Monday, June 28, 2010

Mad Bette Davis Fan in Crime Novel?

Dear Rich: Just wanted to check before I make a blooper. Is it ok for me to write about somebody being a mad Bette Davis fan and mentioning her films and the love of them, for example? I'm trying to add authenticity to my crime novel. By "mad" we assume you're applying the colloquial use of the term as popularized in the New York metroploitan area in the 1980s (and which I first heard used by my relative, Matt "Frontrunners" Polazzo) -- that is, not the more common "brain sick" or "angry" interpretation of mad. Why do we ask? We don't really know since it doesn't really matter what the meaning is. The fact is you're never going to get in trouble for making one of your novel's characters into a rabid Bette Davis fan (though you won't want to put Bette's picture on the cover of your book). But for those of us who aren't particularly wild about Bette or those other over-the-top 30s-40s actresses -- Joan Crawford and Barbara Stanwyck, etc. -- may we suggest that a more interesting choice might be Veronica Lake or Gene Tierney. Y'know, just sayin'