I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and took it easy on the kale. We had a few vegetarians at the table and we served them tofu and bean sprouts, followed by an injection of pumpkin pie.
Anyway, Hanukkah comes early this year, so Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends and the Jewish side of my family. My nine-year-old claims he’s part Jewish and wants a present for each of the nine days of Hanukkah — plus the Twelve Days of Christmas. So I told him about the Christmas Monkey who comes out of the toilet with a monkey wrench on the night after Christmas and smashes all the toys of little boys who try to con their daddies. He backed off on the twenty-one days of presents, but swears he still believes in Santa Claus. Maybe a little goat cheese in his stocking will cure him of that belief. Or maybe I’ll be a softy again and get him everything on his list. I’ll straighten him out next year.
So, what is the perfect gift to give for the Holidays? Books, of course. If you’re like me, you give novels written by authors whose last name starts with the first letter of the month. In December that would be “D”. Fortunately, all my books are in print, and also available as audio books and eBooks. Here’s a list of them — in chronological order of publication: By the Rivers of Babylon, Cathedral,The Talbot Odyssey, Word of Honor, The Charm School, The Gold Coast, The General’s Daughter, Spencerville, Plum Island, The Lion’s Game, Up Country, Night Fall, Wild Fire, The Gate House, The Lion, The Panther, The Quest, and Radiant Angel. And don’t forget Mayday, which I wrote with my childhood friend, Thomas Block. These books will all make terrific gifts or stocking stuffers.
As always, I give everyone permission to sign these books with my name. Write something nice from me, then autograph. A sample of my signature is below.
I’ve gotten literally thousands of emails through my website since the beginning of the year, and again I assure you I read every letter. Unfortunately, I can’t reply to each one, but I wanted to acknowledge receipt and to thank everyone who has taken the time to write. I learn a lot from my fans and I find your suggestions and comments helpful and often uplifting. As an example, a fan wrote, “Your writing is both good and original. Unfortunately, what is good is not original, and what is original is not good.”
Another fan wrote, “I am sitting in the smallest room in my house reading your latest novel. Soon it will be behind me.”
And these were from family members.
Some good news: Sony-TV seems to be moving ahead on making the John Corey novels into a series. We’ve been here before, but this seems real — or as real as anything can be in Hollywood. More on this when I hear.
My son Alex’s screenplay of my novel Spencerville is finished and being sent around to movie studios and producers. Ben Affleck was once interested in playing the lead role of Keith Landry, so Ben, if you’re reading this, have your people call my people. And for those of you who have read Spencerville, let me know if you think Ben is right for the role. The female protagonist is named Annie Prentis, a woman who is married to Spencerville’s police chief, a psychopath named Cliff Baxter. Keith and Annie were high school sweethearts and college lovers, and Keith has recently returned from the Army and he wants Annie back. Cliff wants Keith dead.
Back to Christmas. My nine-year-old has finally figured out that the Elf on the Shelf is a rat fink. The elf now sits bound, gagged, and blindfolded in the popcorn maker awaiting his fate. This, I assured my son, is what happens to rat finks. Just like in daddy’s novels.
On a more uplifting note, I want to wish all my family, friends, publishing colleagues, and readers a holiday season filled with love, joy and wonder. And a New Year of health, happiness and peace on earth. After this year, we deserve all this and more.
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