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becke_davis
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JUNE FEATURE: FLIPPING OUT by Marshall Karp

Marshall Karp's books were recommended to me by another BN.com moderator, and I owe him a big thank you. FLIPPING OUT is the third in a series starring detectives Mike Lomax and Terry Biggs, but it stands alone just fine. (I can vouch for this, since -- as I often do -- I'm reading the series in reverse order.

 

I loved FLIPPING OUT so much, I read it in one sitting. I was laughing out loud in some places, and quoting clever lines to my husband throughout the book. I'm passing these on to my dad when I'm finished, because I know he's going to be hooked on them, too.

 

How to describe Marshall Karp's writing? Ed McBain meets Rodney Dangerfield? That's not quite it, but it's close. McBain's 87th Precinct novels bring to life the detectives who work together as well as their wives and families, and Karp's books do the same. This book was plenty dark but the creepy bits were balanced by the clever repartee between the two detectives.  The characters were likable and believable, and the plot was filled with enough twists to keep a mystery-phile like me on my toes.

 

I figured out enough of the ending so I didn't feel like a complete dunce, but other aspects of it really caught me by surprise -- and yet, still fit perfectly with the characters and the plot.  Marshall Karp can definitely add me to his list of fans.

 

I'm going to post an intro to Marshall and his books in a separate post. Be sure to stop by and say hi!

The Rabbit Factory 

Bloodthirsty 

Flipping Out     

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becke_davis
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Re: JUNE FEATURE: FLIPPING OUT by Marshall Karp

[ Edited ]

A big welcome to MARSHALL KARP, best-selling author of the LOMAX & BIGGS mystery series. We're featuring his latest release, FLIPPING OUT, which is the third book in the series.

 

Here's a link to Marshall's blog, and I have to say, that is one cute dog (looks a lot like my dog, Maggie, who has passed on):

 

http://www.lomaxandbiggs.com/

 

You'll be impressed by the mystery authors who are recommending Marshall's books:

 

http://www.lomaxandbiggs.com/reviews-flippingout.html

 

http://www.lomaxandbiggs.com/reviews-rabbitfactory.html

http://www.lomaxandbiggs.com/reviews-bloodthirsty.html

 

His books are great mysteries with clever dialogue and hard-to-solve murders -- what more could a mystery-lover ask for?

  


Message Edited by becke_davis on 05-31-2009 12:04 AM
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becke_davis
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Re: JUNE FEATURE: FLIPPING OUT by Marshall Karp

I'm going to paste in Marshall's bio from his website -- it will give you a taste of the way he writes:

 

ABOUT MARSHALL

 

It’s been a great life so far.

I’ve been a writer all my life. Commercials, TV sitcoms, a play, a movie, and nobody wanted to know much about me. Now I’m an author, and people are stalking me. Well, maybe not stalking, but they sure have a lot of questions. Here goes…

 

IN THE BEGINNING…

 

I was born in Manhattan, but grew up in a small factory town across the river in New Jersey. But New York was a magnet for me. Happily I had family to visit in Harlem, Brooklyn, The Bronx, and every year I’d spend the summer with my aunt and uncle in Queens. My movie, Just Looking, is loosely based on those summers. It’s about a 14-year-old boy, who is fascinated with sex, but it’s 1955, so what’s he supposed to do? Well, in the movie, he does what I did in real life.

In high school my favorite English teacher, Cornelius O’Connor, encouraged me to write. But I knew my parents would be happier if I got a real job, so I went to Rutgers University to study biology and become a dentist. Really, a dentist.

Fortunately, I flunked biology. But I did well in English composition, and I was writing for the school paper, so I muddled through as an English major, with no real plans for what to do after graduation.

Uncle Sam, however, had serious plans. Vietnam. I had 110 percent chance of getting drafted, but I didn’t want to go to war. It wasn’t a political statement. It’s this phobia I have about being in a jungle with people shooting at me. So I joined the National Guard. I spent six months in active duty, most of it in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. I learned to build bridges, wrote letters to the girl back home, drove the 860 mile round trip to Chicago with my friend Barry Labovitz as many weekends as we could, and not much else.

 

OK, SO I’M NOT GOING TO DENTAL SCHOOL. NOW WHAT?

