Thursday, June 26, 2008

Today's Special Is...The Roofer!

The Roofer by Erica Orloff



Hello. Hello? Is this thing on?

*skkrree* Can you hear me in the back? Yes? Good. Then let's go!

When Chris asked me (I'm Phoenix Sullivan, btw) to host the roast for The Roofer, I wasn't sure what I was in for. All she told me was that it had something to do with Westies. Score! A dog story!

Erm, no, these are Irish Westies, a notorious mob who are the bane of Hell's Kitchen.

*perks up* Oh! Hell's Kitchen :: Book Roast. C'mon, how perfect is that!

There's also a cold case murder, some dark family secrets, and, somehow, a romance. From New York to Las Vegas to Hollywood, this urban noir mystery delivers a tormented, damaged heroine - the child of a murderer - who's on a seemingly hopeless path to destruction, yet who struggles to rise above a pain-filled childhood and the cloying brother who ... ah, no fair giving that deliciously horrifying secret away! It is, one reviewer put it, "... a dark, brutal story that feels as if it emerged straight from the author’s soul."

And from another review:
The Roofer is an intimate glimpse of a family bound by murder and
the mob, taking readers from Irish wakes and funerals to family dinners
marred by violence. It is an unflinching and unsparing look at life within
the criminal underbelly of New York, and it is the story of one woman's
journey as she struggles to break free from the only life she has ever
known.
Whew! Skip the Valium if you're reading this one. Erica's other books? Sassy chick lit, comedic romances, and light YA. With a couple of dark paranormals to round out the basket. Of course. She makes versatile look so easy! But no dogs. And there really, really should be dogs.

Ready for the contest? Read the excerpt, then answer the three questions that follow.

*****

My first instinct was to look at the corpse. It's what all the Irish do.

We treat our wakes like weddings. There's much drinking and storytelling, a lot of back-clapping and hugs and shouts of hello to long-lost relatives and cousins we only see when we bring out our dead. We dress in black, for mourning, but we go out after the wake and get blind, stumbling drunk. We spend the next day nursing our hangovers, puking our brains out if we were especially close to the deceased and therefore drank exceedingly stupid amounts of alcohol, and trying desperately to sober up and straighten out for night two. We often go for three nights, particularly for popular dead people, as we did with my father. The fourth day is the funeral, and we often mix our drinking with lunch. By then a hangover pallor has been cast over the lot of us. We intertwine all this drinking and carrying on with equal parts wrenching sobs—usually an ingredient missing from the aforementioned weddings.

But first we look at the corpse.

We lay our dead out in the front of the room in a coffin designed to make it look as if the deceased is merely sleeping. The funeral home even sells you a pillow for the dead person's head precisely for this purpose. It is satin and soft. My father's was ivory-colored, a sign of purity. And it cost a lot of money. More money than you would pay, for example, for a pillow you buy in Wal-mart that you actually sleep on. Real sleeping, not pretend dead sleeping. Funeral homes sell you lots of things, none of which the deceased is actually going to need on his or her journey to wherever it is the dead go. In my father's case, people weighed in with their opinions, the general direction of which was down.

*****
Questions:
1) If Erica could invent the perfect corpse-viewing drink, what would it be? Name it and list the ingredients.
2) Does Erica make her Irish characters drink more at weddings or funerals?
3) How many pillows does Erica own?

Thinking ... thinking ... thinking ... OK, let's get cooking!

136 comments:

Phoenix said...

We're open for business! Everyone, assume the roasting position, grab your skewers, and start poking.

(Hey, anyone seen the lighter fluid?)

sex scenes at starbucks said...

Ok, no fair posting the night before, but the drink would be a glowing concotion called:

Dawn of the Dead

Every Irish character I ever knew (and I know a few) drank more at funerals.

Erica seems like a pillow sort of gal, so I'd say three on a
king-sized bed (enough room for her, hubby, sundry children and lots o' dogs.)

Phoenix said...

Quick SS@S, list your drink's ingredients to qualify! (We're really making everyone work for this one.)

Shona Snowden said...

Hey, let's face it, making up a drink recipe has got to be easier than writing a haiku...

Helpful tip: have a few drinks, then make up the recipe. Test it, then change recipe. Test again. Change again. Test...OK, you know where I'm going with this.

Keep it away from Miss Savannah, though. She goes a little, um, strange after a tipple.

Erica, what do you think your YA audience thinks of 'The Roofer', or do you have a way of separating your darker work from your young audience?

