Monday, November 8, 2010

Benchley on Bookstores

Today is National Bookstore Day. Go out and buy a book.

Then again, consider what Dorothy Parker wrote about Benchley and his distaste for bookstores:

"The late Robert Benchley, rest his soul, could scarcely bear to go into a bookshop. His was not a case of so widely shared an affliction as claustrophobia; his trouble came from a great and grueling compassion. It was no joy to him to see the lines and tiers of shining volumes, for as he looked there would crash over him, like a mighty wave, a vision of every one of the authors of every one of those books saying to himself as he finished his opus, 'There - I've done it! I have written the book. Now it and I are famous forever.' Long after Mr. Benchley had rushed out of the shop, he would be racked with pity for poor human dreams. Eventually, he never went anywhere near a bookshop. If he wanted something to read, he either borrowed it or sent for it by mail."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cast the movie! Cast your vote!

There is no movie of MURDER YOUR DARLINGS in the works. (Heck, the book isn't even out yet.) But if you made the movie, who would you cast as Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley?

For Dorothy Parker, how about Emily Blunt, Anne Hathaway, Rachel McAdams, Ellen Page, or Christina Ricci?

For Robert Benchley, how about Ryan Gosling, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James McAvoy, Edward Norton, or Jason Segel?

Cast your vote here!

Don't agree? Have another star in mind? Post a comment below!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Happy birthday, Mr. Benchley!

Robert Benchley's birthday was yesterday, September 15.

In memoriam, here's one of our favorite Benchley lines: "Defining and analyzing humor is a pastime of humorless people."

Happy birthday, S.O.B. (Sweet Old Bob.)!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

William Faulkner: "If I could just stop doing this, I would be a writer."

This is my first blog post for the Algonquin Round Table Mysteries. It’s fitting that I talk about writing and about one of the main characters.

In my first book MURDER YOUR DARLINGS, one of the leading characters is a young William Faulkner. I just stumbled across a great site: an audio archive of Faulkner lectures and interviews while he was a writer-in-residence at the University of Virginia. Listen to Faulkner, in his own words, about being “demon-driven” to write:

Or read it here:

“I’ve heard people say, “Well, if I were not married and—and had children, I would be a writer.” I’ve heard people say, “If I could just stop doing this, I would be a writer.” I don’t believe that. I think if you’re going to write, you’re going to write, and nothing will stop you. That you can be involved, and probably the more you’re involved, it may be better for you. That maybe it’s—it’s bad to—to crawl off into the ivory tower and stay there, that maybe you do need to be involved, to get the edges beaten off of you a little every day may be good for the writer.”

I’m not sure if I totally agree with Faulkner—being married and having children certainly slow down your writing. With two little children, the edges are beaten off of me daily. Figuratively speaking, I’m so edgeless, I’m round as a bowling ball. But hopefully these daily beatings are paying off in the writing department!