I met Jeffery Deaver this past weekend.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the guy – I mean, he’s hugely famous, wildly successful, and insanely prolific. I figured he’d come in to the Pikes Writers Conference, toss out a quick key-note and bugger off to write some more. (His work ethic is pretty famous in my circles.)
But he did so much more than that. He not only stuck around to teach a class or two to us newbies/wanna-bes/hope-to-bes, he also mingled, socialized and rubbed elbows with the commoners. Something he may never do again…
I came into his class semi-late, right before the starting bang and sat right in the front row. I had a lot to learn.
It turns out that I have accidentally written a thriller, you see, except that I didn’t know that I was writing a thriller at the time. I thought I was writing a slightly grim and gritty coming of age, contemporary YA.
Then I let people read it. “The pacing’s all wrong.” They said.
At first I didn’t get it. The pacing was just fine for a coming of age tale.
But that’s not what I had written. I had written a suspenseful thriller, without so many thrills… Oops.
So I was at Pikes Peak this year on a path of self education and course correction. I needed to learn how to write suspense. And if I’m going to take advice from anyone in that area – a wildly successful, hugely famous, incredibly prolific suspense/thriller writer like Jeffery Deaver seems like a good place to start.
He gave a great talk. He had rules to follow that actually made sense. He had funny examples and walked us through the plotting and writing of a novel. This was not a step-by-step by painful step “How to plot and outline a novel.” I did not want to shove pencils in my ears when he was done to stop the droning – no this was Jeffery Freaking Deaver. And, true to his reputation, he took us on a thrilling ride of discovery, complete with a surprise ending.
As the day wound down we all gravitated toward the bar. And there I saw him – Jeffery Deaver, in the flesh. No longer behind a protective podium, no body guards stood watch (something I’m sure he regrets now). He was just hanging out, like he was a regular guy. One of us.
And he was talking to a friend of mine.
I sauntered over, trying to be casual. My friend introduced us, and dropped the magic word. The word that started it all.
“This is Bree, and she has a tipi in her backyard.”
Tipi. It’s not the word you associate with whiskey drinking red-heads.
And this is how Jeffery Deaver came to get sexted by me.
Here’s what happened. Jeffery Deaver wanted to know about this strange and mythical tipi.
Was it big? How big?
Was it cool? How cool?
“Let me show you.” I said, and I whipped out my phone. Inconveniently forgetting that I’ve taken about 200 pictures since the last tipi photo was snapped.
So, Jeffery Deaver stood, patiently, over my shoulder as I scrolled through photos of my daughter’s latest epic injury (obtained while climbing Mount Everest aka the slide),
my other daughter’s Swiss Army Knife birthday present,
the science fair, chickens, chickens being stalked by cats,
more pictures of my children, a naked man,
Wait, what? A naked man? You really showed Jeffery Deaver a photo of a naked man? I totally thought that title was just to get me to open the link!
Um, no, the title wasn’t just a teaser. I really did sext Jeffery Deaver. Kind of. Oops.
Lucky for me Jeff (I can call him that now, can’t I? I mean we’ve sexted… that puts on a first name basis, doesn’t it?) Jeff is a very nice, very casual guy. So he didn’t run away. Instead he stood over my shoulder for more pictures of my kids, and chickens, the greenhouse, which does not in fact grow weed – those really are tomato plants,
until finally – red-faced and apologetic… I found it, the tipi.
“Oh, yeah, that’s pretty cool. So, tell me more about this eight year old daughter with a Swiss Army Knife, and your six-year-old Mount Everest Climber…”