The Liar’s Club

by Michelle Gagnon


No really, you shouldn’t have. I mean, sure, it is our…


What do you mean, you forgot? Yes, it was just a year ago today that I wrote the inaugural post for The Kill Zone. And to celebrate a year of rants, raves, and other miscellany, my fellow bloggers and I decided to do what we do best- make stuff up. Below is a series of questions. One of the answers to each question is an outright, baldfaced lie. Your job is to guess who’s fibbing.

For each correct guess, your name will be entered in a drawing for signed editions of each of our latest releases (including my coffee table book on macrame. It’s not just about macrame, it’s MADE of macrame. Patent pending).

Because after all, what anniversary would be complete without fabulous gifts?

Note: despite the outrageous nature of some of these responses, there is only one liar per question. Hard to believe, but true. The winner will be announced in my post next Thursday.

So good luck, and thanks for making this an amazing year!

1. What’s the most “outrageous truth” about yourself, one few people would ever guess?shootist

Kathryn: I once hid in the bushes outside Ted Kennedy’s home, spying on him for a Boston TV station.

John Gilstrap: I was featured in John Wayne’s last filmed performance.

Clare: I was runner up in the 1989 “Miss Melbourne” beauty pageant.

James: I’m a descendant of the Duke of Wellington

Michelle: I was a featured guest on the Maury Pauvich show.

2. What’s the strangest interaction you’ve ever had with a fan or reader?

James: A man approached me at a conference and said God told him I was chosen to write his story. I told him I didn’t get the memo.

Clare: During an radio interview for Consequences of Sin, the host claimed he had predicted 9/11.

Michelle: At a conference, a Ted Kaczynski look-alike handed me a manila envelope filled with xeroxed diary pages outlining ominous apocalyptic predictions.

John Gilstrap: After giving 20 minutes of advice to a young writer at a signing, he walked away saying, “Huh. Well, I don’t read shit like you write.”

John Ramsey Miller: In 1997 I had a stalker who followed me on a book tour to 5 cities out of 11. She changed her appearance each time and asked me to sign a book to whatever name she was disguised as.

Kathryn: During a radio interview for DYING TO BE THIN, one caller claimed there is a conspiracy to keep America fat. I said thank goodness for that, otherwise I’d have to blame my sweet tooth.

3. What’s the craziest/most dangerous thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?

John Gilstrap: I intentionally leaned against a prison fence and walked around the perimeter to see how long it would take for a guard to respond.

John Ramsey Miller: In the mid to late eighties I set up a formal portrait studio at a series of KKK rallies across the south and at the Annual Celebration of the Founding of the Ku Klux Klan in Pulaski Tennessee.

chuck norrisKathryn: I logged onto wild and wooly web sites that gave my computer a nasty virus.

Michelle: I volunteered to be tased to see what it felt like.

James: I asked Chuck Norris to show me his Total Gym workout

Clare: I navigated piranha infested waters in a dugout canoe.

4. What’s the worst line you’ve ever read in a review or rejection of your work?

John Gilstrap: An agent offered to represent NATHAN’S RUN if I would change the protagonist from a 12-year-old boy to a divorced woman.

Joe Moore: “Weak and simple plot, unbelievable and boring characters, and poor writing make this book difficult to finish.”

James: Dear Mr. Bell: Enclosed are two rejection letters; one for this book, and one for your next book.

Kathryn: Agent rejection: “I really wanted to like your story. But I just didn’t like the voice. Or the main character. I just didn’t like anything about it at all.”

Clare: “It’s painful to read more than one or two pages at a time.”

I have to say, I was impressed with my fellow bloggers’ ability to lie with aplomb. Since I could only choose one lie per question, I was forced to omit some real humdingers. Next week I’ll include outtakes/elaborations in the post.

On a side note, Clare just officially became a US citizen (and that’s the truth). Welcome and congratulations!

17 thoughts on “The Liar’s Club

  1. 1. Clare – I’m sure you would have won Miss Victoria, Clare.

    2. John Gilstrap – I find it a little hard to believe the youth of today giving you twenty minutes for valuable advice, John.

    3. Michelle – Wasn’t that Andy who volunteered for the punishment at T’Fest?

    4. James – although I’m sure agents/publishers would dearly love to do this for some queries, can’t see it being the case for yours.

    Happy anniversary TKZ and congrats to Clare for the citizenship (does that mean you have to spell certain words differently now?).



  2. I have no idea about the correct answer, but it’s a bit unnerving to think that all but one per topic is true. Talk about “way out there.” Of course, you’re authors, so I guess it’s to be expected.
    Happy anniversary, TKZ, and hopes for many more to come.

  3. 1. Gilstrap. Because, who -isn’t- a descendant of the Duke of Wellington?
    2. Miller. If you had a stalker in ’67, you’re so offensively precocious that I hope Gagnon gives you that envelope I handed her.
    3. Gilstrap again. You big liar.
    4. Bell. That’s too funny to be true.


