Hey You,

Use what you discover here to gt people to flock to you

It’s Lewis a.k.a. Nerd #2 a.k.a. L.L. Cool Nerd.

In Part 1 of this series (see it here), I built up the idea of that 5 of my favorite fiction authors could help make your blogging marketing or any other small business marketing strategies more potent than gasoline, slicker than Vaseline, and read real smooth like the rhythm of hand claps and tambourines.

Now here are the authors along with the series I love of theirs that I believe you’d be highly served in reading for yourself so you can see this simple tactic applied so beautifully and recognize that you, yourself, can instantly start using it in anything you write, too.

With each author’s example below you’ll see a prime example of this valuable tactic at work.Now see if you can identify what it is in . . .

Janet Evanovich’s – Stephanie Plum Series

These stories revolve around the life of Stephanie Plum, a woman who’s in her early 30’s and who’s lost, yet found a profession that fulfills her need for growth and contribution.

She’s unemployable because she’s rebellious and accident prone. She bribes her cousin Vinnie, who is a bail bondsman in New Jersey into hiring her as a bounty hunter. And through sheer dumb luck, she and a hilarious supporting cast always get their man.

I’m probably making it sound dumb but I’ve read 18 of the books from this series now and it’s FUCKING HUH-LARIOUS. I can’t imagine how much more funny women find it and if your audience happens to be women, and you’re a man, you definitely want to read this to get some street level insight into the workings of the mind of the girl next door . . .

Here’s a snippet (watch for the tactic) . . .

“Where you going? Lula (black 250 pound recovering prostitute)  wanted to know. “It’s almost lunchtime. I don’t suppose you’re gonna be passing by some place I could get a meatball sub. I could use a meatball sub on a nasty day like this.”

“I’m going downtown.” I told her. “I need to talk to Dickie.”

“Say what?” Lula was up on her feet. “Did I hear you right? Is this the Dickie that called the police on you last time you were in his office? Is this the Dickie you told to go fuck hisself? Is this the Dickie you were married to for fifteen minutes in another life?”

“Yep. That’s the Dickie.”

Lula grabbed her coat and scarf from the chair. “I’ll ride with you. I gotta see this. Hell, I don’t even care about the meatball sub anymore.”

“Okay, but we’re not making a scene.” I said to Lula. “I need to talk to Dickie about a legal issue. This is going to be non-confrontational.”

“I know that. Non-confrontational. Like two civilized people.”

“Hold on. I’m going too.” Connie said, getting her purse from her bottom desk drawer. “I don’t want to miss this. I’ll close the office for a couple of hours for this one.”

“I’m not making a scene,” I told her.

“Sure, but I’m packin’ just in case it gets ugly.” Connie said.

“Me too.” Lula said. “It isn’t diamonds that’s a girl’s best friend. It’s a .9mm Glock.”

Connie and Lula looked at me.

“What are you carrying?” Connie asked.

“A brand new can of hairspray and this lip gloss I’ve got on.”

“It’s a pretty good lip gloss,” Lula said, “but it wouldn’t hurt to have a piece as a back up.”


ROLL THE NEXT CLIP. . .

John D. MacDonald – Travis McGee Series 

This guy is probably the least familiar (the example I’m using of his is from 1971) out of all the authors on this list so I’ll let a modern day novel writing guru give you his impression of this author to set the stage . . .

“As a young writer, all I ever wanted was to touch readers as powerfully as John D. MacDonald touched me. No price could be placed on the enormous pleasure that his books have given me. He captured the mood and the spirit of his times more accurately, more hauntingly, than any ‘literature’ writer – yet managed always to tell a thunderingly good, intensely suspenseful tale.”

–Dean Koontz

And there’s another gentleman on my list here, Carl Hiaasen, who wrote the introduction that is now in the front of every Travis McGee novel that gives a wonderful overview of this character . . .

“I was born and raised near Bahia Mar, the Fort Lauderdale yacht basin where Travis McGee moored his poker-prize houseboat, the Busted Flush.

Slip F-18, as every true fan of John D. MacDonald knows.

Here roamed one of American fiction’s most popular recurring knights – McGee, knockabout retriever of lost fortunes, saver of spiraling souls; McGee of the deep-water tan, scarred knuckles, and untender mercies.

Rugged and sentimental, fearless and flawed, he was everything a connoisseur of private-eye capers could want. “Wary of all earnestness,” is how McGee described himself – although he made exceptions when it came to his love life.”

