August 15, 2011

Such a Pretty Face (Guest Post by Ron Koertge)

I lived through the sixties when almost everything was beautiful, man. The term covered a lot of ground and didn’t have much to do with physical beauty. Mellow people could be beautiful even if they had bad teeth and zits. People were beautiful inside.

Times change. Now so-called beautiful women sometimes have big silicone breasts. Men have expensive hair pieces and blindingly white teeth at a thousand bucks per molar. People like these are really better-looking from a distance. There’s a good chance they’re glamorous rather than beautiful. Pulchritudinous maybe. Or at least very well-coiffed.

I’m thinking about beauty because someone has already written to me about A.J., the pretty, rich girl in Now Playing: Stoner & Spaz II. A.J. is more physically attractive than Colleen. Easier on the eye. Dishier. And the question from one of my readers was this: “What do you have against pretty girls? In Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs, Mia was cuter than Amy, but Kevin prefers Amy. In Now Playing, A.J. is way cuter than Colleen, but Ben likes Colleen. What’s going on with you?”

I’m going to have to go back and look at both of those books and see what I was up to when I was writing them. I’ll concentrate on A.J. and Colleen, but I can see a pattern here.

First of all, I don’t know what I’m writing until I write it. I don’t plan things. I don’t outline. I put characters in situations where they’re at least a little uncomfortable and then see what happens.

One thing I know for sure: if another girl were to come through the door of the novel—we’re talking about Now Playing—she can’t be like Colleen. Ben’s not hot for that type. He’s hot for Colleen. And if another potty-mouthed stoner tried to move in on Ben, she’d have Colleen to do deal with.

Now Playing: Stoner & Spaz IIAs a novelist, that would be a dead end for me. I wouldn’t want to go there. Let’s face it—I already had A.J. off-stage and ready to make her entrance anytime I wanted. She was at that gallery on Melrose in Stoner & Spaz. At the end of that novel, she gave Ben her e-mail address. She liked movies. She was easy to talk to. She was just the kind of girl Ben’s grandma would have adored.

I know I was curious about her. What would happen if Ben e-mailed her? What if the two of them got together?

The whole thing reminds me of a chemistry experiment. Ben + Colleen = something frothy and hot. What would happen if I added A.J.? Would everything blow up?

What’s all that got to do with beauty? Just this—like in the sixties, Colleen turns out to be beautiful, man. Underneath the façade of four-letter words and scorn is a young woman who can handle Ben’s pathetic mother with grace and tact, while A.J. wants Ben to film his meetings with his mom despite her crippling shyness.

Ben and A.J. make out a little in the parking lot of the race track. It’s nice and he’s flattered, but there’s no spark. Okay, she’s pretty but he can sense how much she wants him to keep interviewing the young jockey who just blew her off. He has to wonder—is that why she’s kissing me? When he and Colleen make out it’s because she’s horny. Colleen is honest: what you see is what you get. With A.J., Ben’s not so sure.
No matter how moist and inviting skin is, it’s just skin. What’s under it turns out to be a lot more important.


Five lucky winners will receive Ron Koertge's NOW PLAYING: STONER & SPAZ II. To enter, send an e-mail to In the body of the e-mail, include your name, mailing address, and e-mail address (if you're under 13, submit a parent's name and e-mail address). One entry per person; prizes will only be shipped to US or Canadian addresses. Entries must be received by midnight (PDT) on 8/25/11. Winners will be selected in a random drawing on 8/26/11 and notified via email.

With this blog tour, Ron is launching his website--

1 comment:

  1. Oh my what an absolutely amazing post. I just finished reading a review of Stone and Spaz and now after reading Ron's word here I am going out and getting this book today. If Ron's book is anything like his post then it will be beautiful, man!


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