Guest Post and FREE BOOK!


Today we have Michael Estrin, author of Murder and Other Distractions, with a great guest post. His book is also FREE for 3 days so go grab your copy!

Why I write in public (sometimes)

Michael Estrin

I’m a loathsome cliché. Really, there’s no other way to look at it.

Hipster glasses? Check.

Beard? Check.

Silver Macbook Pro? Check.

Seriously, you can’t throw a rock at Los Angeles coffee house without hitting a dude like me and giving another one of my clones material for a screenplay. That’s why I prefer writing at home, where the coffee is cheap and I don’t have to worry about some dirtball running off with my computer (and pages!) when I duck into the bathroom.

But occasionally the risk of computer theft, overpriced coffee, and the fear of being labeled a cliché are worth writing in public. I mean, where else would you get this kind of material?

Middle-aged man: I love wrong numbers.

Slightly younger woman: Why?

Middle-aged man: You never know what’s going to happen. Last week, this guy called and asked if I wanted to have sex with his wife.

Slightly younger woman: What?! Seriously? You can’t be serious.

Middle-aged man: He realized it was the wrong number, but we got to talking, and he asked if I would have sex with his wife while he watched.

Slightly younger woman: No! What did you say?

Middle-aged man: I said it depends on what his wife looks like and how involved he is in this whole situation.

This conversation actually happened within earshot of me at my local coffee house. I don’t normally take notes while eavesdropping, but then again, I usually don’t have a Word Doc open while some guy is talking about swingers with sloppy phone dialing skills.

That’s the beauty of writing in public. Strangers say the most amazing things. Every conversation is a gem. But no matter how memorable the dialogue, people never follow a script, not really.

Instead of wrapping up this strange anecdote, the two people next to me just changed the topic. The woman told the man she thought his interest in the wrong number swinger was a sign he was suffering from a mid-life crisis. He thought about that and smiled, she sipped her coffee, then they began talking about an old friend who had foolishly moved to Austin to open a sushi bar.

So what happened with the middle-aged man, the wrong number dialer, and his wife? I have no idea. It sounds like the start of a great short story, though. But figuring out how the man and the wrong number dialer “got to talking”—or whether you even need to explain that— is a lot easier without distractions, which is why I (mostly) write at home.

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Here’s a link to my book, Murder and Other Distractions

Author Bio:

Michael Estrin grew up in Los Angeles, fled, and returned.

He has written for a broad range of publications, including American Way, Nerve, Bitter Lawyer, AskMen, Draft, California Lawyer, and Penthouse (yes, they have articles, too).

Murder and Other Distractions is his first novel.

Murder and Other Distractions Cover

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Posted on February 27, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’ve written most of two novels in public places, coffee shops being my favorite but I’m usually listening to music so I do not get the conversations. I like coffee shop writing as I can spend a little time people watching as a brief distraction.

  2. This is hilarious! One of the best guest posts I’ve read in a while. And I do agree with getting out of the house occasionally, otherwise I become a caged animal ready to rip something apart. 🙂

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