Wednesday, September 21, 2005


11:15 a.m. I'm on my way to an interview. I was on surveillance all morning but nothing happened. Be gentle with me, bloglit...I've been working really hard on a book proposal the past few days and it's sucking the life out of me. I promise I'll post something more interesting very soon. I plan on telling you all about the morgue where I work. It's really creepy.

Which reminds me...

I have two questions for you.

First, do any of you know of similar books to what Polly PI would be? I'm trying to analyze the competition and point out what is better and more unique about this concept.

Also, if you could tell me what you think would be special about a Polly PI book and why it would be worth publishing, I'd appreciate your views. I so close in this whole thing that it's hard for me to see it objectively and I'd like to say something more useful than, "People like to watch Polly make an ass out of herself while spying on people. And also there's a lot of death."

Thanks you so much!


Tamara said...

People like to watch Polly's ass.

Your welcome!! :D

Tamara said...

You'RE you'RE you'RE!

I hope people like to watch me make an ass out of MY self TOO...

Anonymous said...

Armes, Ja. J., and Frederick Nolan,
J.J. Armes, Investigator: The World's Most Successful Private Eye., Buy this book
New York: Macmillan,1976.
Autobiography of the amazing Texas P.I., Jay J. Armes, who's still going strong.

Blye, Irwin, and Ardy Friedberg,
Secrets of a Private Eye: How To Be Your Own Private Investigator
New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1987.
How-to guide and advice, mixed in with anecdotes about New York eye, Blye, whose biography Blye, Private Eye (1976) was a seminal book in this genre.
Brown, Steven Kerry,
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Private Investigating ..Buy this book
Alpha Books, 2002.
Written by Steve Brown, a private investigator, and endorsed by peers such as Edmund J. Panka, who wrote the forward, and John Grogan, self-proclaimed "P.I. to the stars," who promises "I will be recommending this book to all my students... (it's) a well-prepared text for all, from beginners through veteran PIs."
Burke, James, and Arnold Manweiler
Confessions of a Private Dick: If It Weren't For the Sex...I'd Have To Get a Job
Toronto: NC Press, 1984.
Raunchy, irreverent, crude and rude, Winnipeg, Manitoba private eye Burke takes an anecdotal approach to his life. A refreshing change from the serious tone of some of the other books on this page.
Fallis, Greg, and Ruth Greenberg, ed.
Be Your Own Detective...Buy this book
New York: M. Evans and Company, 1989; revised second edition1998.
Interesting, practical, enlightening guidebook. It's recently been updated and expanded. Co-author Fallis also writes private eye short fiction, occasionally featuring series sleuth Joop Wheeler.
Greene, Marilyn, and Gary Provost
Finder: The True Story of a Private Investigator
New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1988.
Moving, fascinating autobiography of Greene, whom The Wall Street Journal called "the foremost finder of lost souls." Actually reads better than many novels.
Maxwell, Colin and Allan Gould
Child Finder
Scarborough, Ontario:Prentice-Hall Canada,1989.
Autobiography of Colin Maxwell, "Canada's most successful tracker of missing children." Appendix includes some good tips on finding and preventing runaways.
McDermid, Val
A Suitable Job for a Woman: Inside the World of Women Private Eyes
U.K., 1995.
Pankhurst, William,
True Detectives: The Real World of Today's P.I.
New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1989.
A look at several different real-life eyes.
Pileggi, Nicholas,
Blye, Private Eye
New York: Playboy Press, 1976.
Seminal work in the real life eye genre, relating the life story of New York gumshoe Irwin Blye, written by Nicholas Pileggi, who went on to future fame and fortune as the author of Wise Guy, which became the basis for the film Good Fellas. Ten years later, Blye himself co-authored a follow-up and how-to guide entitled Secrets of a Private Eye.
Sedgewick, John,
Night Visions: Confessions of Gil Lewis, Private Eye
New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982.
Well-written look at the exploits of Boston P.I. Gil Lewis.
Thompson, Josiah,
Gumshoe: Reflections in a Private Eye
Boston, Massachusetts, Little Brown and Company, 1988.
Philosophy professor at Yale and Harvard and lifelong Hammett fan decides to chuck it all and becomes a San Francisco gumshoe. I kid you not.

