Elvis is Dead

And I don’t feel so good myself.  That’s one of my all-time favorite book titles, by the humorist and memoirist Lewis Grizzard, but it sort of sums up why I’ve been missing in action for a while.

I was badly injured in a car crash several  years ago and all the travel I had to do this past summer/fall re-inflamed the nerve damage, so I’m having trouble typing–entries to the blog will definitely be spasmodic until that clears up.

I do want to announce a winner for our “V I’s Lover” contest.  We asked “which of her lovers should VI stay with and why?”  My thanks to everyone who took the time to think this through–she’s had at least nine that I can remember and I’ve probably forgotten a few.

Mihael Franich won me over with his romantic/philosophical take on the question:

The answer to VI’s love quest is not who… but what, when and how.  In every life, there is someone willing to go the distance, any distance, for her.  Someone who knows every intimate  hair on her skin, who sees her beyond a morning face, the beat up running shoes, really sees the person she is, understands what she needs, what she is unable to say herself.  Her love is a strong, steady guy, solid, patient, with a long distance vision.  She is in his thoughts each day, always close; he has a clear sense of their life together, the only thing he does not know is the when.  The only things he can do is stay in touch, keep showing, not telling her what love is, long distance, hoping to close that space, that she will notice, let him know it’s ok to move a little closer.”

I’ll post all the other answers in a future notice.  My own feeling is that Conrad Rawlings is the best man for V I, but there’s the unsurmountable mountain to climb of his being a cop and her being a PI.  If he agrees with her take on a crime, he’ll get the boys and girls in blue to take over from her.  If he disagrees they’ll fight, as they did in Tunnel Vision, and V I is a street fighter.   Every now and then, I get hate mail about the affair, because V I is European-American, Conrad African-American.  When the book was first published, Reader’s Digest offered me a high six-figure advance for the condensed version if I’d make Conrad white (or maybe V I black–they didn’t say).  It was a lot of money to walk away from, and maybe if I’d known how much my injury would slow down my writing I’d have thought twice instead of once…

PS My second favorite book title is Joe Namath’s autobiography: I Can’t Wait Until Tomorrow ‘Cause I get Better Looking Every Day.

  • The Joe Namath title sounds like it’s got me in mind!
    ; )

  • maude b

    Sara, please take care of your nerves and we will take care of reading your books that we love because you don’t take the high six-figure advance for the condensed versions! Elvis may be dead according to Joe Namath but I have head many conspiracy theories about his real whereabouts.
    Cheers to tomorrow!
    Your girl in DC MB

  • Sorry to hear you’ve been suffering again – I can totally relate (I have nerve damage affecting my legs and feet. Which makes it difficult to blame it for my lack of writing output. Sigh)

    Hope things improve for you soon.

  • Shirley

    Being an Elvis fan from the day (my email begins with elvis), I often use this quote from Grizzard when feeling poorly.

    Anyway, doesn’t surprise me about the RD request. Very white, middle class, conservative publishing co. I can assure you they didn’t want VI to be black!

  • Penny Thornton

    Sorry to hear about your health problems – and Bag Lady I too have nerve ending problems in my legs & feet!
    So glad you didn’t agree to change VI or Conrad Rawlings from a readers perspective of course! Though I understand the money would have been useful. Difficult choices!

  • bag lady & penny thornton–so sorry to hear about your nerve problems –must be horrible to try to run a farm with that going on. Maude B==very fun! I went to Memphis a few years back and hoped to be vouchsafed a sighting, but I wasn’t spiritually advanced enough!
    Re RD and the money, I never seriously considered it. I did offer to change the affair with Conrad to one with Sal Barthele (VI’s African-American friend who owns the Golden Glow) and never heard from them again. It’s just I can’t help thinking about the money some days…

  • It always makes me sad to be reminded that racism is alive and well in our world, but here we are in the 21st century and it exists still.

    Kudos to you, Sara, for sticking to your principles.

    Sara T

  • Shirley

    Don’t regret not taking money for something that wasn’t an authentic choice for you. I doubt that you would have been happy with a big corporation’s dictating who your characters are. In the long run, I think you get back more if you stay true to yourself.

  • Do you get much of that kind of pressure these days on race or sexual identity of your characters? Sometimes it seems as though that kind of ugliness has gotten better at hiding, going under some other name, it’s can be hard to tell how much progress has been made.


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