Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I Want to Be a Writer Like Castle

by Rachael Phillips 

Perhaps you are of noble literary stock, having sworn off television forever in order to perfect your craft. I, however, am married to a man who enjoys this kind of “together time,” and lately, we have succumbed to the Castle series.

For you who study adverbs together instead, Rick Castle is a internationally best-selling author who writes mystery and suspense novels. He works daily with a gorgeous, street-savvy New York City detective, Kate Beckett. Together, they put all the bad guys and girls in jail—she, wearing the appropriate bulletproof vest labeled “police,” and he wearing one labeled “writer.”      

Castle produces a new best seller with every episode—except when writer’s block strikes. Then he releases one every other episode. All this is accomplished in exactly one scene out of hundreds in which Castle actually plants his rump in a chair, sits at a computer and writes ... for exactly 13 seconds.

His reviews soar to the moon and back. Readers bow down and worship him on the streets. He never has to worry that his book-signing attendees only ducked into the bookstore to find Karen Kingsbury and/or a restroom.   

Did I mention he’s a millionaire? With a few estates dotted here and there that he kind of seems to forget about?

Unless my memory is worse than I thought, I don’t have extra mansions stashed away in Martha’s Vineyard.     

But, then, no muggers, mobsters, crazed scientists, crooked politicians, loco cowboys, pathological doctors or salivating tigers have chased me lately.

Hordes of readers do not visit shrines built in my honor. But one recent widower told my husband, his doctor, “I always look forward to Wednesdays, when the paper publishes your wife’s column. On Wednesdays, I know I will laugh.”

So, curled beside my honey on the couch with our February-appropriate lap robes, I can live vicariously through Castle’s blessings. And count my own.

Except for one thing.

I really want one of those vests with “writer” on it to wear to conferences.





  1. A best-seller produced after just 13 seconds at the computer. Tough to believe. I'm sure they cut out at least 10 seconds of revising and polishing time. :)

  2. LOL! Rick, maybe there's a conference class we can take somewhere that will teach us how to do it!

  3. I totally fell for how he's able to publish novels, what baffles me is how she chases criminals in 27 inch high heels. Have you seen those things?!! Got to admit, I'd love one of those Writer vests myself.

  4. Amen to that, Mary! (Actually, one of the show's characters in a rerun asked her that very thing!) Castle doesn't wear 27-inch-high heels, though, so he can devote more of his energy to being an author. We writers make sacrifices like that :-)

  5. I don't have a "writer" vest, but my husband is fond of giving me sweatshirts and t-shirts that says things like, "Careful, or you'll end up in my novel."

  6. Good column, Rachael, and I think you hit the key of my problems. I take too long to write a novel to be a succesful writer. If I can cut that to 13 seconds, and I'll either be a famous author or have a TV series.

    1. Wow--me, too! I am not a fast writer, either, Jeff. When I am really smokin', I can put out 3,000 words in a day, but that's when I'm really under the gun. I wonder, what factors contribute to writer speed?

    2. It probably varies, but I think that maybe a coffee brand or the proximity of your favorite TV show may affect writing speed. So does your choice on whether to listen to the disco station as opposed to Barry Manilow.

      Seriously, I had a job (not writing) that had me picking up lab specimens at processers desk and sorting them quickly, and I looked forward to one person's desk because she had disco, which helped me keep the pace up. Rap? That didn't help. Of course, I think Rap is best when you're putting paper on Christmas presents.

    3. Haven't tried rap at Christmas, Jeff, but maybe I should :-) I'm not sure why, but classical music seems to energize me and bring out my creative side--instrumental only. Anything with vocals and words distracts me big time.