Quick Take Tuesday, a blog of tasteful, yet shameless, self-promotion involving an author or someone of equal social standing. I ask two questions, and then my guest turns the table and asks me two questions as long as they don’t involve pounds or pant size.
Q) You have got to be the handsomest cop I’ve ever met, and I met a few in my time as a crime reporter. And I have to say I just love a man in uniform. So, tell us what you’re up to when you’re not in uniform. And if you don’t mind, I’ll picture you in uniform while I listen.
A) Okay, now I’m totally blushing and flustered. My writing is shifting gears very quickly as one project leads to another. I was about half way through the sequel when I diverted to write the screenplay for Blood Over Badge. While working on that, I hooked up with some really great writers: James Dalessandro for one. He liked my writing, loved my experience, and took me under his wing. As a matter of fact, I met another fantastic writer at that conference: you, Laura! From there it’s been a vertical learning curve. I’ve been offered a position with some prospective cop shows and we’re in the process of making the deal. It’s cool being around super-creative people because there’s this great energy, or vibe that exists. I’m following my instincts, keeping a positive attitude and enjoying the ride.
Q) I know that you are this close with rocker and morning radio host, Greg Kihn, and he’s really tight with Eddie Money. So naturally, I feel this close to Eddie Money, which is really thrilling for me. There are so many characters in your life: how do you decide whom to write about?
A) Greg is a great, down-to-earth guy. He’s also a great writer and currently moving into the TV writing business (On top of entertaining 7 million listeners). We’ve worked on many projects together over the years. I remember the opening sentence in his critique of the first thing he edited for me. “Sometimes I feel like I should yell duck!” But in terms of Blood Over Badge, it was a fun write because I portrayed the characters in true light. I find it easy to write about crooks because I’ve spent 29 years around them. I never worry much about the ones that scream and threaten to kill me, and my family. But I do pay attention to the quiet, thinking types. They never show their hand, just like cops. Those are the ones that kill us when given the opportunity. Let’s face it, most murderers and rapists are garbage. They talk garbage, they live garbage and you might have heard a cop say, “I’m a garbage man. I pick up garbage all night.” It’s an old saying in the business.
//BUZZER NOISE AND SOUND OF TABLE BEING TURNED//
Q) Laura, what do you miss most from your reporting career? Is it being in the middle of the action? Is it telling the victim’s story? Perhaps the rush of covering a dangerous, dynamic situation? Or having a bunch of cops trying to impress you?
A) Let me tell you something: I never met an FBI agent who didn’t hand me his business card and ask me out to lunch. Something about those federal agents - a randy bunch, as I recall. But that was twenty years and twenty pounds ago. Overall, I always found law enforcement helpful when working on a story. It was the AUSA’s (Asst. U.S. Attorneys) who were the assholes. Truly. But yes, hourly deadlines in radio and daily deadlines in television news were thrilling and nerve wracking. Adrenalin was always pumping. We had to think fast and write fast. It was an excellent training ground but it’s a young man’s game. I usually wrote my stories on my lap in the car littered with fast food junk on the way back to the station. But what I remember most was the neighborhoods I’d end up in. Sometimes, the cameramen wouldn’t even want to go with me! Sometimes I only ever felt safe when the really big guys were with me. But then that time someone tossed Molotov Cocktails at us during a riot, it didn’t matter how big the cameraman was. We ducked behind the same car!
Q) You’ve had a successful life/career in writing and reporting. What’s your secret?
A) One of the best compliments a literary agent paid me was to say that I was one of the few writers she’d ever met who could toggle between fiction and non-fiction. Like you, I believe in moving forward and growing. I didn’t want to write formulaic newspaper articles forever. Doing minute-thirty pieces on the evening news got really tired. Writing down to people became an insult to them and to me. So, I just write! And I’m lucky to be able to write about just about anything. I write for the Good Men Project Magazine. I’m tweaking my novel to launch it as an e-book. I am doing these fun interviews. And I am working on a mystery “without any clues” (can Greg and Eddie hear me singing?) And maybe one day I’ll wear fishnet stockings and sing back up for a band. But I’m moving forward and loving the challenges and the great people I am meeting.
//BUZZER NOISE AND SOUND OF APPLAUSE//
Thank you for joining me on Quick Take Tuesday,Mr. Wayne Farquhar, author, speaker, father, husband and incredibly-good-looking-in-a-uniform cop! Please come back and fill me up, so to speak, with some of your work for Feature Friday!