I’m still hunkered down in Austin, but getting in touch to add a little levity to our social distancing. Below is a report from the one common character in all of the Bullet Books Speed Reads, Ernest Anguish.
Good Afternoon. This is Ernest Anguish, with the National News Network, reporting from an undisclosed location. I want to introduce you to the thirteen crime fiction authors from the first wave of Bullet Books Speed Reads.
As you’re about to see, putting thirteen crime fiction authors into one room might be a little like trying to drive a herd of bookworms. These authors are a curious lot. Or paranoid maybe. Before I could get everyone seated, they thoroughly checked the room. I’m not sure if they were looking for weapons, recording devices, dead bodies, or escape routes. One of them even frisked me.
The leader of this pack is Manning Wolfe, and the others each co-authored a book in the series. I’ll first ask her what brought this series about and why it’s different. Then, I’ll begin a series of rapid-fire questions for each author. I’ll ask one question of each author in the order of their book’s appearance in the series.
Ernest: Manning, why Bullet Books Speed Reads? What are they? What makes them different?
Manning Wolfe: Thank you, Ernest. Bullet Books are speed reads for the busy traveler, commuter, and beach-goer. All are new original crime fiction stories that can be read in two to three hours. On a plane … on a train … faster than a speeding bullet!
Ernest: Excellent! Next up is Bill Rodgers, co-author of Bullet Book #1, Killer Set: Drop the Mic. What is in the trunk of your car right now?
Bill Rodgers: Well, Ernest, it’s a long story. My best friend called and said he needed help getting rid of a body.
Ernest: Very funny, I hope. Now here’s Billy Kring, co-author of Bullet Book #2, Iron 13. Your Ex is out for blood. Literally. Where do you hide?
Billy Kring: In the gun closet.
Ernest: Sounds a bit cramped. Make sure all the safeties are on! Now we come to Helen Currie Foster, co-author of Bullet Book #3, Bloody Bead. Complete this sentence please: I couldn't think of anything but …
Helen Currie Foster: … why it had been a mistake not to pack a hammer in the front seat console.
Ernest: Good thought! You never know when you might need to do some emergency carpentry. Next, we have Mark Pryor, co-author of Bullet Book #4, The Hot Seat. Do you hide secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Mark Pryor: Actually, yes. And obviously I can’t explain further.
Ernest: I didn’t mean to pry. Next up is Kathy Waller, co-author of Bullet Book #5, Stabbed. What is the best murder weapon?
Kathy Waller: Probably Brujeria, the evil eye, a spell cast by a bruja, something like that. It wouldn’t leave much physical evidence.
Ernest: Quite bewitching. Now, we come to Jay Brandon, co-author of Bullet Book #6, Man in The Client Chair. If you had a super power, what would it be?
Jay Brandon: Super speed. I don’t have much patience anyway.
Ernest: That’s very … where did Jay go? He was just here.Well, next up is Kay Kendall, co-author of Bullet Book #7, Only A Pawn in Their Game. What is the best murder weapon?
Kay Kendall: In my teens I was known to walk into a room, spy a heavy candlestick and exclaim “that would make a great murder weapon.” I have not changed my opinion since. By the way, my friends always backed up and stared when I said that.
Ernest: Much like the other authors are doing right now. I’m walking over to Suzanne Waltz, co-author of Bullet Book #8, Dangerous Practice. Complete this sentence please: The last time I had butterflies in my stomach was …
Suzanne Waltz: … the last time I ate butterflies. Duh.
Ernest: Sounds quite colorful. And crunchy. Now, we come to Scott Montgomery, co-author of Bullet Book #9, Two Bodies One Grave. A penguin walks through the door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?
Scott Montgomery: “I’ve been tracking you for five years.” I think we all know it was over a woman.
Ernest: I guess penguins really do take that mate-for-life thing very seriously. And now for Laura Oles, co-author of Bullet Book #10, Last Call. Your biggest fan is coming to your house for dinner. What are you serving?
Laura Oles: We’re a family that loves grilling so we’d put some steaks on, cook some shrimp from our favorite shrimp boat in Port Aransas (she’s named the Polly Anna), with roasted potatoes and vegetables. Maybe a bottle of Malbec and some Shiner Blonde.
Ernest: You had me at steaks. May I be your biggest fan? Next up is V.P. Chandler, co-author of Bullet Book #11, The Last Straw. Your best friend calls at 3am and needs help getting rid of a body. Where do you take them?
V.P. Chandler: I’m not telling! I don’t want the cops at my door. But I live in the country, so I know of a lot of empty places.
Ernest: Location, location, location. And lastly, Elizabeth A. Garcia, co-author of Bullet Book #12, The Neon Palm. Please complete the following sentence: A stranger would never believe that I …
Elizabeth A. Garcia: … once (LONG ago) helped a man escape from prison.
Ernest: I think I may have reported on that story! Well, that’s the latest news in crime fiction. Do you think we will ever know if these professional crime authors are writing from experience, or if everything they say is a product of their wild imaginations? Either way, the Bullet Books Speed Reads series is good news for readers.