 

By the time I got out of the army my girlfriend had a job as an advertising copywriter, so I got one too. How’s that for career planning, kids? Early on, along with my art director, Andy Langer, I created two award-winning campaigns. One, for Mutual of New York Life Insurance, featured people who seem to have bright futures, until you learn that the breadwinner of the family died, leaving them without any money. The first commercial starred an unknown named John Travolta. He appears to be a college kid on his way to class. Instead, he stops at a luncheonette, unlocks the door, and starts sweeping the floor. It won me a bunch of awards, and young Mr. Travolta did pretty well himself.

I followed up with the successful “Thank You, Paine Webber” campaign, and if you’re too young to remember it, good. I’m trying to bore the **bleep** out of you, so you won’t ask so many questions about what I did before The Rabbit Factory.

 

MY FIRST MID-LIFE CRISIS

 

In advertising, the punishment for being a good writer is to promote you and tell you not to write. Before long I had a big title, a big office, and I supervised a hundred people. I was the boss, but all I could think was, “is this all there is?”

So I started writing at night, and in 1982, my play, Squabbles, was produced. First at a dinner theatre in Kansas City, then in New Hampshire, where it got great reviews in the Boston media. It was published by Samuel French, and a quarter of a century later, it’s still going.

ABC-TV wanted to turn it into a sitcom, and I wrote the pilot, but it didn’t fly. I wrote a few more pilots and in 1985, CBS picked one up for series. But I wasn’t ready to leave advertising. In 1987, another pilot got picked up. I took a shot and became producer/head writer of Everything’s Relative starring Jason Alexander. By the end of the first season the show crashed and burned.

I was immediately hired as a writer-producer on NBC’s hit show Amen. It was fun, but I didn’t want to uproot my wife and kids, so while I worked in Hollywood, they stayed in New York. After two years, I was so homesick I headed back east and did the unthinkable. I went back into advertising. Big agency, big job, but for me, it was been there, done that.

And then, along came the dot com days. I jumped on it. I opened Compelling Content, an Internet advertising agency. I created websites for all kinds of companies, and five years later I sold the company. I spent the next year in indentured servitude working for the idiots who bought it. Then, in 2000, two wonderful things happened. My movie was released, and the people who were running Compelling Content into the ground fired me.

At long last, I had time to write a novel.

 

HONEY, I THINK I’LL TAKE 6 MONTHS OFF TO WRITE A BOOK.

 

It took five years. From hiring an editor, to shuffling index cards, to first draft, second draft, finding an agent, finding a publisher, fifth draft, sixth draft, to the day I finally walked into a bookstore and said to the clerk “do you have The Rabbit Factory?”

He tapped into his computer and said, “by Marshall Karp?”

“Yeah,” I said, with my heart pounding. “That guy.”

“We’re sold out, and four people have it on order,” he said. “Do you want me to order you a copy?”

I was about to answer him, when my wife dragged me out of the store.

“Why did you do that?” I asked.

“Because I know you. You were going to whip out your driver’s license, show him who you were, and ask for the home phone numbers of the four people who ordered the book, so you could thank them.”

God, the woman knows me so well.

I’ve written two more Lomax and Biggs mysteries since then, and I’m currently working on book four.

So, that’s my bio. I left out a few parts, which I’ll try to add from time to time.

But you get the theme. It was right there at the top of the page.

It’s been a great life so far. 

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becke_davis
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Re: JUNE FEATURE: FLIPPING OUT by Marshall Karp

[ Edited ]

Here are more links to reviews of Marshall's books, interviews, blogs, etc.:

 

http://jamespatterson.ning.com/profiles/blogs/reader-review-of-flipping-out 

 

http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2009/04/marshall-karp-interview.html

 

http://www.murderati.com/blog/2009/4/18/marshall-karp-flips-out.html

 

 http://writerunboxed.com/2009/04/03/author-interview-marshall-karp-part-one/

 

 http://ptbertram.wordpress.com/2009/04/11/titles-what-makes-a-good-one/

 

http://marketingfloozy.wordpress.com/2009/04/12/how-to-do-a-blog-tour/

 

http://www.popsyndicate.com/books/story/marshall_karp_is_flipping_out

 

http://www.mostlyfiction.com/sleuths/karp.htm 

 

http://materialwitness.typepad.com/material_witness/2008/07/interview-marshall-karp-author-of-bloodt... 

