Furthermore, I’ll be announcing the podcast package of digital novels and short stories to be sold right here on this site. So stay tuned!
Today I have a guest post by the the author I’ll interview on the next Crime Cafe. He is Thomas Kaufman, a mystery author and filmmaker. Thomas is giving away a copy of his first novel DRINK THE TEA. To enter the contest for the book, just email Thomas Kaufman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And now, without further ado and with great pleasure, I give you Thomas!
I recently read BLINK by Malcom Gladwell, in which he writes about “thin-slicing,” the act of making a snap judgment. We can do this by using our subconscious mind, in which the sum total of our life experience resides. Even though we can’t consciously open the door to that part of our mind, it does deliver messages, often in the blink of an eye.
Basketball, for instance, is a game that is all about snap decisions. The players practice endlessly, and the sum total of all their games inform their spilt-second choices on the court. Playing jazz music, the act of improvisation, relies heavily on the subconscious mind – the tempo is too fast to do anything else. Likewise, improve comedy. The musicians and the actors practice, so that when they’re on stage they give their subconscious a lot of room for input. And art historians — in BLINK we read that the Getty Museum had paid $14 million after doing copious scientific research to make sure a sculpture wasn’t a fraud, only to have half a dozen art historians tell them it was a fake the instant they saw it..
When I listen to the Beatles, and hear a McCartney bass line, I know that he’s playing what sounds good to him. He didn’t send out questionnaires to fans, or surveys asking which possible bass lines they like best. He most likely didn’t query his fellow band mates, asking if they had a preference. No, he just played what felt right to him. He played the kind of music he himself would like to hear.
That what we writers do, we write what we ourselves would enjoy reading. It’s not an easy task, but there’s usually no doubt in our minds when we’ve achieved it.
What does BLINK have to do with writing? For me, quite a lot. I don’t outline my books, and I say this with humility, it’s not a boast. I wish I could write really great outlines but my brain doesn’t seem to work that way. Instead, I try to let my subconscious mind help out. When it happens, it’s immediately right. I know it is. And it happens in the blink of an eye.
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Thomas Kaufman is the author of Drink the Tea and Steal the Show. When he’s not writing about DC private eye Willis Gidney, Thomas Kaufman is an Emmy award- winning motion picture director/cameraman. He’s shot and directed programs about cops, DEA, FBI, and even CIA agents. In addition to his work for National Geographic, Discovery, BBC, and WGBH, Mr Kaufman has also shot documentaries for Academy Award-winners Mark Jonathan Harris, Charles Guggenheim, and Barbara Koppel. Mr Kaufman’s current film project is an independent documentary, INDIAN HILL SUMMER. You can see the trailer and a lot more at www.thomaskaufman.com
Mr Kaufman has twice won the Gordon Parks Award for Cinematography, and an Emmy for his documentary about deaf children, SEE WHAT I=M SAYING.