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Purple Pen Diaries

Author(s): Julia Talbot

Brandt is a mystery writer with a fondness for cruises. When he meets security man Marc, he knows he's seen the most interesting thing he's ever found on a boat. They light a hot and heavy fire right away, but somehow Brandt isn't sure he trusts Mr. Tall, Hot and Dangerous.

Marc knows exactly what he wants from Brandt, and it might not actually be help with his latest mystery. Still, Brandt has a knack for getting people to talk, and might be useful. Will they spend the few days they have together solving crimes or burning up the sheets.


When I was a kid, I wanted to be Mickey Spillane. I didn't want to be Mike Hammer, the hard-boiled detective. I wanted to be the incredibly clever and fast-living guy who wrote him. Or maybe Louis L'Amour, sitting in a lodge somewhere in Wyoming, in a room with leather couches and a roaring fire, with lots of deer heads hanging on the wall, writing about tough cowboys and even tougher women.
Then I grew up, and I found out that writing wasn't all about plush studies or noir offices with your name in gold on the door. It's about deadlines and submitting until someone doesn't turn you down and then if you're lucky it's about agents and edits and sell-through and returns on your advance.
Still, it's a living, and sometimes it is about taking a working vacation. Which was why I was in the Bahamas, sitting on my balcony on a cruise ship, eating chocolate chip cookies and having coffee while I worked on the latest book in the Purple Pen series.
The Purple Pen was my life's blood these days. Six books written, four published, and I was contracted for another two. The stories about a guy who posed as a woman to write a purple prose advice column and solved mysteries at the same time sold like crazy, which meant I was making a living at the writing, if not making millions.
Only someone like Stephen King makes millions. You can have a Times bestseller and see half of your advance go down the drain.
I love cruises. Oh, sure, it makes me sound like a sixty-five year old retiree or the world's biggest queen. While I am queer, I don't flame, and I don't wear gold lame shorts to the gay pride parade every year. My love of cruises comes from being a writer. They're fascinating microcosms, just like airports or malls or hospitals, but with robes and towel origami and free sushi.
Usually, I squeeze in a three day cruise while I'm on the east coast anyway, doing something with my book. If I have to fly out from New Mexico, I might as well get something out of it. This time, though, I was on a seven day trip that would take in two other ports besides Nassau. It was a good time. I'd already done the obligatory book promo and shit, so now it was time to relax.
Of course, for me, relaxing meant writing. I'm nosy by nature, and standing in line to do things like check in on the cruise and wait for the buffet is a huge source of fodder for me. I was on a roll, killing off this octogenarian Yankee I'd seen screaming at some poor kid from Yugoslavia because one of the five hundred drink machines was out of lemonade.
If you were that much of an entitlement junkie, you were going to get killed off in my next novel.

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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 978-1-60370-939-2
Genre: GLBT
Date Published: 03/03/2010
Publisher: Torquere Press

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