You will recall (I command it!) that Janiece asked me a while back how well Jeffry Deaver's Location Scout Mysteries represented the reality of the film business. In a fit of pique, I stomped on the first 53 pages of Hell's Kitchen. I've now finished the thing, and it was a slog.
The book only makes a few oblique mentions of film. What there is is mostly wrong. He makes reference to the "off-duty gaffers" on a film. Well, there's only one Gaffer on a film. By definition, its the "Chief Electrician or Lighting Technician" so having a gaggle of gaffers on one movie might be a little awkward. He refers to a Post-Production House as a "Post-Pro House". Never heard that one before. Its a "Post House", plain and simple. And I don't know where Mr. Deaver buys videotapes, but I've never seen two cassettes that would hold "20 or so hours" of material.
Anyway, the book continued to make mistakes about NYC; we don't have any "day-glo yellow-green" fire trucks that I've ever seen; grimy subway cars were mostly a thing of the past by the time this book was published in 2001. And I won't give it away, but the plot hinges on some of the most ludicrous swings I've ever read.
Did. Not. Like. (I will read Shallow Graves when I get around to it. I'm interested to see how he does when he's writing one that seems to be more firmly set in a Film Biz setting.)
I haven't posted a new chapter for "There's No Crying in the War Room" for about a week. Some of you have even chastised me which I totally take as a compliment, since it means you want more. This makes me happy. The reason I haven't posted is that I've been stuck. There's a new character who will be introduced in Chapter 35 and I didn't know enough about him to write him. All I knew about him was that he was going to be brought into the campaign by Darrell, who had known him when they served together in the Marines. I didn't know his rank or specialty or much of anything else about him. And a few days ago, I slapped myself in the forehead and said, "Schmuck. You have military advisers."
So, today, I had a really enjoyable phone conversation with Jim Wright of Stonekettle Station fame. (You could just change it to Kitchen to make my life easier ya'know.) Anyway, I now know a whole lot more about Senior Chief Warrant Officer Gil Shefflin and I think I can write him. And Jim earns a slot on the Acknowledgments page as military consultant...all errors are the author's yada, yada, yada.
And for those of you keeping score, in the last three days, I've had lunch with John the Scientist, gotten a prank call from Shawn Powers, received a shout out from Vince on live streaming radio and gotten advice from Jim. That's a pretty UCF-full week, if I do say so myself.
Watch the sidebar for news about Chapter 35 in the next couple of days