Dana Bowman, the main character in my Beyond mystery series is taking over my life – both professional and maybe some personal. Considering all the bad things that have been happening in my personal life lately (and no ramble on that here), maybe that’s a good thing.
It all started back at the book launch of Beyond Blood October 19, 2014. The editor at my publisher’s, Shane, suggested that the other mystery author, Klaus Jakelski, launching a mystery novel Dead Wrong and I do a brief skit. He also gave the criteria – we would be our main characters and the skit would be a mock-up of a scene in his novel. Klaus’ character would be waiting to meet a broadcaster and instead gets Dana Bowman, PI, but friend of his book’s broadcast character. Shane had to talk Klaus into doing this, but once Klaus agreed, he came up with a good short script.
The short skit went off okay, although I kept sneaking looks at the script, hidden in one of Dana’s props – her large sketchpad.
But it gave me courage to do future skits. This time as it was only me then, I did a 10-minute improv – no actual script, just a list of what I wanted to cover as Dana dissed her author (me). And lots of practice plus filling my mind with the skit in the hours before showtime. It went over well here at my East End Writer’s Group 15th anniversary presentation. One comment afterwards was it was great, like the character just jumping out of the book (this is a guy very critical of others’ writing). And another author who has acting experience said it was good, but she suggested not having the character do any actual reading from the book as it lowered the energy level.
Fair enough. I’ve done variations of the skit twice since then and seemed to actually fool one person in the audience. When I returned into the room, dressed back as Sharon, he commented “Oh, you’re back.” I know I wear a black wig, cap and sunglasses, but… you can check out Dana’s photo at the top and see what you think. The next skit was at a Syrian Refugee fundraiser in early December. I was overtired then and didn’t think Dana was up to her usual. But one person in the audience thought it was great.
Have I found a new calling in my old age? One that combines as book promo? I’m scheduled to do a 10-minute skit May 28 at the Toronto Heliconian club during Toronto’s big annual Doors Open event. And for the rest of the afternoon I’m there volunteering, I’ll be dressed up as Dana. A couple more Dana appearances are in the works, one with another person who has acting experience.
Methinks I need a bit of training in improv. Off to Bad Dog Theatre mini-workshop at least, next month.
Dana is also inhibiting my mind with novel plots, etc. But that’s another story. Check out the Gigs and Blurbs page connected with this blog and my website There will be a new better-designed website (same address) hopefully the end of this month/early April. My son, the computer whiz and I are working on it.
Sharon A. Crawford