Sarah Laurenson said...

Not able to stay and play, but I had to pop in and say 'Hi' to the roastee. Have fun!

sex scenes at starbucks said...

Vodka, dry ice, limeaid and a pinch of black-market radioactive waste.

Stephen Parrish said...

1. The perfect corpse-viewing drink is wine. Here's a complete list of ingredients: fermented grape juice. I know this answer will disqualify me, because wine isn't a concoction, but I can't win anyway, due to the conspiracy. (Just out of curiosity, what's the prize?)

2. We treat our wakes like weddings. The flow of wine is pretty much the same at both: "exceedingly stupid amounts."

3. Erica herself doesn't know how many pillows she has, and the last thing she's going to do is tour the house, counting them. A more interesting question is "How many mice does her pet snake kill in a given week?" I'll say fourteen.

Carolie said...

1. An Irish Farewell -- knock back one shot of Jamison, chased by a pint of Smithwicks (goes down much faster than Guiness, and you don't risk filling up too fast) which has been lightly salted by one's tears. Repeat. Repeat. Wipe nose. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

I know, not very fancy -- but my Irish mother-in-law didn't hold much with "snob drinks". It was always Smithwicks or Guinness (in a glass, not a pint! "Ladies don't drink pints" she'd say, as she sucked down glass after glass after glass) or a "whiskey and red" if she was feeling very posh.

2. I'd have to say funerals, as they last days longer, and maudlin sobbing is tolerated for much longer periods of time by friends and family. Besides, one can drown one's sorrows much more publicly at a funeral -- at weddings, one must be at least a little more subtle about displaying how distressed one is by the circumstances.

3. Not nearly enough of the good ones, if she's jealous of a dead man's repose.

*Goes off to take up a collection to replace Erica's substandard Wal*Mart pillows*

Carolie said...

Ack...that should be Smithwick's with an apostrophe, and Guinness with two N's.

ChrisEldin said...

This is nice--waking up to a good roast!
:-)

Miss Savannah Spitfire: said...

Why, Miss Shona,

I'm surprised at you! Don't you know we elegant Southern ladies are viewed as strange no matter whether we're drinking or not?

As for roofers, there's only one that's ever gotten me, you know, goin', and that's ole Rod.

But Erica sweetheart, now I want to know more about your roofer person. And what he...drinks. Can you share, honey?

Erica Orloff said...

Sex Scenes:
Dawn of the Dead is how we FEEL after the wake. ;-)

E

Erica Orloff said...

Shona:
Yes. Doesn't much matter after rigorous Test Kitchen . . . er . . . bar . . . work.

And I have a pen name for YA. I respect very much that it's not the book for them.

E

Erica Orloff said...

Hi Miss Sarah . . . soon to be a Mrs. Or a Ms. (whichever you prefer!).

:-)
E

Erica Orloff said...

Sex Scenes:
My God, the secret family recipe for our favorite drink has been leaked! Now everyone will want one!
E

Erica Orloff said...

Stephen:
But I do like wine.

And yes, it's usually roughly the same. Though some wakes . . . .

And it's ONE rat per month. And you KNOW how queasy I get over my son's python, so mentioning that is very cruel. ;-)
E

Erica Orloff said...

carolie:
Yes, snot is such a lovely chaser.

True observation. With the exception of the wedding my cousin got naked at, we try to keep some decorum.

And my pillows are often being hogged, stolens, and smushed by my four kids, including the Demon Baby, who most especially sabotages my sleep by climbing in my bed at night.

Travis Erwin said...

Bailey's Irish Cream coffee is the drink for viewing the dead because it has a pleasant aroma and will cover that sticky sweet stink of too many cut flowers.

And I'd say it depends who we're talking about. An Irish groom drinks more at a wedding and an Irish widow drinks more at a funeral.

Pillows? Erica doesn't have no stinking pillows because Demon Baby ruined them all having pillow fights with the dog.

Erica Orloff said...

miss savannah:
Well, the Roofer was a Hell's Kitchen bag man, a collector of bookie receipts. And in order to invoke fear in the neighborhood, every once in a while, he and his buddies would throw someone off a roof . . . mostly for fun. Or because, in one case, the guy was obnoxious.

And he likes vodka. Because The Roofer is half Russian. So as the book says, "He liked to brood, he liked his vodka, and he liked to celebrate St. Patrick's Day."

Carolie said...