Travis McGee is an unsung, low-key hero who comes to the rescue for people who have been wronged and are in a position where the police can do nothing or they won’t do anything. He arranges deals where he gets half of what he recovers. These are the tales of him using his ex-military experience and wits to do so. And like Tim Ferriss, when he scores big, he takes an early chunk of retirement.

Here’s an example of him having a relaxing conversation with his best friend . . .

I was on the beach by three o’ clock that Friday afternoon and that was where Meyer found me at a few minutes to four. He dropped his towel, sat upon it, and sighed more loudly than the surf in front of us or the traffic behind us.

There were nine lithe maidens, miraculously un-accompanied by a flock of boys, playing some game of their own devising on the hard sand in the foamy wash of the waves. It involved an improvised club of driftwood, a small yellow, inflated beach ball, one team out in the water, and one on the beach. Either you had to whack the ball out over the heads of swimmers before they . . . or you had to hit it past  a beach player who then . . . Anyway, it involved a lot of running, yelping, and team spirit.

“A gaggle of giggles?” Meyer said, trying that one on me.

My turn. “How about a prance of pussycats?”

“Not bad at all. Hmmm. A scramble of scrumptious?”

“Okay. You win. You always win.”

He slowly scratched his pelted chest and smiled his brown bear smile. “We both win. By being right here at this time. All the strain of a long, difficult, and futile day is evaporating quickly. Meyer is at peace. Play on, young ladies, because from here on out life will be a lot less fun for most of you.”

“Grow up and be earnest and troubled?” I asked, “Why does it have to be that way?”

“It doesn’t. It shouldn’t be. Funny though. They take all those high spirits, all that sense of fun and play into one of the new communes , and within a year they are doleful wenches indeed. Somber young versions of American Gothic, like young wagon train mothers waiting for the Indians to ride over the ridge. And their men look like the pictures of the young ones slain at Shiloh. Idealism in our society is pretty damned funereal.”

One of the players looked up the beach and gave a quick wave and then went churning into the water to capture the yellow ball.

“One of my constituents,” Meyer said comfortably.

“You are a dirty old man.”

“You have a dirty mind McGee. I could not bring myself to ever touch the child. But in all fairness it does enter my mind. Lovely, isn’t she?

“Exquisite.”

“Her last name is Kincaid, and I do not know her first name. She is known to everyone as Breadbox. She has an incredible appetite. She’s an economics major at Yale. Quite a good mind. Her father grows tobacco in Connecticut. She drove down in a five year-old Porsche with two other girls. This summer she is going to work in a boutique aboard a cruise ship. She has a dog named Rover, which seems to have come full circle and is now an “in” name for a dog. She is getting over a romance which ended abruptly and does not want to become interested in another man for years and years, she says. Tennis used to be her sport, but now she prefers —-“

“So all right already, Meyer. Damn it.”

“I think she was waving at someone behind us.”

“What?”

“I never saw the child before in my life. I was just putting together into one package some of the things the other young ladies have told me.”

“Have you been drinking?”

“No, But if you’d like to . . . “

With as little warning as a flock of water birds, the nine maidens  dropped the club and went jogging north along the beach, one of them clutching the yellow ball.

(To see another post where I’ve highlighted John D. MacDonald’s work, you’ll want to see this post here too)


ROLL THE NEXT CLIP PLEASE . . .

Robert Parker – Spenser Series

Spenser is private investigator in the city of Boston.

His background includes him being a former pro boxer who was just good, not great, a Korean war veteran, and a former cop. He has a problem with obedience which is why he didn’t stick around in the army or the cops and now he runs his own one man shop with the help of a few rugged friends on both sides of the law.

I love this character. He’s a tough guy but oh so gentle, a wise ass who’s honorable and believes in doing what he feels is right which almost always ends up being on the right side of the law.

This is a conversation he’s having with the police commander who is his dear friend and is getting him up to speed on two guys that came after Spenser but ended up in body bags . . .

“Copy of the forensics on the the two guys you iced,” he said. “Take a look, tell me what you think.”

I opened the envelope and browsed the report. Much of it I didn’t understand.

“You understand all this stuff?” I said.

“Some of it.” Lieutenant Quirk said.

I read on. Quirk rose and got more coffee. When I finished reading, I put the report back in the envelope and got up and poured myself some coffee and sat back down and put my feet on the desk.

“No ID,” I said.

“Neither one,” Quirk said.