 

http://dragonmyfeet.wordpress.com/2009/04/11/flipping-out-by-marshall-karp-a-review/ 

 

 

Here's more about Marshall that I found on the web:

 

 

Marshall Karp, an advertising executive who wrote commercials for Coca-Cola, Stroeh's Beer, Gillette, and who created the classic "Thank You, Paine Webber" campaign, left a career of interrupting televisions shows to write for them. In 1987, he created, wrote and produced "Everything's Relative," a CBS comedy starring Jason Alexander as a neurotic New Yorker looking for love in all the wrong places. 

 

Karp moved on to become writer / producer for the NBC hit, "Amen," then served as writer / co-executive producer for ABC's "Baby Talk," starring George Clooney, and NBC's "Working it Out," starring Jane Curtin. His play "Squabbles" has been produced in several languages in 500 theaters worldwide. "Just Looking" is his first screenplay.

 

Karp is the recipient of numerous awards for creativity in advertising, including 5 Clios, 4 One Club Gold Awards, a Cannes Film Festival Lion and The Icon Award for Interactive. 

 

Marshall is also on Twitter if you want to follow him: http://twitter.com/MarshallKarp

 

And you can find him on Facebook, too: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1667420025&ref=ts 


Message Edited by becke_davis on 05-30-2009 10:57 PM
Message Edited by becke_davis on 05-31-2009 12:03 AM
Message Edited by becke_davis on 05-31-2009 02:37 PM
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becke_davis
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Re: JUNE FEATURE: FLIPPING OUT by Marshall Karp

[ Edited ]

Whew! As you can see, Marshall is everywhere!  I hardly know where to start with questions, so I'll start out easy:

 

Marshall, I'm hooked on your Lomax & Biggs mysteries! I noticed at the end of Flipping Out, you acknowledged several real people who were included in your book.  Did you get the idea for these books based on someone you knew in real life?

 

You've had a varied and successful career.  What brought you to mystery writing, specifically (rather than some other form of fiction -- like straight humor a la Dave Barry)?

 

Do you have a planned number of Lomax & Biggs books, or will you continue writing them as long as readers demand them?  When can we expect book four -- and can you give us any hints about it?

 

Okay, I'm going to stop there for now. We've got a whole month ahead of us, and BN.com put the links up early, after all.  A quick note -- there is a problem with the links by the icons at the upper right corner of the page, not the least of which is a misspelling of Marshall's name. That's out of my purview but hopefully our talented tech's will have that fixed soon.  Meanwhile, you can order any of Marshall's books by clicking the images in my earlier posts. 

Message Edited by becke_davis on 05-30-2009 11:44 PM
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becke_davis
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Re: JUNE FEATURE: FLIPPING OUT by Marshall Karp

Just a quick note -- Marshall is having some technical difficulties and won't be joining us until Tuesday. Be sure to stop by and say hello!
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bukkaboom
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Re: JUNE FEATURE: FLIPPING OUT by Marshall Karp

Read every book of Marshall Karp's Lomax & Biggs serie.  They are fantatsic. I am glad the rest of the world is finally finding out about him.

 

If chocolate cake could be a pet, I'd name mine Marshall Karp.  If athlete's foot was a pet, I'd name it Nancy Pelosi. 

 

Now you know.

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becke_davis
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Re: JUNE FEATURE: FLIPPING OUT by Marshall Karp

I've carried The Rabbit Factory with me on two trips to Florida, but got too busy to do much reading on both trips. I ended up reading Flipping Out first, then thought -- what the heck? So I decided to read the whole series in reverse order. Still a great series, even reading it backwards.
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Marshall_Karp
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Re: JUNE FEATURE: FLIPPING OUT by Marshall Karp

Elvis has entered the building.  I would have been here sooner but for some reason the Sales Prevention Team at Barnes & Noble decided to lock me out.  

 

For the past 10 years I've had a bn.com account, a user name, and a password.  But now that I'm a featured author at the bn mystery club, I can't get in.