Hee hee...but did the naked cousin get naked and drunk in maudlin grief, or in exuberant joy? (Or simply in the middle of the champagne fountain?)

Erica Orloff said...

Travis:
Bailey's is a "chick drink." Sorry, Buddy. (But I like it.)

Love the line about the groom. LOL!

And Travis should win a prize for being absolutely correct as anyone who knows my Demon Baby stories can attest.

E

Stephen Parrish said...

And it's ONE rat per month. And you KNOW how queasy I get over my son's python, so mentioning that is very cruel.

Sorry. I won't bring it up again. I won't describe snakes devouring rats whole, the lump working its way down the length of the snake's body, the long, slow digestion . . .

Erica Orloff said...

carolie:
It was maudlin grief. A sizable football bet in the upper five-figures and the NY Giants' loss to the Cowboys was involved. Which is what the bride and groom get for having a wedding on a Sunday during football season. Really, you'd think they'd know better.

E

Erica Orloff said...

stephen:
When Oldest Boy begged and pleased for a snake, he brought home a baby one. As thick and long as a pencil. I even held her. "Aww . . . so sweet."

Now she is as thick as a Coke can and two feet long. When the rat is brought into the house once a month, Oldest Son gently escorts me to my bedroom, pats my hands, and says, "Maybe it's better if you stay in here, Mom." Occasionally, he brings me tissues because I get weepy over the whole Wild Kingdon thing.

As aside from the snake he keeps, he is really a lovely, lovely young man.

E

laughingwolf said...

1. stun : equal parts jamieson's or bushmill's, bailey's, absolut, captain morgan's dark, and virgin cream... floating on the surface :O

2. NO irish characters, fictional or otherwise, can be MADE to drink more [or less] at ANY time, nor would erica attempt to do so ;)

3. as for pillows, she has enough for herself and family, some for guests, so i'm guessing: no less than six, no more than 30 ...lol

Bernita said...

1. It's called the Sin Eater and it's "privately distilled" and about the strength of Newfoundland Skreech ( ie. a dixie cup will put you half under the coffin. It's that stiff.)
2. I thought she made them drink too much all the time.
3.Who cares? She doesn't.

Erica Orloff said...

laughing wolf:
That drink sounds more like an anaesthetic. :-)

Oh, I make my characters suffer miserable hangovers. :-)

30 is actually probably right, since when my relatives come to visit I need enough for them too. :-)
E

Stephen Parrish said...

Occasionally, he brings me tissues because I get weepy over the whole Wild Kingdom thing.

You and me both. My daughter has pet mice, and it's easy to grow fond of them.

Erica Orloff said...

bernita:

1) Beware the Sin Eater. Just beware.

2) . . . Well, there are degrees. In the book, the main character's brother has feats of drinking mere mortals better not try. There's also a sure-fire hangover cure. Grape juice, half a peanut-butter sandwich . . . and Percocet before bed. ;-)

3) Yeah. Coffin pillows just make me laugh (hence I will be cremated). The real ones I don't think about too much. :-)
E

Erica Orloff said...

stephen:
DON'T they seem to have little personalities? When I am certain Demon Baby is old enough that he will not let them loose all over the house, I am considering getting a pet mice for my desk as a penance for all the rats fed at the Altar of the Ball Python.

E

Phoenix said...

Wow,, I can see my job here will be easy. :o)

So, Erica, say a publisher offers you a 20-book deal -- with the caveat that all the books be written in the same genre/category.

1) Would you accept the deal?
2) If you do accept, what genre would it be?

Erica Orloff said...

Phoenix:
I might if it was something I loved. I signed to do a three-book middle-grade trilogy . . . and I could see writing 10 or 15 of them. But if I had to PICK, it would the noir/mob genre, but the way I do it, which is always from the perspective of a woman in the sphere of these men. I just like my "voice" when I'm writing stories like that.
E
P.S. A 20 book deal?!?!!? Has there ever been one? ;-)

Phoenix said...

A 20 book deal?!?!!? Has there ever been one?

Dare to dream, that's my motto! :o)

rod the roofer said...

May I say, roofers often get a bad rap, but some of us are consummate professionals.

Not to say there haven't been times...

Brian Jay Jones said...

(1) An AbraCadaver. Two parts whiskey, one part Triple Sec, one part Grand Marnier, poured through cheesecloth. Strong enough to wake the dead.

(2) At funerals, mainly because there's already one big stiff one.

(3) Two. Any more would be pretentious.

Erica Orloff said...

