William Deverell — Novelist

The official website of William Deverell, Winner of the Dashiell Hammett Award for Literary Excellence in North American Crime Writing

Lust. Thrill. Kill.

Bry’s Blog / May 14, 2015

Okay, on-re-reading your partial manuscript (the copy on your computer ends at page 201), I’m thinking Brian Pomeroy comes off not too bad. Shrewd, edgy, witty, and the island ladies think I’m hot. I am in rich contrast to your Arthur Beauchamp, the emotionally self-abusing yet somehow lovable fusspot.

Sing a Worried Song. I get the title, but I’d have advised something harder. You have a vengeful thrill killer on the loose. What about, simply, Kill Arthur! Or, in the modern style, Lust. Thrill. Kill. (Title of a script I wrote in my noir phase. It’s available.) Or how about Thrill Killer Puzzles Police. Wurtz3 Thrill Killer Puzzles Wurtz – that’s the guy you prosecuted, right? Who threatened to get you…

How does it end? Or do you know? Page 201—is that when the muse died of blockage of creative juices? When the walls closed in and you decided to go away somewhere and start life again?

As for your main plotline, let’s see, we have a sadistic, psychopathic killer on the hunt for the prosecutor who sought to convict him. Oh, dear, that’s Needles. We already did that one, didn’t we, Bill?

I don’t ask much. Just a fair cut, a bighearted slice of vigorish. A small price for the wave of relief you’ll feel, the freedom from guilt.

Do hurt feelings enter into it? You bet. Our roles might have switched, our paths been reversed. I could have been a contender, the acclaimed author of Needles. I would have followed that up with my own plethora of novels instead of being the cinema auteur who saw his career go down the toilet.

Let me come to the point. All can be forgiven. All I ask is a film option on Needles. Let me be blunter still. I’ve already written a screenplay for it. It’s got interest. Soon to be a blockbuster. Just tell me where to mail the contract.

By the way, I did a little tour of your Firefox favourites, and it seems you’re a lurker on a forum for sufferers of writer’s block. No participation from you (not that you’d ever let your guard down) but the common refrains are of fear and despair: “I feel like the walls are closing in on me,” or “I’d just like to go away somewhere and start life again.” This aids in my understanding of why you ran off manically to the nearest hippie farm.