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.
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.