Rod:

Just the sort of thing a professional hitman/roofer would say. You're not fooling me.
E

Erica Orloff said...

Brian Jay:

--Like your drink!

--Must say some of the origins of the book came about when my cousin brought his Jewish girlfriend to an Irish wake. One cousin was so wacked out on crack he had to be escorted from the building after knocking over 10 chairs--and nearly the dead body. Rehab beckoned. And my cousin's girfriend was SHOCKED that we were "hanging out" with a dead body in the room (different from her own customs). We have stiffs . .. and THAT is quite strange.

As for pillow pretension . . . I have none. Really, I am quite humble when it comes to my pillows.
E

Arlyle said...

Damn, this is a boring roast. Let's liven it up just a little bit:

1) Whiskey, vodka, ale, and whatever the hell else you can steal off the delivery truck. Screw the one part this, two part that shit; just mix it all in 90 gallon trash cans and serve it in Big Gulp cups. Serves 5-6.

2) Halfway through either one, they forget where the hell they're at. As long as someone, or something, gets stiff and buried, they're good to go.

3) Who cares? The Irish only use pillows for two things. The first is to muffle the sound of a bullet to the back of the head. The second is to muffle the screaming of their underage cousin they're having sex with, while Uncle Patty and Aunt Colleen sleep-one-off.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Completely inappropriate crassness is livening things up? I do wonder about you Arlyle.

pjd said...

I apologize that I've not had time to read the other comments. I love the excerpt, though--perfect Irish rhythm and pain buried in wit.

1. Obviously, Guinness. Guinness is the perfect drink for everything. Including weddings and corpse-viewings.

2. There is no such concept as the Irish drinking "more" at one event than another. They drink until the Guinness is gone.

3. I am guessing that Erica does not own any pillows. The Irish are also very good at sleeping in other people's beds (or just passing out wherever they happen to pass out), so they have little need for owning pillows.

(I base all these comments on the Irish men I play soccer with. Possibly it's not wise to extrapolate this particular subset to the entire population of Irish people.)

Arlyle said...

Sarah: This is a roast. Everything said is in fun.

Hopefully, no one is that sensitve. My material is polite and refined, compared to what is said at most closed door roasts.

Phoenix said...

Rod, the visuals you leave us with (check out his name link, folks) are always ... inspirational.

Erica: Just how many people do you have to throw off a roof before you're tagged with a "The Roofer" moniker?

Miss Savannah Spitfire: said...

I love you, Rod boy. Have I mentioned that before?

And I love those baggy-bottomed jeans of yours, 'cause they look like they're just this close to slidin' on off...

My, my...is it hot in here?

Erica, does your roofer have a nice hind end like this one?

Erica Orloff said...

Arlyle:
Speak for YOUR Irish family. Mine has never mixed drinks in a trash can. Bathtubs, however, are fair game. :-)
E

Erica Orloff said...

pjd:
Thank you. :-)

And love your answers. Yes, Guinness and Jamesons are all-occasion drinks of choice. Though in the bars I gew up in, it was all about the Schaefer's. The one beer to have when you're having more than one. Of which we always had more than one.

E

Erica Orloff said...

Phoenix:
I never thought to check out Rod's visuals. (Erica fans self.)

As for how many 'til the moniker. More than one. At least 2. Three or more.

E

Erica Orloff said...

Miss Savannah:
Nope. Alas. But my Roofer was very proud of his "pythons," a.k.a. "guns," a.k.a. biceps.

E

Jude Hardin said...

1) Hell's Kitchen vodka martini:
You'll need a pint of vodka (Grey Goose if available), a bottle of dry vermouth, and a jar of olives (the olives should be approximately the size of basketballs). You throw the vermouth and olives away, and drink the vodka straight from the bottle.

2) Funerals are always a good excuse to bring TWO (or more) pints of vodka.

3) Trick question. Being a Buddhist, Erica doesn't claim ownership of anything. The answer is zero.

Charles Gramlich said...

1) If Erica could invent the perfect corpse-viewing drink, what would it be? Name it and list the ingredients.

I think a good "Stiff" drink is always in order at a funereal. I'm thinking it would be something tough though. Like straight whiskey from a tarnished silver flask.

2) Does Erica make her Irish characters drink more at weddings or funerals?

It's always a competition to see which group can outdrink the other. It's a life and death kind of thing, you know.


3) How many pillows does Erica own?

Depends on how close the Wal-mart is.

Erica Orloff said...

Jude:
Perfect answers.