“One guy was wearing shoes made in Holland,” I said.

“That are not exported,” Quirk said.

“So maybe he’s Dutch.”

“Maybe,” Quirk said.

“Both of them are circumcised,” I said.

“So maybe they’re Jewish,” Quirk said.

“Lotta goyim are circumcised,” I said.

“Hell,” Quirk said. “I’m circumcised.”

“I’m not sure I wanted to know that,” I said.

“Irish Catholic mother,” Quirk said. “I think she was hoping they’d take the whole thing.”

I grinned.


ROLL NEXT CLIP . . .

Carl Hiaasen – Native Tongue

One of the two reoccurring characters in each of these books is a military veteran who was elected Governor in Florida, who once is settled in office and exposed all the scandalous behind the scenes bull shit that’s going down, that he’s expected to participate in, gets disgusted and disappears into the middle of the night to the swamps of the everglades only to be seen by a few citizens once in while on their own quest to stop a wide array of different shit bird  white collar and blue collar criminals  from screwing people over or screwing the environment/animals over. Hiaasen is very clever writer with the Miami Herald as well as having 12 of these novels under his belt.

Below is copy on him setting the comical tone in the opening chapter of his book Native Tongue . . . 

It started raining near Florida City, and of course the convertible top wouldn’t go up; something was stuck, or maybe Terry wasn’t pushing the right buttons on the dash. The Whelpers sought shelter at an Amoco station, parked near the full-service pumps and waited for the cloudburst to stop. Terry was dying to tell his wife I-told-you-so, sporty my ass, but she wouldn’t look up from the paperback she was pretending to read.

Jennifer asked, “Like what if it rains all day and all night?”

“It won’t,” said Terry, trying hard to be civil.

The shower stopped in less than an hour, and the Whelpers were off again. While the kids used beach towels to dry off the interior of the convertible, Gerri passed around cans of Pepsi-Cola and snacks from the gas station vending machine. In vain Terry fiddled with the buttons on the car radio, trying to find a station that played soft rock.

The Whelpers were halfway down Card Sound Road when a blue pick up truck passed them the other way doing at least eighty. Without warning, something flew out of the truck driver’s window and landed in the back seat of the LeBaron. Terry heard Jason yell; then Jennifer started to wail.

“Pull over!” Gerri cried.

“Easy does it,” said her husband.

The convertible skidded to a halt in a spray of grass and gravel. The Whelpers scrambled from the car, checked themselves for injuries and reassembled by the side of the road.

“It was two guys,” Jason declared, pointing down the road. “White guys, too.”

“Are you sure?” asked his mother. The family had been on guard for possible trouble from blacks and Hispanics; a neighbor in Dearborn had given them the scoop on South Florida.

“They looked white to me,” Jason said of the assailants.

Terry Whelper frowned. “I don’t care if they were purple. Just tell me, what did they throw?”

Jennifer stopped crying long enough to say: “I dunno, but it’s alive.”

Terry said, “For Christ’s sake.” He walked over to the convertible and leaned inside for a look. “I don’t see anything.”

Jennifer cried even harder, a grating subhuman bray. “You . . . don’t . . . believe . . . me!” she said, sobbing emphatically with each word.

“Of course we believe you,” said her mother.

“I saw it, too,” said Jason, who rarely took his sister’s side on anything. “Try down on the floor, Dad.”

Terry Whelper got into the back seat of the LeBaron, squeezed down on his knees and peered beneath the seat. The children heard him say, “Holy shit,” then leapt out of the car.

“What is it?” asked his wife.

“It’s a rat,” said Terry Whelper. “The ugliest goddamn rat I ever saw.”

“They threw a rat in our car?”

“Apparently.”

Jason said, “Too bad we didn’t bring Grandpa’s gun.”

Gerri Whelper looked shaken and confused. “Why would they throw a rat in our car? Is it alive?”

“Very much so,” Terry reported. “It’s eating from a bag of Raisenets.”

“Those are mine!” Jennifer cried.

The Whelpers stood there discussing the situation for fifteen minutes before a highway patrol car pulled up, and a young state trooper asked what was the matter. He listened sympathetically to the story about the rat in the rented LeBaron.


ROLL NEXT CLIP . . .

Elmore Leonard – LaBrava

Stephen King, in his “On Writing” book says he’ll feel sadness when Elmore isn’t writing anymore. So will I. Basically, he starts over from scratch with every one of his books. He’s a had a few people make repeat appearances but has never built an entire series around a set of characters.

