Friday, November 16, 2007

Try Dying by James Scott Bell

James Scott Bell is a former trial lawyer who now writes full time. He is also the fiction columnist for Writers Digest magazine and adjunct professor of writing at Pepperdine University.

His book on writing, Plot and Structure is one of the most popular writing books available today. The national bestselling author of several novels of suspense, he grew up and still lives in Los Angeles, where he is at work on his next Buchanan thriller.

On a wet Tuesday morning in December, Ernesto Bonilla, twenty-eight, shot his twenty-three-year-old wife, Alejandra, in the backyard of their West 45th Street home in South Los Angeles. As Alejandra lay bleeding to death, Ernesto drove their Ford Explorer to the westbound Century Freeway connector where it crossed over the Harbor Freeway and pulled to a stop on the shoulder.

Bonilla stepped around the back of the SUV, ignoring the rain and the afternoon drivers on their way to LAX and the west side, placed the barrel of his .38 caliber pistol into his mouth, and fired.

His body fell over the shoulder and plunged one hundred feet, hitting the roof of a Toyota Camry heading northbound on the harbor Freeway. The impact crushed the roof of the Camry. The driver, Jacqueline Dwyer, twenty-seven, an elementary schoolteacher from Reseda, died at the scene.

This would have been simply another dark and strange coincidence, the sort of thing that shows up for a two-minute report on the local news--with live remote from the scene--and maybe gets a follow-up the next day. Eventually the story would go away, fading from the city's collective memory.

But this story did not go away. Not for me. Because Jacqueline Dwyer was the woman I was going to marry.

In Try Dying, this fast-paced thriller, lawyer Ty Buchanan must enter a world of evil to uncover the cause of his fiancee's death--even if hie has to kill for the truth.

"Bell is one of the best writers out there...he creates characters readers care about...a story worth telling."
~Library Review~

Your #1 fear?

I know that, at some point in time, public speaking ranked as the #1 fear among the general public. If that describes you and you're faced with having to speak in public (or if you *want* to speak in public but don't have much experience or confidence), then check out the Butterworth Communicators Institute. I spent Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at the Hyatt in Irvine along with 9 other BCI students, and it was incredible. SUCH a great experience. Bill Butterworth not only taught public speaking at the university level for a number of years, he's made his living as a speaker at corporate functions, sport teams, churches, retreats, you name it, for over 20 years. And besides being very knowledgeable and a fantastic instructor, he's beyond hilarious. We spent a LOT of time laughing. And the critique from him and the other BCI students was invaluable, as well as very encouraging. Anyway, definitely check it out, it's worth every penny.

In Abby news...she counts! All the way to 14! Though she starts at 7. Sometimes 5. Occasionally from 1, but she skips 2-4 if she does. I don't know what he problem is with those three numbers (especially since she says, "1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1!" all the time, so she at least knows the 1-2 combo), but whatever. I was way more impressed with the fact that she knew anything past 10 when that's all we normally count to.