24 September 2009

Pre-Bouchercon Guest Blogger #13 -- Denise Dietz

Nothing unlucky today -- we've got Denise Dietz with a conversation about the pitfalls of her next great idea. Denise (Deni) Dietz – http://www.denisedietz.com - is the author of the popular “diet club” mystery series. For people who will only read a series from the beginning, Deni is launching Wildside Press’s updated, reissued Trade paperbacks of THROW DARTS AT A CHEESECAKE, BEAT UP A COOKIE, and CHAIN A LAMB CHOP TO THE BED at Bouchercon. The fourth in the series, STRANGLE A LOAF OF ITALIAN BREAD, came out in hardcover last May. After waiting tables for 17 years, Deni finally got up the nerve to 86 a waitress. Deni’s Bouchercon panel is: “WHICH END IS UP? Plotting forward from a premise or backward from an ending. Where do we start?” It’s on Friday at 9:00 a.m. She didn’t plot the following, to which she says, “Oops, my bad.”

Since vampires seem to be in vogue, I decided to write a crime fiction story starring a vampire. Having never met one face-to-face, I knew I had some intense research to do, and somehow I didn’t think Google would fly. Furthermore, no Facebook vampire wanted to be my friend. So I looked up Vampires in the Yellow Pages. It took 3 phone calls, after midnight, but I finally found one who was willing to talk to me.
Deni: Thank you so much for agreeing to meet me, Mr…what do I call you?
Vampire: Rice. My name is Rice.
Deni: Like, Anne Rice?
Vampire: Never heard of her. My name is Rex Rice, but most people just call me Rice.
Deni: Okay, um, Rice. Thanks again. I really do appreciate it.
Vampire: You’re velcome. I’m glad you’re a redhead. I love the color red.
Deni: Yes, well (glancing down at notes), where are you from?
Vamp: California. But I’m always looking for new locales. I visited Salem’s Lot once. Didn’t like it.
Deni: Whoa. Wait. You’re not from Transylvania?
Vamp: Never heard of the place.
Deni: I’ve read about vampires, of course, and seen movies, but I had no idea they … you … looked so … well, normal. You could be the bachelor on one of those bachelor TV shows, especially with that chest. Do you wax it?
Vamp: I do.
Deni: And your dimples are to die for. I mean, live for.
Vamp: Thank you. Out of curiosity, vhat do you write?
Deni: Historical romances as Mary Ellen Dennis and crime fiction as Denise Dietz. That’s DIET with a ‘Z.’ I was thinking about creating a vampire detective. Why are you shaking your head?
Vamp: It wouldn’t vork, unless he vorked the night shift. Or if he only vorked on cloudy days. Maybe if he lived in a Lincoln Continental. With tinted windows.
Deni: How about a vampire cop?
Vamp: Same problem.
Deni: I see your point. No offense. I mean, your fangs and all.
Vamp: Freudian slip. Happens all the time.
Deni: How about sunscreen? Maybe I could concoct a special, secret, government sunscreen, a la Dean Koontz.
Vamp: Sunscreen might vork, or maybe Mime makeup. If a Mime fell in the forest, would anyone know? (laughs) Do you have a title for your story?
Deni: I was thinking of calling it ‘The Vampire Wore Prada,’ but now I’m thinking ‘The Lincoln Vampire’ might fly.
Vamp: Yes.
Deni: Yes, vhat? I mean, what?
Vamp: I thought you were asking if I could fly. The answer is yes.
Deni: That’s good to know. It could be an important plot element. Do you change into a bat, first?
Vamp: You’ve been vatching too much TV. Or too many Bela Lugosi movies. Vy vould I vant to be a bat? All that guano. Ick.
Deni: Sorry. I don’t usually stereotype. So, no detective protagonist and no cop. What, exactly would you like to be?
Vamp: Your perp.
Deni: Perp? How do you know that word?
Vamp: Vhat? You think vampires can’t read? Some of my best friends are librarians.
Deni: If you were my perp, who … whom would you kill? I mean, who would you bite?
Vampire: Stephen King.
Anyone in the market for a story called THE VAMPIRE WORE SUNSCREEN?

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