  4. #1: James (I know John’s is true cuz he told me so!)

    #2 John (I’ll go with JJ’s reason for that)

    #3 Michelle (for no apparent reason)

    #4 Kathryn (I just believed the others more than you!)

    Now that all of you are wearing pants that are on fire, have a great anniversary and party like it is December 20, 2012!

    word verify ‘exerspa’ My next invention!

  5. Congratulations on your 1st anniversary! Funny, you don’t look a day over, um, eleven months.

    Congratulations to you, too, Clare! This country needs a lot more sensible people with brains. Glad you’re one of us!

    I don’t even have a guess as to who’s lying. “Yinz” guys are all good liars!

  6. My Cousin Leonard and I discussed this at length, and he did a bit of time travelling to research the truth. Here is what he came up with.

    1. Gilstrap is the untruthful: boy #3 is not a ‘featured’ role
    Kathryn: Leonard saw you in the bushes
    Clare: It just has to be true…
    James: Leonard says you look very much like ol’ Welly, who by the way owes my cousin ten shillings now
    Michelle: Connie said some stuff I can’t repeat, for your own safety don’t go near Maury

    2. Miller: it was six cities, HA! you didn’t catch my last disquise
    James: You can’t escape destiny
    Clare: The host borrowed my time machine
    Michelle: Leonard was just passing the message along in exchange for a snickers bar, he didn’t even know what was in the envelope
    Gilstrap: I’ve expanded my reading list since then.
    Kathryn: good science, I’ve got a degree in sweet toothology

    3. Kathryn: in the name of research, yeah sure…wink, wink, nudge, nudge
    Gilstrap: the time lag was because in the camera you looked non-threatening, kinda cuddly teddy bearish if you know what I mean.
    Miller: My uncle Ulrich still has the portrait, Nice job on making the swastika tatoo stand out just beneath the pointy hat. And to think that was before photo-shop.
    Michell: Leonard find you “shockingly attractive”
    Clare: Leonard will never scuba dive in a river again, at least not to follow a dugout canoe

    4. James: The other letter was an invitation the agent’s daughters “My Little Pony” themed birthday party
    Gilstrap: OK, how about a divorced transvestite with the mind of a twelve year old.
    Moore: Leonard said the agent accidentally sent you Salman Rushdie’s letter and Rushdie got your…that whole Satanic Verses thing was a mistake.
    Kathryn: the agent was reading your book while undergoing a severe allergic reaction to her husband
    Clare: the pained reviewer picked up the book in the waiting room of an accupuncture clinic, so they were being quite literal it seems.

    Disclaimer: Time travel has a tendency to muck things up and change events. With that in mind, all of the above statements were true at the time of Leonards various trips, but since he had to go back and forth a bit the resultant “Butterfly Effect”** may have altered the end state and changed the past, thereby nullifying the answers. So If I do not win, its not because the answers were not at one time true, rather its because Leonard screwed up the space time continuum.

    IE making a small change in one place in time and space ripples throughout the universe altering perceived reality. For example, I recently started having memories of being a rather buxom six-foot-tall blond named Svetlana

  7. By the way congrats Clare.

    When my wife got her citizenship the neighbors of our town decorated our house and car with flags and wore those funny looking flat straw hats with red/white/blue ribbons.

  8. Basil, you slay me (or should I say, Svetlana).

    Verrryyyy interesting folks. It should be noted in the interest of maintaining fairness that John’s typo (he’s always lying about his age, that one) DOES NOT mean that the entire answer is a lie-just a common error we’re attributing to indulging in too much peyote before clicking send on the email.

    Although that might be a lie, too.

    Tough to say at this point.

    And for the record, we could all be related to Wellington. I hear he got around…

  9. Thanks for the congrats everyone! My children asked me if it meant I now had to speak with an American accent…I reassured them no, I still get to fake a British/Aussie accent which, believe me, sounds so convincing…I can lie with aplomb!

  10. Since I just made an August 7th deadline one day early (yay) and have time to play, here are my guesses:
    1] Michelle
    2] JRM
    3] James
    4] John G [after reading Nathan’s Run, no *sane* person would ask you to turn the kid into a divorced woman]

  11. Okay, here it goes:

    1:Gilstrap (according to Hard one to fib about, John)

    2:JRM – haven’t I seen that character in some story?

    3:JRM – Wow! That’s…I don’t know what to say.

    4.Bell – Hilarious!

  12. !. John Gilstrap. You’re too young.
    2. John Miller- Because if true, I’m going to need four or five vicious guard dogs, and . . .
    3. James Bell- No apparent reason.
    4. James Bell- well, I’m expecting that duo rejection letter packet myself any day.


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