Here’s some copy from one his books, LaBrava . . .

“At Evelyn’s gallery they sip wine and look at my photographs . . .”

Looking at them now spread over the formica table, Jean Shaw picking up each print and studying it closely – in his rooms on the second floor of the Della Robbia. 201. He paid for the rooms, he had been living there eight months, but there was nothing of him in the rooms. They were rooms in a hotel. He had not got around to mounting or hanging any of his prints, or was sure there were any he cared to look at every day. There were other prints in envelope sleeves in the bookcase and among magazines on the coffee table. He told her Aperature magazine had contacted him about doing a book. Call it South Beach. Get all the old people, the art deco look. He was working on it now. No, he was thinking about it more than he was working on it. He wanted to do it. He wouldn’t mind having a coffee-table book on his coffee table. It seemed strange though—ask thirty or forty dollars for a book full of pictures of people who’d never see it, never be able to afford it.

“At the gallery they sip wine and look at my pictures. They say things like, ‘I see his approach to art as retaliation, a frontal attack against the assumptions of a technological society.’

“They say, ‘His work is a compendium of humanity’s defeat at the hands of venture capital.’

“They say, ‘It’s obvious he sees his work as an exorcism, his forty days in the dessert.’ Or, another one, ‘They’re self-portraits. He sees himself as dispossessed, unassimilated.’

“The review in the paper said, ‘The aesthetic subtext of his work is the systematic exposure  of artistic pretension.’ I thought I was just taking pictures.”

Jean Shaw said, “Simplicity. It is what it is.” Then paused. “And what isn’t too. Is that what you’re saying?”

He didn’t want her to try so hard. “I heard one guy at the gallery – it was his wife or somebody who said I was dispossessed, unassimilated, and the guy said, ‘I think he takes pictures to make a buck, and anything else is fringe.’ I would’ve kissed the guy, but it might’ve ruined his perspective.”


The Underlying Key To These Authors Success is Their Ability To Talk The Way People Talk On The Page

Their writing doesn’t sound like writing. You don’t trip over a person trying too hard to sound intellectual. The way their conversations and descriptions flow, it sounds as if they were recorded and then transcribed.

Now I used these examples on purpose. I could’ve given you examples from Herman Melville and other past writers whose prose uses much more of the English language is far more “proper” in grammar and content but from another era.

These authors aren’t selling millions of books because they’re disconnecting with their audience. They are in tune with what keeps eyes moving from page to page and they write in a way that they’re familiar with.

No clunky words you’ve got to climb over and pull out the dictionary to find the definition of.

These author’s books are simple but the authors are wise beyond many who claim to be wise citing all the diplomas on the wall showing they’re good test takers.

What is wise in these authors is the ability to feel outside of themselves and feel what people of the opposite people feel and then make you feel what these people feel and on top of this doing it all within the context of telling a compelling story. If you think doing this is easy, go ahead and try. I imagine that for 99% of you, you’ll be driven crazy by the process because of how hard you have to think to make it work. 

Push The Easy Button For Your Audience

I just heard Dan Kennedy talking about on one the best people you could ever have proof your salesletter is an 8-11 year old. He used to pay his step-daughter to read his letters out loud to him when she was this age and whenever she’d trip up on a word, he highlight it, knowing he had change it. If she didn’t understand what word meant, he’d highlight it and give a buck for each one she pointed out to him.

You’re better off coming down a notch from your audiences intelligence than being a notch above when it comes to your choice of words. Oh, but you don’t want to seem dumb? Well guess what? Doing this in no way hinders brilliance.

One example I remember Tony Robbins talking about is something he does, say if he were talking to astro physicists and they were trying to explain a concept to him in their jargon, he’d say, “Wait guys. Tell me how this is like making a sandwich,” or some other example where they could bridge what they wanted to get across to an explanation an 8-11 year old could understand. 

Your customers and prospects will unconsciously appreciate you not making it a chore to consume your content just to satisfy your desire to put on a show of how educated you are.

And I think if you follow the advice of writing like you talk, keeping it simple and sweet, this can also take a huge fucking Atlas-sized load off of your shoulders.

Talk soon,

Lewis LaLanne a.k.a. Note Taking Nerd #2 a.k.a. L.L. Cool Nerd

PS. If you’re looking to sharpen the writing that goes into your blogging marketing and small business marketing strategies, you definitely want to click here now and go put your hands all over this.

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