Thankfully, there's bad prose to cheer me up. Jessica McBride bad. Via the Brawler:
The Economist recently noted that Minneapolis produced more crime fiction than Milwaukee. Clearly it wasn't aware that Jessica's on the case:So, a contest: I buy a drink at the next Milwaukee Drinking Liberally (or a thousand imaginary bonus points--your choice) for the worst opening paragraph for an imaginary novel in the comments below. Enter as often as you like; extra weight will be given to those imaginary novels with a title. Contest closes on primary night, September 12th, at the time the AP calls the GOP attorney general's race. Or midnight, whichever comes first. Wednesday morning I'll post the winner and any others I find amusing. The winner can claim his or her prize at Drinking Liberally that night.
Here's the opening of The Jumper. It's with an agent now. I've been advised they don't like it if you "publish" it first on the Web, so I may just add excerpts from time to time to this page.
The premise: A Milwaukee police cold case detective jumps off the Hoan Bridge. Or did he? Assigned to investigate the death, homicide detective Michael St. Germaine finds himself embroiled in a decades-old intrigue that reaches into the top echelons of power. Forced to band together with the newspaper reporter he detests, St. Germaine soon finds himself face-to-face with his own past.
Nowhere is closer to purgatory than Milwaukee in November. Death spread its unhealthy pallor across the city. Corpses of Maple leaves fluttered around, given bursts of life from a squall heading over Lake Michigan. Milwaukee police detective Ken Schweppe swung open the door to Blast's Tap, for the last time, thinking that the weather matched his mood. It was hard to be happy in Milwaukee this time of year.
Have at it--and I'll remind you regularly about the deadline.