thought was my doppelganger - I've been told I look like all sorts of women, from Olivia Newton-John to Diana, The Princess of Wales, and with Susan Sarandon thrown in (all of which I consider to be a real stretch).

    But Diane Sawyer - my, that would be nice! And channeling Mother Teresa? Bless you, my child.

    Truth is, I look a lot like my Dad!

  2. Our J, I think people often make comparisons because of mannerisms or voice intonation as much as looks. Susan Sarandon? Hmmm.

  3. Yes, I think you're right, Patty. For the record, it never occurred to me that you looked like anyone but your lovely self.

  4. I have a friend who compares people to animals, i.e., "Myra looks a bit like a turtle, don't you think?" Once he's called this to my attention, I usually agree.

    And Our J, you look like your lovely self...and a bit like your dad.

  5. Patty, this is fabulous. And you are SO Kim Cattrall.

  6. Louise, you are SUCH a good friend, which is why I don't question your eyesight.

  7. some people say that we all have at least one doppelgänger in this universe. i think that's scary and much prefer your inventive suggestions. absolutely fabulous! susan sarandon, eh jackie!?

    patty, i just finished FALSE PROFITS and started on COVER YOUR ASSETS - love them both. since business is always a bit slow during the summer, i have plenty of time to read them in my shop. but then i curse every customer who tears me away.

    have a great week,


  8. Ah Sybille, you are so so wonderful in so so many ways. Thank you for your kind words.

    I'd worry if there was really somebody in the world just like me. One is quite enough.

  9. Please be advised that we, the official and extremely stuffy Royal Solicitors & Barristers represent the Royal Family of the British Empire, such as it is.

    Your statements that Mr. Paul Levine resembles a member of the Royal Family are false, defamatory, and further made our dentures slip.

    We take your statement to imply that Mr. Levine is the father of the heir to the British throne. While it has not been established that Prince Charles is the father -- and indeed any son of the Prince would likely look like a horse, only with larger ears -- we can state categorically that Mr. Levine did not engage in sexual relations with Princess Diana; hence he cannot be the father.

    Finally, in our opinion, Mr. Levine resembles Rodney Dangerfield.

  10. I guess I have to give up that June Cleaver fanatsy now.


  11. Jim, alas, June Cleaver is forever off limits. Paulie, you're a hoot!

  12. Royal Family Of The British Empire? You've been watching too much Masterpiece Theater (Theatre), Mr. Levine!

  13. PS: The Royal Warrant would have probably gone to the esteemed firm of White, Lipped and Trembling

  14. Or that famed Boston law firm of Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe.

  15. Go-Lo, I guess I must have many Dopplgangers...since I've been called a horse's ass on several occassions....including roll call in Ms Grumpshank's 3rd grade class.
    PS:Patty, Kim Cattrall ain't got nuthin' on you.

  16. Jon, we must be related. I've been called a horse's ass on occasion myself. I wear it as a badge of honor.

  17. Patty, I am so flattered! I didn't get to see this until this morning as my monitor literally burst into flames the other night (not sure what that says about the work-in-progress), and I don't have my laptop hooked up to the internets.

    What a GREAT post!!! Especially love June Cleaver, and I'm going to call Paulie "Prince" from now on.

    And I'm with Louise, you TOTALLY look like Kim Catrall, in the best possible way.

  18. Damn, and here I was just thinking that Kim Cattrall looked like Patty Smiley...

    ...note to self--marathon writing sessions, while fun and productive, can also have as much deleterious effect upon the immediate future as all-nighters before finals.

    And RS&B...just because you can categorically state that Mr. Levine did not have sexual relations with Diana, Princess of Wales, does not mean that he might do so truthfully. RE: a former Emperor of the Colonies.

    Of course, it might simply have been a case of mistaken identity. Umm...Jackie?

  19. Oh no, Ms. C! Apple flambe?

    Jeff, shall we ask Paulie what is is and see how he responds? Get some sleep!