Lots of good news since my April Newsletter. First, it was announced in a German newspaper that designer Karl Lagerfeld is creating a perfume that smells like books. I’m assuming there was a great demand for this fragrance. It’s called Paper Passion and “it will be sold inside a hardcover book with pages hallowed out to hold the flacon.” Also, “the fragrance will have a fatty note, probably along the lines of linoleum.”
Okay. Can’t wait to buy that for my wife. You can’t make this stuff up.
My friend and fellow novelist, Alafair Burke, is running an awards contest in June on her website, called the First Annual Duffer Awards. I’m delighted to announce that my character of John Corey has been nominated for Most Likely to Save the World. Readers can vote online here. And you can also post your comments stating why John Corey should get the Duffer Award in this category. Please visit Alafair’s website and Vote For John. He needs the ego reinforcement. Me, too.
Speaking of Alafair, she, along with most of the contributing authors, attended the launch party for The Rich and the Dead at Otto Penzler’s Mysterious Bookshop in Manhattan on April 26. You will recall from my past Newsletters that this book is the Mystery Writers of America 2011 Anthology, of which I am the editor. This is a good opportunity for me to continue my shameless hawking of this book. I say shameless because some of the proceeds go directly to the MWA, and the money is used to keep this fine organization in business. God knows, almost no one pays their dues, and mystery writers have been known to stop by the MWA office in Manhattan looking for subway fare or a cup of coffee. So let’s everyone help by going online now, or downloading on your eReader or iPad or doing something crazy and going to a bookstore. The reviews for The Rich and the Dead have been phenomenal, and sales have been wonderful, so don’t miss this once-a-year collection of great mystery stories by very talented writers.
The launch party, by the way, was a smashing success. Nearly all the authors who contributed a story were there (and those who weren’t were noted and their names were entered in The Black Book) and the enthusiastic crowds filled the store all night. In fact, we actually sold out of books, and worse, the wine was gone by eight pm, so we switched to vodka. A great time was had by all, and the authors thank everyone who came, and thanks to Otto Penzler for hosting. Sorry I couldn’t stay for the after party, but I had to go someplace nice.
Back to Paper Passion. This is bugging me now. First, it may surprise Mr. Lagerfeld, but most Americans don’t associate the smell of linoleum with sex or passion — unless maybe their first experience was on a linoleum floor. And how many Americans under the age of, let’s say, thirty even remember what linoleum smells like? I do, but I associate the smell with the kitchen floor of my tenement when I was a kid. Linoleum has a sickly, oily smell, and my stomach heaves even thinking about it. Books smell better. Don’t do this, Karl. And don’t even consider an aftershave lotion.
Where was I? Let’s do a commercial announcement. Follow me on this. The trade paperback of The Lion will be published by Grand Central Publishing on June 7. To recap, the hardcover of The Lion was published in June 2010 and now the less expensive edition is about to hit the shelves. This is an excellent beach read for this summer and in light of all the current turmoil in the Mideast, it turns out to be a very timely book.
Also, three of my earlier novels By the Rivers of Babylon, Cathedral, and Mayday (co-authored with Thomas Block) will be available in the larger trade paperback edition for the first time, in June. These are great old favorites and even if you’ve read them, this is a very handsome edition for a good price, and each book has a new Foreword by the author. That’s me. The forewords alone are worth the price of the book. All four of these trade paperbacks together will make an excellent Father’s Day gift. Available as an eBook, AudioBook, or from your online retailer, or in bookstores. Not available at the perfume counter where Paper Passion will be sold.
And now for some movie news: I got a phone call from my friend Mace Neufeld, who was the producer of The General’s Daughter. Mace will also be the producer of The Lion’s Game if Columbia Motion Pictures/Sony ever makes the movie. On that subject, Mace told me that he and Columbia went to George Clooney and offered him the part of John Corey.
Sorry, back to Paper Passion. I love books, and I know you do, too. But even if Paper Passion did smell like a book (and not linoleum) would you, ladies, want to smell like a book? And would a man want you to smell like a book? If you answered “Yes,” then maybe you’ve got a problem. I’m around books all day, and when I get home, I don’t want my wife to smell like my office. Right? I like floral smells on women. Or the smell of a dry martini.
Anyway, Mace and Columbia are proposing to Clooney that he consider making John Corey his franchise character, meaning a continuing character. There are four other John Corey books — Plum Island, Night Fall, Wild Fire, and The Lion — and it would be very good if Columbia made them all into movies starring George Clooney. It would be good for him, good for Columbia/Sony, good for Mace Neufeld, good for the motion picture business, and most importantly good for me. I think George Clooney would make an excellent John Corey, and George is now reading The Lion’s Game and I understand he’s enjoying it. You should read it, too, if you haven’t already. Or read it again, and write to George. I’ll keep everyone posted on any new developments.
But maybe, there could be a market for a perfume that smells like a book. And I’ll tell you why; as more and more readers turn to eBooks or Audiobooks, one of the lost reading experiences — aside from the tactile feel of the paper, and the sound of rustling pages — is the smell of the book. Maybe eReaders in the future will reproduce the sound of a turning page, but don’t hold your breath (pardon the pun) waiting for an eReader to smell like a book. So, yes, if you miss paper books, you might want to douse yourself and your eReader or audio player with a perfume that smells like a book — but what’s with this linoleum? Maybe a bad translation from the original German news release.
On to other announcements: On Sunday May 15, I was at BookHampton’s Annual Mayhem event in Sag Harbor, Long Island. I did a talk and signing, and the crowd was large and enthusiastic. My thanks to BookHampton’s proprietors, Charline Spektor and Jeremy Nussbaum for inviting me and for being such good hosts. For more on this event, click here.
A reminder that I will be at Hunter College Writers’ Conference (NYC) on Saturday, June 4 at 12:30 pm for a talk with my good friend Lewis Burke Frumkes. Also, I’ve added another event to the day; a panel discussion with bestselling authors Stuart Woods, Mary Higgins Clark, and Carol Higgins Clark at 2:00 pm. Stuart’s a good guy and the Clarks are great friends. If you’re in the area, don’t miss this well-regarded writers’ conference. Click here for more information.
And finally, my last known public appearance of 2011 — the East Hampton (Long Island) Library’s 7th Annual Authors Night fundraiser, on Saturday, August 13, 5:00-7:30 pm. This is a great evening for a great cause. I.e. to support the public library in the wealthiest town in America. Attending will be lots of wonderful authors, and wonderful me. Also signing that evening will be my friend and neighbor Susan Lucci, who will be autographing her new bestselling memoir, All My Life. This is a great book, made more so by her mention of me in the acknowledgments. Plus you’ll see a group photo which includes my lovely wife. For more info on this event, click here.
June is AudioBook Month, and the Audio Publishers Association has asked me to mention this, and to say, “Buy Audiobooks.” So, I said it, and I’ll be more specific and say, “Buy Nelson DeMille Audiobooks.” I’ll say even more about AudioBook Month in my June Newsletter — I’m short on space here because of that stupid perfume. I mean, I’d rather buy a book that smells like perfume, than perfume that smells like a book. Except, I guess, if I came home at night from the library and I smelled like perfume, what am I going to tell my wife? I was in the library? Oh yeah?
So, in conclusion, it was a good month, and my work-in-progress, The Panther, is coming together. My research trip to Yemen is still on hold, but if I don’t get there before the book is finished, I’ll schedule a few author appearances in Yemen when The Panther is published in Arabic. I’m looking forward to that.
Happy Memorial Day, and remember our men and women in uniform, and all those who gave their lives for their country.
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