Jude Hardin

Author, Drummer, Turtle Whisperer

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Location: United States

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What's Your Gimmick?

Yesterday my son and I were browsing in the bookstore. He asked me why all Dick Francis novels have a picture of a horse on the cover.

“Because his stories are set around horseracing,” I said. “It’s his gimmick.”

“What’s your gimmick?” my son asked.

“I guess I don’t really have one.”

“You should make poker your gimmick.”

“Hmm. I guess I could have a character who’s a professional gambler, a guy who goes to all the big poker tournaments. Of course, it would take a lot of research. I would have to live that life for a while.”

He laughed. “Yeah, sure. Research. That’s what you could call it.”

See, my son thinks life on the road as a gambler sounds exciting and glamorous. I’m not so sure about that, but a poker theme for mysteries does sound like a decent gimmick.

So what’s your gimmick? Do you have one? Does a series sell better with a gimmick?


Blogger Jude Hardin said...

Of course, someone's already doing poker mysteries.

7:55 AM  
Blogger Erica Orloff said...

I was going to say . . . poker's been done. But yes, a gimmick (hook, whatever) does make it easier to sum up your private eye and differentiate him.


7:59 AM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...

I agree, Erica. I just need to predict the next hot activity that might make a good gimmick. Hmmm...

8:21 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Actually, I interviewed Jay MacLarty (a novelist) a couple years ago and at one point in his life he made a living gambling on horse racing. I was intrigued and he noted that although he lived in Vegas, to make a living in horse racing you needed to go back and forth to NYC and LA and he made a great living at it for a while, but then he quit because he was away from his kids too much.

8:21 AM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...

Hi Mark:

Maybe that was before off track betting. Seems like now you could live almost anywhere and bet as many races as you wanted to.

8:29 AM  
Blogger Stephen Parrish said...

You've just inspired me to become a Chippendale.

12:27 PM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...


You want to become a piece of furniture?

12:50 PM  

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