True Detectives: Real-Life Eyes Who've Written P.I. Novels


---Johnny Angel

Polly P.I. said...

Johnny Angel, will you marry me?

Kafaleni said...

Probably not available in the US, but Julia Hartley-Moore is a private investigator who has written two books (Julia Moore, PI and Infidelity). Only about PI stuff, though.. I think the PI and the ME stuff all in one book may leave you outstanding in your own field.

Anonymous said...

A Polly P. I. book would be special if you let the reader see things through your eyes, not through thier suggestions. Writing a blog you only have to capute the attention of a friendly audience for 90 seconds. Polly P.I. will have to have substance not cutness and quick innuendoes. If there is a lot of death you better distinguish between each death so a reader just doesn't dismiss it as okay here is another dead body story.
Most importantly, sepate your personality from your story. Your blog readers like your blog because they like you. Write a story that will stand on its own. At first no one is going to know or care who Polly is. And if you keep asking people what kind of book you should write then you will poduce a book that is all over the board. Produce a book that is in your heart. Produce a book that will say everything you have held back. Produce a book that will tell you things about yourself you did not know. Picture the book you want to write in your minf right now and just go. You know the book you want to write so write it now. No more excuses.

Johnny Angel

By Anonymous, at 12:32 PM

motw said...

what would be special about a Polly PI book and why would it be worth publishing
* main char is a woman
* char is smart, can think on her feet
* char has views that men a. do not, b. can not, c. care not to, express
* char reveals poignant thoughts that connect with the reader
* char balances the morbid and shocking with wicked sense of humor

Tamara said...

*deems Johnny Angel worthy of Polly's hand*

Good advice!! All the things I had in my head that wouldn't come out, and more!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Johnny Angel and Polly
have "met" and Johnny Angel walked away fast with no explanation but full of what could have been.

Johnny Angel

motw said...

* slinks back to the chopped liver plate where she belongs *

punky said...

Or ... write a novel using your experience as a PI as a back drop to the main story ... the story of a woman who has been through hell and back .. who has been wronged ... let down and hurt ... but who finds the strength within her to survive and perservere. Something like that ... only well written :)

punky said...

*decides not to touch Johnny Angel's comment with a 10-foot pole*

So ... who wants cake?

Anonymous said...

I think you may have read something into my comment that i did not mean to suggest. Johnny Angel is committed to remaining a gentleman. One who walked away because his demons--real or imagined-- convined him to.

Johnny Angel

Anonymous said...

Johnny Angel apologizes for so many typos today. Just not paying attention.

Tamara said...

*smooches MOTW, whose comments are ALWAYS beautifully enlightened*

*starts giving Johnny funny looks though*

Polly P.I. said...

*pokes Johnny Angel with Punky's ten-foot pole*

Johnny Angel? Who ARE you? You see, I have a lot of men walk away fast with no explanation so it's hard for me to pin you down...

Also, you said:
Produce a book that is in your heart. Produce a book that will say everything you have held back. Produce a book that will tell you things about yourself you did not know. Picture the book you want to write in your minf right now and just go. You know the book you want to write so write it now. No more excuses.

I don't want Polly to be about what I hold back. Not yet. That's too heavy for what I intend. Admittedly there is far more in my life than I post on this blog or will write in my book, but this is not intended to be my grand opus. It's just my diary.

And as far as "substance", I'm not going to tell my readers how to interpret a greater meaning from what I write. They are smart enough to figure it out on their own.

And, finally, I ask my bloglit for their advice because they are SMART, FUNNY, AMAZING people whose opinions I value and trust. That doesn't mean I don't trust myself, it just means that I have a valuable resource here and I think I would be remiss not to tap into it... them.

So there. ;-)

Bill said...

Point out that your book is like Patricia Cornwell's and Kathy Reichs' books, only better because it's true. Mention their vast audience and say that your book will sell to that group as well as millions of others who love true crime stories. Give 'em a few examples. You shouldn't have any problem making the sale.

Olga said...

Good idea tapping into the bloglit. When you have a resource like all of these great people who adore your blog, it'd be stupid not to use them.

I have a lot of men walk away fast with no explanation so it's hard for me to pin you down...