:-)

Especially the last one. Namaste.

E

Heather Harper said...

"Pillows? Erica doesn't have no stinking pillows because Demon Baby ruined them all having pillow fights with the dog."

Lol!

And I might have to say a Beam and Coke for a side order of mean to accompany your grief.

ChrisEldin said...

Rod the Roofer is here?!!!!
HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Oh, this is sah weet!

For anyone who doesn't know Rod, he's within the archives of Evil Editor's blog, taunting all the laydies with his tools....
:-)

Stay, Arlyle. Stay.

Merry Monteleone said...

Gee, and I thought I got here rather early... apparently not..

Let's see:

1. A little hair of the dog - as in another of whatever you were drinking the night before, upon first waking up in the morning. Generally, it's beer and shots, not mixed drinks, unless you want to be tagged as a lightweight, an insult even for an Irish girl.

2. I'm going to say they drink more at wakes and funerals, after all, there's a purpose here and that's to send off a loved one... at a wedding the honored chose their own misfortune, but at a wake the departed rarely goes by choice.

3. I'm going to say Erica has four pillows on her bed, but they go missing often and occasionally she'll lay down and find her favorite leaking stuffing as Demon baby has been using it to sled down the stairs.

As a side note, there was an Irish wake about fifteen years ago where the deceased made his family promise to put a sign that he'd painted on the casket... The sign read, "F*** You, you didn't come see me when I was sick!" Gotta love the Irish.

Erica Orloff said...

Heather:
Hi! Nice to see you over here. "Side order of mean." Love it.
E

Erica Orloff said...

Merry:
We buried my godfather with the remote in his hand.

:-)
E

Erica Orloff said...

Merry:
Also . . . yes, hair of the dog. My family was always big on bloody marys in the a.m. AND, there was also many a party that never ended and went on for a couple of days, so technically, there never was a "waking up in the morning." One New Year's my parents' party didn't break up until sometime on January 3rd.
E

blueviolet said...

1)Spit of Despair - a double shot of whiskey,lemon juice, tsp of sugar and seltzer water.
2)They drink more at weddings but funerals allow them to drink for days in a row so it's a wash.
3)She can't use pillows anymore because of the association with her father's pillow of pallor.

doot65{at}comcast[dot]net
Elizabeth

Arlyle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Arlyle said...

Yes, Chris- I'm a bad little boy. :)

Arlyle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Erica Orloff said...

Elizabeth:
Yes, that's it. Pillows are a huge emotional thing for me now. I must call Dr. Freud.

E

Erica Orloff said...

Charles:
Yes, it is a life and death thing, a huge Herculean contest.

E

Erica Orloff said...

arlyle:
Are you my third cousin?

E

Dave F. said...

That's an interesting excerpt - a bit rough and kinda raw.

1. The most obvious "Dead" drink is the Zombie - a rum based fruity concoction. But in her books, it's got to be whiskey. they grew up with John Barleycorn and all his buddies.

2. Funerals. No one gets drunk for three days at a wedding. Weddings are sad events - lose of buddies to new wives. (And no, I am not a misogynist)

3. Pillows - I estimate four on the bed, six on the sofa and three on various chairs. And one more that says "I love you" from the love of her life...

Erica Orloff said...

Dave:
1. If truth be told, it's boilermakers for a lot of the men I grew up with. So you have hops AND whiskey.

2. Divorced?

3. No Love of My Life pillow. Just a Demon Baby, a.k.a. Terrible Toddler, wreaking havoc in my bed.

Dave F. said...

Shots a beers, shots n beers, shots n beers...
They've become political statements.

There were three men came out of the west, their fortunes for to try
And these three men made a solemn vow, John Barleycorn must die.


And as for weddings - Those wedding bells are breaking up that old gang of mine.

Toddlers always mess up bed and adorably so.

Arlyle said...

Shame, shame, shame.

Arlyle said...

BTW~ Erica, An irish family tree never goes beyond second cousin. So yes, I'm sure that we're related.

ChrisEldin said...

I guess everyone's out to lunch.
Just hope it's something grilled...

:-)

laughingwolf said...

lol ...it should 'knock em out' with a name like 'stun' ;)

yes, drunkenness has it's place... best left to the young hahahahaha

spyscribbler said...

1) I don't know drinks that well. I'm guessing something with Ginger Ale. :-)
2) Funerals!
3) As many as Demon Baby allows her to keep.

