"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms."
—Muriel Rukeyser

Smashing Paperback Launch Party for Katherine Taylor’s Rules for Saying Good-Bye (now out from Picador)

I knew it was going to be a good party when we walked in and saw dozens and dozens of Belvedere bottles courtesy of Belvedere, FREE books from the publisher, and MATCHING-the-cover light blue martini glasses. Katherine’s my tennis buddy (doubles 3 times a week) so it’s always a sensationally pleasant shock to see her in “clothes”—sleek brushed satin black cocktail dress in this case with black-strapped high heels and page cut hair that made her look just adorable as she hosted a packed roomful of (nearly 100) writers at Peter Blake’s artful bachelor pad on Crescent Heights Tuesday night. Peter is writer & exec producer on “House.” In attendance were novelists like AEI client David Angsten and his elegant wife Joanna, David Francis, David Rensin, Janelle Brown, Antoine Wilson, Darcy Cosper, and Brian Doherty; journalists Mickey Kaus from Slate, Carina Chocano and Stephanie Lysaght from The Los Angeles Times, and Sara Wilson from LA Magazine. Rumored that the next Prime Minister of England was lurking aobut somewhere but we were too busy not leaving the food, drink, and Kate periphery to find him.

Best thing of all: KT showed up at 8 a.m. next morning on the courts, despite her all-night dedication to the vodka and lemonades!

James Purnell is the name of the "next prime minister" at Katherine's party.

MET JIM CARREY May 2, 2008

Believe me, it was a very special evening in Shreveport, standing on the Louisiana Wave Studio set of “I Love You, Philip Morris,” and meeting Jim Carrey for the first time—after all these years of saying that he’s starring in our “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!” movie. For a half hour we were “herding cats” together as we chatted about his love for the character of Robert Ripley, and his ideas for pushing the believability/unbelievability of Ripley’s claims and exploits even further than it already is in the current script (by Ripley pal Steve Oedekerk). “Let’s get this movie made soon!” were his parting words, as he walked climbed back onto the boat and proceeded to get drenched, without complaining, again, along with co-star Ewan McGregor.

Here’s the kind of rain we created for the film: [Click]

Royce Buckingham’s Goblins

Royce Buckingham’s Goblins is coming out soon from Putnam. Here’s an enticing video preview: [click]

At 60, ‘Lopes’ Johnson makes case on court

As a tennis maniac myself, delighted to report that AEI will be signing (after the collegiate tennis season is over) Sheila Johnson who at 60, is the oldest tennis player in the collegiate ranks and first-year GCU coach Greg Prudhomme who was faced with the daunting task of turning around an ailing tennis program. Enter Johnson, who had been taking private lessons from Prudhomme. Coincidentally Sheila had last played collegiately for Arizona State in the mid-1960's and still had one year of eligibility remaining. With only three weeks to put together a team and one player short Greg thought outside the box and recruited Sheila who has since helped the Antelopes turn a 1-10 program into an 8-8 regional qualifier. They went to Hawaii to compete in the nationals, and here’s the article published in The Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

Courtroom Drama

So Help Me God

John Grisham and Scott Turow have a new competitor. The latest author of legal thrillers is a Houston trial attorney and med-mal defense lawyer whose paperback "So Help Me God" was published nationwide on April 1. In Larry D. Thompson's book, a botched abortion and rabble-rousing by a charismatic preacher lead to a trial in which the question of when life begins takes center stage. In the book, J. Robert Tisdale, the best plaintiffs attorney in Texas, represents preacher Thomas Jeremiah Luther in a slander suit against the doctor who performed the abortion. "Almost without exception, everyone who reads it thinks it's a really great courtroom drama," says Thompson, a partner in Lorance & Thompson. He initially could not find a publisher and self-published an earlier version of the book. Then, a chain of connections — beginning with his dentist's book club — led to his discovery by Pam Nelson, director of sales promotion for Hillside, Ill.-based Levy Home Entertainment, a nationwide book distributor. "His book captivated me," she says. "The characters were so rich." The next step was a book deal with New York publisher Tor Books, a division of Macmillan. On April 18, Thompson arrived in downtown Dallas for his book launch party at the Old Red Courthouse. He says his late brother, bestselling true-crime writer Thomas Thompson, inspires him as a writer. "There were times when I really thought Tommy was helping me write this book," Thompson says. He has finished another novel that dissects the insanity defense, featuring an attorney who develops paranoid schizophrenia and is accused of murder in Galveston. It will likely be published in spring 2009, he says.