The INSPECTOR SPECTER tour begins tonight! I'll be at Aunt Agatha's in Ann Arbor, MI at 7 p.m. Tomorrow night, Murder by the Book in Houston, TX at 6:30 p.m.! Wednesday, The Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, AZ at 8 p.m., then Mystery Ink in Huntington Beach, CA on Friday at 4:30 p.m. and Saturday I'll be part of the holiday celebration at Mystery Galaxy in San Diego, CA. Festivities start at 1 p.m. If you're nearby, come on out! I'd love to see you.
And on to business:
Well, I appear to have done it again.
Believe me, I blame only myself. But whenever I write a title for a book, I have come to consider exactly how that title will be misquoted, misspelled or misconstrued, despite a pathetic effort on my part to avoid such occurances. And each time, I have been thwarted spectacularly.
Let's take stock, shall we? Novels only:
The Aaron Tucker Mystery Series
My title: FOR WHOM THE MINIVAN ROLLS. Other people's titles: WHEN THE MINIVAN ROLLS, ON WHOM THE MINIVAN ROLLS, THE ROLLING MINIVAN, IF THE MINIVAN ROLLS.
My title: A FAREWELL TO LEGS. Other people: A FAREWELL TO ARMS (I get that I'm overweight and bearded, but I'm not Hemingway, believe me.), FAREWELL, LEGS, A FAREWELL TO... WHAT WAS IT AGAIN?
My title: AS DOG IS MY WITNESS. Other people: THE DOG WITNESS, A DOG IS A WITNESS, WHAT THE DOG WITNESSED, THE DOG AND THE WITNESS.
The Double Feature Mystery Series
Me: SOME LIKE IT HOT-BUTTERED. Other people: SOME LIKE HOT-BUTTERED POPCORN, HOT-BUTTERED POPCORN, THE HOT-BUTTERED POPCORN, SOME LIKE IT HOT (I'm not Billy Wilder, either.)
Me: IT HAPPENED ONE KNIFE. Other people: IT HAPPENED WITH A KNIFE, WHAT HAPPENED TO THE KNIFE, (I'm not making any of these up.) ONE KNIFE AT A HAPPENING.
Me: A NIGHT AT THE OPERATION. Other people: NIGHT OPERATION. A NIGHT WITH AN OPERATION. OPERATION BY NIGHT.
The Haunted Guesthouse Mystery Series
Me: NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED. Other people: NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. (There is no second choice; they all call it that. I'm also not George A. Romero, even more than I'm not Billy Wilder.)
Me: AN UNIVITED GHOST. Other people: Again, just one choice: AN UNIVITED GUEST. Some people just don't get puns.
Me: OLD HAUNTS. Other people: Nobody noticed this one came out. I don't know why.
Me: CHANCE OF A GHOST. Other people: GHOST OF A CHANCE, CHANCE WITH A GHOST, CHANCE OF MEETING A GHOST.
Me: THE THRILL OF THE HAUNT. Other people: THE THRILLING HAUNT, THRILL HUNT, THE THRILL OF THE HUNT.
Which brings us to the latest entry, which I'm already seeing misrepresented and it's only been available for six days:
No. It's not INSPECTOR SPECTOR. It's not about Phil Spector becoming a ghost investigator. The word is SPECTER. If you're British (especially in a James Bond movie), SPECTRE. But that's as far as I'm willing to go.
Still, I hope everybody will go out next week and buy themselves a copy of INPSECTOR SPECTOR. If that's what it takes.
This, and they still think the books were written by J.J. Cooperman.
P.S. I'm on the road this week and will no doubt be exhausted beyond all comprehension next week. I'll try to set up a post ahead of time, so if I mention some completely outdated reference by then, please forgive the lack of immediacy. If you're in Ann Arbor, Houston, Scottsdale, Huntington Beach or San Diego this week, please drop on by! I'd love to believe all this plane travel will be worth it...