Erica Orloff said...

laughingwolf:

Yes, best left to the young. Or at least those without Demon Babies who like to both howl and the moon AND rise with the rooster.
E

Erica Orloff said...

Hi Spy:
I covet Canada Dry. :-)

E

Bernita said...

Arlyle, why don't you submit a published work to the Roast?
THEN you can be the center of attention.
Today's Erica's day.

Sam said...

The drink would be called Wake the Dead, and would consist of whiskey, liquid smoke, and a dash of tobasco and lemon.

Actually, my family (half Irish) drinks more at weddings. At funerals we seem to eat more...of course, everyone is bringing food and more food...but at weddings we're all threee of four sheets to the wind, and tacking hard.

I love pillows - I have three, so I'll double that, throw in one for luck, and say Erica has seven!

Erica Orloff said...

sam:
MUSTN'T. EVER. FORGET. THE. FOOD. :-)

E
P.S. Thanks for the good luck!

Robin S. said...

Arlyle - don't be such a martyr.

I've been reading along here today and watching this unfold.

It's getting old, sport. It really is.

Arlyle said...

Okay, I'll just limp off into the sunset.

I think I've mentioned in more than one of my posts that, "When the oppressed become the oppressors, then all bets are off."- Raff

Good luck to Erica and all of the writers who are featured in the days to follow.

Phoenix said...

Erica: How much research did you do for The Roofer? Did you travel coast-to-coast? Date a famous actor? Flirt with one? Drive your own lfe into the ground just to see what it would take to pull yourself back up? In short, do you subscribe to Method Writing?

Erica Orloff said...

Method Writing.

Observing my family. Making sure I pay attention at funerals and wakes when my dad says, "Oh, here comes Louie So-and-So. He did thirty years in Sing-Sing. Got out two years ago. We were good friends."

The bar, John's, was real. In the Bowery. Spent many of the Sundays of my girlhood hanging out there. I really CAN do the Amazing Coaster Trick. And my second-grade teacher really was NOT amused.
:-)

No actors. No Hollywood. Just street stuff.
E

jason evans said...

I see everyone's into their third round, eating some fine ribs, and having a good time. Welcome, Erica!!

I really liked the power of your line about looking at the dead.

We can mix in a little serious discussion since we're nicely buzzed, right? What do you think they see when they look? It seems like an important cultural touchstone. Some kind of last connection.

Erica Orloff said...

Jason:
Well . . . in chapter one, the main character (who is a woman) riffs on dead people. Some of it stemmed from a university course I took. The professor became one of my dearest friends, and we're still friends 20 years later. His speciality is gerontology . . . and dying/grief work. In any case, from THAT . . . I knew I'd want to be cremated. The body isn't a body. It's . . . a shell. It's not the person you love. And they do . .. gross stuff to it. ;-) Anyone see Six Feet Under? LOL!

Culturally, I get it, though. I lost a loved one years ago in a plan crash in Spain. Big crash into a mountain. Spectacular blow-up. No survivors. No nothing. And for YEARS, I would think I "saw" him places--someone on the street, passing me, whatever. So I know there is a cultural sense that we see that dead body at a wake and KNOW . . . they're gone. But I still would prefer to be cremated and have read the riot act to my four kids. No pillows, no funeral, no Irish wake for me. If they choose to get drunk to send me to wherever it is I might go, they're welcome to do so. As long as they have a designated driver. (Can't stop being a mother, even after I am dead.)
E

Julie said...

1. I would go for a lot of Malibu rum w/ a bit of pineapple juice-delicious!
2. I would say more drinking at a funeral, it lasts longer...
3. I am going to go with about 15-about 3-5 per room.

Dave F. said...

All of the "cheap" bargain copies of your book sold out at Amazon. The ones that are left are more expensive.

The Irish are not the only who must "see" the dead. My family is Italian and at every funeral I've been to, they have to touch the hands and kneel by the body and pray. Then they discuss how the dead look.

I lost 5 coworkers in a plane crash and such sudden deaths are devastating. I will admit that I did look at their offices and wonder how anyone could move in or use it. Not to be morbid or a downer, when I pray in church and at nights for something, anything, It is always to be spared sudden and unexpected death.

On a much brighter note: Bill Bonnano was the main character in Gay Talase' book "Honor They Father" ... It is very much from family experience. It is a "godfather" type family deeply involved in organized crime. His father's involvement in Las Vegas closely mirrors the 1950's organized crime hearings in the congress of the USA.

Dave F. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave F. said...

