Murder, He Wrote … and Wrote … and Wrote
Pity the poor conference chair who must introduce Tom Sawyer. The man has done everything from comic strips to a contemporary opera based on the life of John F. Kennedy. Writer of more than 100 network TV episodes, he was also producer, creative consultant or story editor on such network series as “Murder, She Wrote” and “The Law & Harry McGraw.” His first novel, THE SIXTEENTH MAN, is a thriller with a stunning twist on the Kennedy assassination. NO PLACE TO RUN, his new thriller from Sterling & Ross, is the first novel to make the case that people high in the U.S. enabled 9/11.
Tom is the creator of PLOTS UNLIMITED, an interactive plot-generating software for fiction writers, and co-creator of its successor, STORYBASE, published by Ashleywilde, Inc. He travels the country as a conference speaker and guest lecturer. His book FICTION WRITING DEMYSTIFIED, also published by Ashleywilde, Inc., is a user-friendly and entertaining course in the specifics of fiction writing.
I first met Tom online, 11 years ago almost to the day. We were both in an iUniverse chatroom on May 15, 2001. I still have my printout of the transcript of that session. Tom had just written his first thriller, THE SIXTEENTH MAN. I read the book and we have been e-mail friends ever since.
Sometimes you get lucky. Tom was a presenter at the Oklahoma Writers Federation conference in Oklahoma City this past weekend, and I finally got to meet Tom and his wonderful wife, Holly, in person. They met my sister Beth and me for Sunday brunch and a chin-fest before catching their plane home.
Tom has a million stories about his life in show biz and the writing world. If he ever writes a memoir I’ll be first in line to buy it. He also had some interesting stories about his research into the JFK assassination. Fascinating – and scary – stuff.
But the popular vote, if one were taken, would probably go to “Murder, She Wrote” (1984-1996). It surely is one of the best long-running series TV ever gave us, and Tom has some great stories about that as well. Angela Lansbury was pure delight as Jessica Fletcher, and the guest stars were – well, everybody who was anybody showed up sooner or later.
The best news is that all seasons are available on DVD from Amazon.com. An embarrassment of riches, you think, and not cheap. How do you know which season to pick first? No problem. At Epguides.com, Jeff DeVouge lists all 264 episodes, episode by episode, with a logline and cast of characters. It’s at http://tinyurl.com/73qndzc
For more information about Thomas B. Sawyer and his works, check out his web site: www.thomasbsawyer.com/
Tom and Holly make a great couple. Meeting them was such a pleasure. My thanks to both of them for their generosity and friendship.