Friday, March 07, 2008

How to impress a mystery writer

This week I met a fire dancer. Yeah, he actually lights things on fire and dances with them. Cool, huh?

I’ll admit, physically he wasn’t really my type – blond, pale skin, kind of metro-sexual. Generally I go for the tall dark and ruggedly handsome type (though, since I’m only 5’2” ‘tall’ is a totally relative term), but after seeing pictures of him doing his fire dancing thing, how could I not meet him? That’s just cool!

So, we tried to meet for coffee, but Starbucks was closed for some sort of staff meeting. (Seriously, I’m there enough, I think I deserve the interoffice memos when this happens.) Instead, we hopped down the street to the Borders café to grab a cup of coffee and do the first date getting-to-know-you chit-chat. But honestly, it’s clear we’re not clicking. He likes sports, I like to read. He likes to travel, I’m thrilled to be staying home this year. He’s a chai tea, I’m a double latte. We both pretty much knew it was doomed. In an effort to save the date from totally crashing and burning, I suggested popping over to the romance section to check out my books. Which he seems to think is pretty cool, I mean how many dates end in a book signing, right?

Sadly, luck was not with me. No copies of Alibi in High Heels out in the store yet. Still in a crate in the back waiting to be unpacked. I think at this point Dances With Fire is starting to wonder if I’m was really an author or just faking to impress him. (Trust me, if I was gonna lie, I’d say I’m Nora Roberts.) To save face, I finally find one old copy of Killer in High Heels shoved in the back. Aha! See, I really do write stuff.

He takes the book, turns it over. Asks, “So, are you anything like your main character?”

I hate when people ask this. Because, um, yes, I am. Exactly like her. So, I kind of hedge, “Well, a little. But I swear I’ve never stumbled over any dead bodies.”

And then he says, “I have.”

Hello. Now things are getting interesting.

He tells me about a time when he went hiking a few years ago and walked into a clearing. There, hanging from a tree, was a body. He was all alone out there and, having just watched the Blair Witch Project, freaked out, hopped on his motorcycle, and sped the whole way home before calling the police. Unfortunately, the police couldn’t locate the body on their own, so he had to drive all the way back out to the woods and lead a team of law enforcement back to the clearing where, sure enough, the dead guy was still hanging there. He got to watch the ME arrive, the CSI people go over the clearing for any little bits of evidence, the entire crime scene procedure. I think he thought I was a little weird when I yelled, “Lucky! I’m so jealous!”

And when I asked him about the body, he gave me a funny look and said, “Uh, girls usually don’t want to hear about that. It was kind of, um, decomposing.”

I think it was the way my eyes lit up and I slid onto the edge of my seat to ask, “What stage of decomp was he in?” that had him ending the date early.

Moral of the story – you gotta have a strong stomach to date a mystery writer.

So, any of you ever had experiences with a crime before?

~Trigger Happy Halliday


MsHellion said...


It probably not the sort of research he had hoped to help you with.

Gemma Halliday said...

Lol! Probably not. Poor boy.


Tori Lennox said...

I'm anxiously (well, impatiently, to be more accurate) waiting for my copy of Alibi in High Heels to arrive. Unfortunately, it probably won't show up until next week. *sigh*

I don't think I've ever known anybody who came across a dead body before.

terrio said...

I'm doing the first-meet-get-to-know-each-other-over-coffee thing tomorrow. LOL! I hope mine goes better than this one.

I have found that most guys think it's cool that I write romance. Though I'm as yet unpubbed so nothing to prove it really.

Never stumbled on a dead body. Thank goodness. I don't do well with death.

Estella said...

I haven't had any brushes with crime and am sure I don't want to.

Jana DeLeon said...

LOL Gemma! You probably scared him to death. Only a mystery writer could scare a fire-walker.

Remind me again why I should be happy that I get to date again??????

Suzan Harden said...


Thanks, Gemma! I really needed this!

Marg said...

Great post!

Leslie Langtry said...

OMG! I'd want to know too! As for being like your characters, I get the same thing. I had a grandmother ask me the other days if I write these books because there was an assassin in my family. I blurted out, "No, but that would be totally cool!" She walked away...quickly.

Love the blog - I love hearing your hysterical dating stories!


Chicago Sarah said...

Heeheehee. Too funny. As a nurse I tend to get the gory details TOO easily...but I am cracking up imagining this guy's thoughts when you said that!

Lisa St. James said...

LOL! I have never personally found a body, but one of my friends from college did. She was in her house and hear a loud crash outside. When she went out and walked to the main road and then walked down around the curve she found a motorcycle and the guy who flew off of it when he wrecked, very much deceased. Although we are Forensic Science majors, it really shook her up.

Gemma Halliday said...

Oooo... you must come tell us how it goes, terrio! Good luck, girl!!!


Christie Craig said...

Lol, Gemma!

I'd been the same way.

Crime Scene Chrisie

Kathy Bacus said...

Most of the dead bodies I've run into were the result of vehicle accidents (seriously, no pun intended, honest!)

Lots of crimes related to motor vehicle code violations, drunk driving, possession, etc. Later I got to investigate white collar crime at the Iowa DofJ.

I'll be waiting to see a Fire Dancer show up in one of your books, Gemma!

~Bullet Hole~

Jenyfer Matthews said...

You forgot to mention just how it was you happened to meet a FIRE DANCER??? I'm beginning to think that your criteria for dating a man must include "be amusing blog material"!

And by the way, I could totally imagine Maddie reacting to finding a dead body the way your fire dancer did :)

Blondie0409 said...

Hey, sorry to hear about your date going down the drain. But hey, it's like you said, he wasn't that cute anyways...right? At least you got a good story out of it. Better luck for next time.

Gemma Halliday said...

I'm beginning to think that your criteria for dating a man must include "be amusing blog material"!

I'll admit, I'm so much more attracted to out-of-the-ordinary guys. Anyone with an odd hobby or job or interesting life story automatically piques my interest. Maybe why I have a hard time finding a ‘nice guy’ to settle down with. Lol!


Gemma Halliday said...

Thanks, Blondie! I have a couple lined up for this week, so I'll let you know how it goes!


danetteb said...

Lol Gemma.

Thanks for the cheer up.

My moms work hired a fire dancer one year for her company party and he was tall dark and HOT, all the ladies were up front trying to get a closer look at him.

No crime scene stories here though.

Hugs, Danette

terrio said...

Hey Gemma - quick update.

Date went really well. He thinks I'm great. He's really nice. Maybe too nice. *sigh* I'd give my right arm to feel a spark of anything these days. LOL!

Anonymous said...

i walked on fire once.......I was drunk and it was charcoal from the BBQ......wanna go out?


Gemma Halliday said...

So glad the date went well, Terrio! Hmm... too nice. Well, better than too short or too stinky or too... um... piratey, right? ;)

Gemma Halliday said...

Drunk Charcoal Walking, the sport of kings. ;)