If only I could spell twice:
Honor Thy Father by Gay Talese

Bernita said...

Erica's type of post-mortem hallucination is not uncommon.
The culture of seeing the dead/open casket was common among the English-Scots area where I grew up.
I suspect there's a certain legal/witness motive behind the practice in addition to the ritual of farewell.

Erica Orloff said...

Julie:
WAY too perky a drink for an Irish wake. ;-)

E

Erica Orloff said...

Well, Dave . . . if you go quick, at least you don't know what hit ya.


And yes, the RICO acts brought down the Shannons (one of the families somewhat modeled in The Roofer).

E

Erica Orloff said...

bernita:
I sometimes dream my late grandmother visits me--not often--and those dreams are a thousand times more vivid that normal ones, and so sometimes I think that perhaps she really has.

E

Robin S. said...

I'm with you on the cremation, Erica.

When I saw my dad dead in his casket - and our very large and extended Irish family around the funeral home, talking about how good he looked, I thought it was sad. I knew he wasn't there anymore. What made him - him - was gone.

We Irish in my neck of the woods eat and eat at the funeral home's kitchen and in a family member's later. And then some of us go out drinking.

Word said...

Hoo boy. 90 flippin comments so far? Holy crap.

Drink? Umm.

Wapatoolie. Wap for short. I have NO idea how wapatoolie is really spelled. I have NO idea what's in it. Tropical punch HI C and whatever else is left over from last night's party.

The drinking question...
Now that depends on "who" is doing the drinking, yes?
I mean, what if we are talking about the "honoree" at each event. The dead guy can't drink. The groom/bride can. So weddings win.

Pillows - three!

Zoe Winters said...

I know so little about alcoholic beverages it's embarrassing.


Spy said it best bringing in Demon Baby with the pillows. Perhaps the better question would be: "How many pillows are special edition Demon Baby fingerprints" and "how many pillows escaped?"

ChrisEldin said...

All of the "cheap" bargain copies of your book sold out at Amazon.

YAY!!!! Now that's what the folks at Book Roast like to hear!

ChrisEldin said...

But don't be afraid to get out those wallets.
;-)

Erica Orloff said...

Robin:
I have to tell you, the main thrust of chapter one is the brother character and people saying "He looks good." What IS it with us that we want DEAD people to "look good."

E

Erica Orloff said...

word:
No self-respecting Irishman or Irishwoman would drink Hi-C. ;-) But your frat house is welcome to it.

E

Erica Orloff said...

Zoe:
Oh, yes. My pillow last night? Had a big, fat WAD of PINK GUM, already chewed, still wet with Demon saliva, tucked into it.

The kid is putting me into an early grave.

E

Erica Orloff said...

Chris:
LOL!
I have a new release in October . . . which will be suitably priced.

E

Erica Orloff said...

Well crap . . .

I just wanted to break 100.

Cheers! (Everyone raise glasses. Do a shot.)

Robin S. said...

Woo hoo! congrats! I'm drinking white wine (in your honor, of course)!

Erica Orloff said...

Hey Robin:
So am I!!!!!

:-)
E

Robin S. said...

OK- tip up anothe rone in 30 seconds. Pretend we're clinking glasses!

Time starts now...

Robin S. said...

Mmmmmm. Tasty.

ChrisEldin said...

Cheers!

Sarah Laurenson said...

Mazeltov!

rod the roofer said...

My, my, you all work almost as long hours as my boys do. Sorry I couldn't stay and chat with you good people; had a job to do...

Robin S. said...

Rod! It's good to see you!

And Stay away from that Savannah chick.

Phoenix said...

Another interesting perspective there, Rod. Looks more like you're falling down on the job to me.

Sarah: Why are you playing with us and EE the night before your wedding? I'm mean, we're flattered and all that, but girlfriend, really!

rod the roofer said...

I'm pretty particular with my female company, ma'am...

Sarah Laurenson said...

I'm done with all my errands, off work and waiting for the love of my life to finish her hours to go.

rod the roofer said...

Looks more like you're falling down on the job to me.

Oh, that's not me, ma'am.

Robin S. said...

yeah. That's not Rod's hiney.

Only that other chick woulda thought so.

Robin S. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ChrisEldin said...

Sarah's toggling between here and EE's book chat.
:-)

Robin S. said...

Hey- so am I.

and Sarah's getting married, and apparently so is brenda. Per buffy.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Brenda's traveling, but not getting married - yet.