 

I spent about 3 days yelling obscenities at my computer and/or emailing, facebooking, and finally telephoning Becke to help me get me in.   Note that I said FINALLY telephoning Becke.  In 2009 the standard business communication practice is to type long incoherent emails or 140 character incoherent Tweets for days and nights on end, until the two correspondents are completely confused and finally realize there's this thing called the telephone.  

 

All it took was one phone call and the problem was fixed.  So thanks for inviting me, and thanks for letting me in.  This club is harder to get into than Spago on Oscar night.  Anyway now that I'm finally here, I have a question.  Where's the men's room?

 

So let me introduce myself with the same ten words that I have used countless times in my life.  I'm Marshall Karp.  Sorry I'm late.  It wasn't my fault.

 

Being late for all events big or small appears to be my destiny. It's a life long problem.  In fact, last week, I blogged about it on my site.  The title of the post is WHAT'S THAT MOUSE DOING IN MY DOG'S WATER BOWL?  My site is lomaxandbiggs dot com, but I'll try to keep all links simple using tiny url.  The post is at http://tinyurl.com/oktfgs

 

For those of you who have never met me, heard of me, or even noticed I wasn't here yesterday, it's as good an introduction as any.  And if you're one of those people who is habitually late, or if you're always on time but somehow you wound up in a long term relationship with someone who's even less punctual than Amtrak, give it a read.

 

That's all for now.  We have all month to talk.  Assuming they let me back in.

 

 

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Marshall_Karp
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Re: JUNE FEATURE: FLIPPING OUT by Marshall Karp

Hey bukkaboom, that chocolate cake/athlete's foot comment is so damn quotable I asked my agent if he thought it would make a great blurb for my next book jacket.  He said absolutely not.  I forgot that he's also Nancy Pelosi's agent.  Really.  He is.

 

Thanks for reading my books. As for your comment about the rest of the world finding out about me, that was a real surprise.  I thought I was the only one that delusional about my career.

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becke_davis
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Re: JUNE FEATURE: FLIPPING OUT by Marshall Karp

As you can see, this month is going to be a wild ride with Marshall joining us. We both had a harried weekend but, thank you God, he has made it! Unfortunately, when he was undoubtedly cursing me, his words must have reached the right ears, because I got up this a.m. and -- scariest thing ever! -- NO INTERNET!!!!  

 

Restarted the computer: nada. Got on my hands and knees (at my age, considered staying down there) and unplugged and replugged every darn cord on the computer and wireless modem. My husband, who actually knows about these things, is out of town so it was up to the non-tech person of the family to figure it out. Got on the horn with my wireless company (yes, Marshall, once again the phone was my weapon of last resort) as the poor guy walked me through the whole unplugging, replugging in thing all over again.

 

To say I was happy when the connection started working again is a massive understatement: I may have cried a little.

 

So, whew, let me start over with an attempt at sane conversation: Good morning/afternoon, everyone.  Hi Marshall, I am unbelievably thrilled to see that you made it. I can't believe it's not Monday -- it sure feels like it! 

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becke_davis
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Re: JUNE FEATURE: FLIPPING OUT by Marshall Karp

Marshall -- Tell us more about Lomax & Biggs. Your writing career has been extremely varied. When you came up with the idea for this team of detectives, were you always intending them to be in a series of books? I wondered if you might have originally conceived of them as a modern day Starsky and Hutch, suitable for a TV screenplay.
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Re: JUNE FEATURE: FLIPPING OUT by Marshall Karp

Hello to all our lurkers out there -- close to 200 of you. Do any of you have questions for Marshall? I'm trying to come up with questions that will interest you, but let me know if there's anything particular you'd like to know.

 

Here's an easy one for Marshall:  You have very catchy titles, that suit your books perfectly. I understand that often a publishing company will override the author's title preference and go with a title of their own choosing. So, are these your titles? Or did the publisher change them? 

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Re: JUNE FEATURE: FLIPPING OUT by Marshall Karp

Becke,

 

Not much chatter from the assembled crowd.  Reminds me of the old Borscht Belt comic who tells joke after joke and gets nothing but silence.  Finally, he yells, "what are you?  An audience or an oil painting?"

 

I'm beginning to think this whole month is just going to be between you and me.  Maybe we should just do it on the phone and be kind to our typing fingers.  