Could it be they are blinded by your beauty? Or intimidated by the intelligence oozing from you? Or maybe they are unnerved by the beef jerky you have in one hand and the bottle of Mylanta you have in the other hand. Or maybe it's because you "pin down" the men you meet. (Uh, wait - then they would all be running toward you!)

Polly P.I. said...

Mostly it's because I smell.

Eleanor said...

I'm offering the services of the KibEl Agency to investigate Johnny Angel, if you want to Polly! :)

punky said...

Polly ... we can probably get that odor problem taken care of, honey.

*hands polly an odor eliminator kit filled with deoderant, mouth wash, dental floss, Summer's Eve, Foot spray, Gas-X, Shampoo, Soap, Ear wax remover, Fresh Wipes, belly button lint remover*

If any of the above don't resolve the isuue ... I suggest checking for a pulse.


p.s. Johnny Appleseed, er Angel ... sorry if I misinterpreted the comment ... it just seemed a little eerie and stalker like. No harm no foul. I can't read all that well anyway ... :)

Higgy said...

Punky - that's one of the reasons we all love you....
Yu dont reed to will....

Polly - the books that leapt to mind for me were actually Janet Evanovich - and her Stephanie Plum adventures. Although they're corny and over the top - she's a likeable woman with foibles - not perfect, but good enough most of the time - intelligent not ditzy and has amusing felon characters and odd sidekicks. From what we've read of Hummer, Stinky Jimmy, that phone-call freakchild and the Dr Frank - you've got the sidekicks taken care of. I think the interesting perspective of your book will come from you investigating the fraud cases - both those that you bring to justice for trying to screw the system AND those that you find to be perfectly justifiable and leave to their continued disability. Too often these books have no innocent suspects - everyone is guilty. That's not reality.
/2 cents.

jane said...

i've always thought that your blog reminds me of a real life Kinsey Milhone (books by Sue Grafton). i don't know if that helps you in any way or not though..... :-)

Brat said...


What MOTW said.

I wish you luck in your working relationship with an editor. Make them read your blog (all of it) to get a feel for the Polly we all know and care about.

I might have a little advice, speaking as an amateur photographer. The picture you posted of you sitting with your feet braced against what looks like the entry of a bus. That smile and the twinkle in your eyes speak volumes. Might I recommend that as the back cover of the book?

Sarcasmo said...

I don't have anything to add except to say that Sumo Polly would make for a much more interesting book cover photo.

Good luck with the book deal Polly. Knock 'em dead (pun intended).

There's a tip, use some puns in your stories - see, I told you I have nothing to add.

kibby F5 said...

belly button lint remover

They actuall exist!?

Where can I get one?

oh, yea, the book. No ideas.

carry on

Anonymous said...

Polly, Punky and Eleanor,

Please accept my sincere apolgies. In an attempt to be funnier or cooler than i am i posted items that had a harsh tone that may of offended. That was not my goal. I had a chip on my shoulder yesterday--though that is no excuse--and it wont happen again.

Johnny Angel (signed very sheepishly)

JohnW said...

I'm new to your blog and don't have much to add. The reasons I keep coming back are: your first person view, the behind the scene insights of the business/the truthfulness, and your coworker/character development. This is your style, its what we blogits enjoy. I wouldn't change a thing, just incorporate your style around a well defined plot that will hold our attention for 300+ pages.

Can I reserve my place in line at the book signing?

punky said...

Johnny Angel ... it's all good. No worries.

Kibby ... they do indeed make belly button lint cleaners. They are called Q-tips. :)

Tamara said...

Hey, where's MY apology?! ;) Just kidding!!

Tamara's Apology said...

Here I am!!

thor said...

i know i'm late on my response, but i would like to echo that your feminine, first-person perspective is what hooked me. i read through your entire blog before i even met you because of the combined with, humor, and sensitivity that you use to describe every situation, whether pi or me work.

i think you have the potential to capture readers who aren't usually into reading the "icky" parts of pi and me work because you incorporate so much humor into your perspective. maybe others do this, but i haven't read them...although i will definitely read your book. :) so perhaps that's another way to "pitch" your book--you can grab a new audience who doesn't usually get into gross and sometimes gory story lines... if they market you right!

oh, and you'll get the guys to read because you're HOT!

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