Sarah Laurenson said...

If you know that, Chris, then you must be too.

Edie said...

I was going to say Guiness and poteen, but after reading everyone's answers, including Erica, I'll say to just hold the funeral in a damn bar.

Funerals. They dance more at weddings.

At least a half dozen pillows.

Chumplet said...

Great excerpt, Erica!

Let's see... a wake drink...

8 ounces of Irish Whiskey with one ice cube.

I think Erica's Irish characters drink waaaaay more at a funeral. At least at a wedding, the boozing is usually limited to one day. For the bride and groom, it's twenty years.

Erica has three pillows -- one for her head, one for behind her back, and one for between her legs so they don't fall asleep. No, wait... that's me.

Aimless Writer said...

Westies???
Me kin! Me kin! Can ..a...puga mahone!
"straight from the author's soul" Does it get any better then that???

Drink? Baily's (of course), Irish Whiskey (cause yer mourning)and Frangelica-We'll call it a Nutty Irish Slam.

Definately drink more at funerals. A wedding is only one day. Funerals last a week.

Pillows? At least 10.
(That is if Demon baby hasn't figured out the fun of peanut butter and feathers.)

McKoala said...
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Shona Snowden said...

Looks like I was right about those drink recipes flowing easier than poetry... 121 posts! Go the roasters! And the roastee! Erica, you've been super-responsive, thank you so much.

I see a handsome man dropped by. If he's particular about his company, then he'll be staying away from Miss Savannah.

lainey bancroft said...

Gah! late to the party, as usual. (trying desperately to not drum my fingers and wonder what my thrice-read but PRISTINE copy of The Roofer might be worth...ah, forgetaboutit!)

Beer! Yep. That's my drink answer, but don't poo-poo it! We're talking real CANADIAN beer, eh?

Weddings? Funerals? Wednesdays? All the same. All an excuse to drink.

Pillows? More than the average person could calculate. Enough to cover walls/stairs/sharp objects/siblings/dogs/snakes. Erica lives in a Demon-Pillowed abode.

Phoenix said...

No worries, Lainey. We hadn't put up the "Closed" sign yet.

But we'd better wrap up now so Erica can determine the winner and get herself some well-earned rest.

Thanks to everyone for dropping by and visiting with Erica Orloff and the Book Roast crew!

Erica, thank you for taking your toasting with such class and humor. We'd love to have you back. And with the frequency you've been churning out books, we know it won't be long till you have a new one out we can skewer! :o)

When you're ready, post the winner in the comments here and, if you would, tell us why you chose them. (I'm just glad I don't have to choose. Way too many saucy, spicy entries here that all look soooo delicious!)

Miss Savannah Spitfire: said...

Why, Miss Shona, that Rod wouldn't know what hit him! (And he wouldn't mind at all, oh no.)

And I just wanna say thank you to Erica for a wonderful day.

Your book sounds wonderful, darlin. Best of luck in all you do!

McKoala said...
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McKoala said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shona Snowden said...

Miss Savannah, it sounds like you already know altogether too much about Rod the Roofer. Your protestations of innocence are wasted on me.

Thank you Erica!

Carolie said...

Oh, I feel so silly! I wish I could change my answer about whether there is more drinking at a wedding or a funeral. I just remembered a rather non-PC joke an odd uncle of mine used to tell: "What's the difference between an Irish wedding and an Irish funeral?"

"One less drunken Irishman."

Ba-dum-BUM

Erica Orloff said...

And the winner?

I had to read and re-read these a couple of times. How could I possibly choose? But . . . because of her very funny (and true) answer to #2 in particular, and the fact that I have never had--but now must try--a drink called the Spit of Despair, I choose . . .

BLUE VIOLET!!!!!!!!!!!!

E

Phoenix said...

Woo-hoo! Yay, Blue Violet! Congratulations! Of course, after reading your prize copy of The Roofer, you know you'll be so hooked on Erica's writing that you'll immediately go out and purchase her entire backlist. That "free" book is really gonna wind up costing you! Ooh, but in such a delicious way :o)

laughingwolf said...

yay bv! grats...

fun stuff, all :)

ChrisEldin said...

Blue Violet,
Congratulations!!!
:-)

Thanks everybody for playing.

And special thanks to Erica for being a great roastee!
:-)

Conduit said...

I'm late to this (as usual) but just wanted to say I like the look of this book, and I shall be seeking it out.

blueviolet said...

Woohoo! I can't believe I won! Thank you so much!