Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Butler Did It

I Recently had a discussion with several fellow writers about my current work in progress. There were a variety of comments made. But one of the, um, most interesting to me was the one who said "but I figured, this is an Anny Cook novella and she can get away with murder. It's expected." No, I won't identify the writer, but it certainly made me think about my writing style.

Am I such an edgy writer that weirdness is expected? What if I write something that isn't my trademark strangeness? Is there such a thing as too off the wall? Maybe. I kind of find the idea funny as I'm a fairly conservative type in real life. Perhaps this is my rebellion so to speak. Anny Cook, writer of the weird and strange romantic erotica. Sex isn't enough? Read Cook's books for a little more adventure...

What's truly funny is that I've been smiling all afternoon. Every time I thought of that line, I would chuckle. I suppose that no writer wants to be one of the herd, just one of the guys. So this assessment made me feel for a few short seconds that I was not one of the bunch, but something unique.

Incidentally, it isn't true, you know. If my editor didn't keep a firm rein on me, there are probably some fences I would jump that really don't need to be taken. But that's what an editor is for. They read the good, the bad, and the incredibly ugly and then tell the writer what's what. So my editor keeps me from straying too far.

But considering... that's probably pretty breathtaking all by itself. I can see a couple of my peers shaking their heads at the scope of the task. If our editor is responsible for steering me around the traps in writing, what must she face when she receives one of my books. Consider all the adventures she's exposed to when she turns the page! Terminal weirdness with a touch of strange.

Heh. Well I thought I would offer a touch of my writing style for your pleasure--or not. Here is a short excerpt from Daffodil.

Prowling down the dark rubble strewn alley that separated the Two Trick Tavern—or as it was locally known—the Triple T from the rest of the scruffy little village, Timmy observed a man darting stealthily from one of the shadowy huts near the edge of the village. Curious, Timmy followed him to a dimly lit squat building near the center of the village. Further cogitation led Timmy to conclude that the building must be an ale house where the locals gathered for a pint or two. And where there was ale, there was usually food.

He pulled open the heavy door and poked his head in just to be sure his conclusions were correct. Happy to see that they were, he slipped inside and made for the nearest empty high-backed booth. A plain young woman with a frankly unbelievable bosom spilling from her tight gathered blouse approached almost at once.

“What’ll ya have?” she demanded while giving the table top a lick and a promise with her grungy towel.

Timmy kept a leery eye on her straining top, positive that it was going to give way at any moment. Those were lethal weapons she was carting around and he wanted to make sure he wasn’t in the line of fire when her top exploded. “What do you have?” he asked absently.

“Venison stew, chicken pot pie and hot bread.” She rattled it off with the bored expression of a woman who’s been on her feet too long.

“I’ll have one of everything and a pint of ale.” Timmy edged deeper in the booth and glanced around the dark room as she stomped away with her blouse still intact. They must use some strong fabric in waitress outfits, he decided as he watched her leave. Only three lights flickered in the room providing minimal illumination. He caught a whiff of smoke that revealed the presence of someone smoking illegal Earth cigarettes in the small room. Obviously, the local justice system was pretty lax.

The young woman returned with a tray loaded down with steaming food. It landed on the table with a thud as her breasts shimmied beneath the top. Hastily, Timmy helped her unload the tray. She shot him an odd glance and flounced off to get his ale.

Timmy grabbed a hot yeasty roll from the bread basket, tore it apart and dunked it in the smoking stew. Lifting the dripping bread to his mouth, he took a hearty bite and sighed with relief. It was delicious. The cook was probably a troll, he speculated. They were the best cooks in the kingdom. Without further hesitation, he dug in. He had polished off the stew and was nearly finished with the chicken pot pie when he heard the name “Sidney” from the booth behind him.

Pausing in his eating he listened intently.

“Oh please! What kind of idiot keeps a pet rock?” A male with a whiney light tenor voice exclaimed.

“When you’re the king you can have any kind of pet you want—even a rock,” A deeper voice replied and with horror, Timmy recognized Florian LeFleur was the speaker.

Tenor voice laughed heartily. “That’s exactly why we need a new ruler. Tomorrow morning I’ll take Sidney to the blacksmith and borrow his anvil and sledge hammer. When I finish, Sidney will just be a pile of marbles.”

Florian growled. “Don’t be stupid, Nigel. All that will do is make the king angry. You’ll screw the plan and your mother will lock you away with the pixies. Quit screwing around with the damned pet rock. Everything is under control. Our spies have informed me that my ex-butler, Raulf has talked that idiot Gareth into giving Daffodil to him. It should be very easy to snatch her right from under his nose.”

“The butler did it, huh?” Nigel chortled in glee. “I always wanted to say that.”



  1. What an odd thing to say about you

  2. Great excerpt by a great writer. And aren't we lucky to have our editor?

  3. I see it like this...and you KNOW I'm your number one fan...there are two Anny Cook's. bwah hah hah. The ordinary, wonderful woman with the great big heart and the wildly, talented author who writes about BLUE PEOPLE. But it's like yin and yang, one can't exist without the other. That's perfect IMO.

  4. Unique is good. So is edgy.

    Love the pic.

  5. I'm with ashley. I love your style and revel in the fact that it isn't from a mold. You bring adventures I've never seen before and it's a tremendous talent you have to make them not only attainable but realistic. A gift, if you will.


  6. I wouldn't have thought that about you or your writing...