This mean-spirited put-down, so often repeated among the literary cognoscenti, is actually an unwitting compliment.
As soon as I figure out all the particulars of how it's an unwitting compliment, I fully intend to write a long, eloquent essay stating my case as clear as crystal. (No, not Crystal Abramowitz.)
Seriously, no author is an author without first having lived. Dead people don't write—it's as simple as that. Dead people have trouble formulating even the most basic phrases, never mind getting to the bathroom on their own, whereas authors—real, living authors—have stories to tell. Usually, the author himself (or herself) has experienced certain facets of life, such as learning to type or smashing his car into the rear end of another car that's stopped to turn left.
David Ferrell has done both. He has also: barfed all night after eating raw cookie dough and leftover barbecued pork chops . . . climbed a Los Angeles hillside to within twenty feet of the Hollywood sign . . . talked on television and radio . . . covered the Lakers for the Los Angeles Times . . . walked arm-in-arm with Zsa Zsa Gabor . . . slept overnight in a homeless shelter . . . bar-hopped from one end of L.A. to the other, drunk out of his mind . . . raised two children . . . hiked the John Muir Trail (part of it) . . . fallen out of a river raft . . . watched the dope fiends shoot up on Skid Row . . . been part of two Pulitzer Prize-winning news teams (covering the L.A. riots and Northridge earthquake) . . . sneaked to the top of a 1,200-foot FM radio antenna in Florida in the middle of the night, for purposes of yet another story . . . published wildly inaccurate information that had to be retracted . . . crumpled to the ground in agony because of back spasms (more than once) . . . witnessed the Nicole Brown Simpson-Ronald Goldman crime scene . . . met Muhammad Ali, Oscar de la Hoya and Nadia Comaneci . . . been cruelly rebuffed by any number of attractive women . . . been chased through a northern California forest by an angry, rancid-smelling bigfoot (not really) . . . soloed K-2 and Annapurna (I wish) . . . and been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in feature writing (I can prove it!).
Biographers would concentrate, of course, on less-interesting information. David Ferrell was born on October 24, 1956, in Cincinnati, Ohio, a place he doesn't even remember, and also lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Houston, Texas, while a kid. He and his family (Mom, Dad and sister Cindy) moved to the Los Angeles area before he finished second grade.
He graduated from Lakewood High School and Cal State University, Fullerton. He spent five years writing for the Orange County Register and then twenty-one years writing for the Los Angeles Times. His novel, "Screwball," was published in hardcover in 2003 by William Morrow (a division of HarperCollins) and was released in quality paperback in 2004 by Dark Alley (another division of HarperCollins).
While he was doing all that writing, he mastered the art of referring to himself in the third person. He also devoted himself (most recently as a single parent) to raising two amazing children. Walter Scott "Scott" Ferrell, born in Septemper 1981, is now an enterprising young real-estate mogul (sell your house now! 562 881-8551). Alina Ferrell, born in June 1984, is a singer-songwriter who has already played the Whiskey A-Go-Go. (Hear her demo at www.alinalive.com!)
The future? Yes, it's there. We can all thank God for that!
Whither David Ferrell, author, crank, Renaissance man? Forward, to the future . . . never, ever backward, I promise you that.
In other words, more black-comedy novels are on the way.