 

The question you asked above, that said "tell us more about Lomax and Biggs," sounded like you were trying hard to get a dialogue going.  The short answer is that I got to a point in my TV/film career when I decided I was too old for Hollywood.  I was tired of pitching ideas to studio executives who were still going through puberty.  Tired of saying, "No I don't know if it would work as a video game."

 

I decided to write a book.  One book.  I didn't have any leftover TV characters sitting around in a drawer.  I created Lomax and Biggs for the printed page.  I developed them as people first.  In fact, the latest blog on my website talks about how I work at developing characters.  Only after I had them as three dimensional people, did I make them cops.  

 

I figured I'd be lucky to finish the one book.  It was beyond my wildest dream to get it published.  And now I can't believe that I just finished the fourth book with them.  But apparently the two lead characters have enough depth and texture to keep readers interested and warrant a series.

 

As for titles, I was on Facebook and someone posted the topic "What Makes a Good Title" on the Suspense/Thriller Writers discussion board. I wrote a short essay, and the moderator, Pat Bertram, asked if she could repurpose it for her blog:

 

http://ptbertram.wordpress.com/2009/04/11/titles-what-makes-a-good-one/

 

If you're thinking of writing a book, it's worth a read.  But if you just want to know who comes up with my titles, it's me.  However, if my wife, my kids, my dentist, or anyone else suggested one I like, I wouldn't hesitate to use it. 

 

As for you lurkers out there, don't feel obligated to ask any questions.  But maybe you can answer one.  Are you writing or thinking about writing a book?  

 

Since I did my blog tour for Flipping Out I met a lot of talented bloggers who are hoping to some day become authors, but they're scared to make the leap.  If it's any consolation, I was just as scared.  So now I'd like to try to help out those people who have the talent, but are still paralyzed with fear.  In fact the blog I posted today gives them an assignment.  

 

Of course, it's possible that a lot of you aren't really interested in writing or mysteries, and you just wandered in here by mistake.  Maybe you were looking for a cooking website and you went through the wrong portal.  If that's you, I can help.

 

My Hungarian grandmother gave me her secret recipe for chicken soup that tastes incredible and costs practically nothing to make.  First you steal a chicken...

 

 

 

 

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becke_davis
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Re: JUNE FEATURE: FLIPPING OUT by Marshall Karp

With you along, at least it's a dialogue instead of a monologue. And I'm sure all of our lurkers are smiling!

 

I love those Borscht Belt comics -- Jackie Mason is probably my favorite. I've checked out your writing blog (I "know" Pat Bertram -- she rocks!) and, like everything else I've seen of yours, it's very well-written. And yes, you guessed correctly, I was trying to get a conversation going about Lomax & Biggs. I read a LOT of mysteries but, compared to the number I read, the ones I get hooked on are relatively few. I'm not sucking up (well, maybe a little) when I say I'll keep coming back for more of these two.  I've been trying to think who your writing style reminds me of. It's uniquely you, for the most part, but you have a way of writing that makes it easy for a reader to fly through the pages. I feel the same way when I read Robert B. Parker, so maybe there's a similarity to some extent. 

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Marshall_Karp
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Re: JUNE FEATURE: FLIPPING OUT by Marshall Karp

This has been a hell of an exciting whirlwind day here at the bn mystery book club.  The biggest mystery, of course, is where are all the book clubbers?
 
Now I know how the Maytag repairman feels.  We'll try again tomorrow. 
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becke_davis
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Re: JUNE FEATURE: FLIPPING OUT by Marshall Karp

They tend to be a quiet bunch here. Don't you hear the pitter patter of 200 pairs of feet?
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becke_davis
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Re: JUNE FEATURE: FLIPPING OUT by Marshall Karp

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARSHALL!
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Marshall_Karp
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Re: JUNE FEATURE: FLIPPING OUT by Marshall Karp

Yes, it's my birthday.  Thanks for the public shout out, but I doubt that will motivate anyone. These guys have obviously been there before.  I mean, if you've wished one mystery author a happy birthday, you've wished them all.

 

 

 

 

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becke_davis
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Re: JUNE FEATURE: FLIPPING OUT by Marshall Karp

They are all sending up virtual balloons for you! Hope you had a fun day!