Monday, January 13, 2014

Killer Monday: "Catching The Killers"

Jessie’s Bullets: Cock It and Pull It.

Monday, January 13, 2014
  • __6.0__ lbs. over/under Goal Weight (it's all retained water-weight, right?)
  • 1250      Calories Consumed Yesterday (I ran 6 miles on Saturday, I deserve a few cookies...)
  • __1__ Units of Caffeinated (or otherwise non-water) Beverages (good girl deserves another cookie?)
  • __6 hrs Minutes Spent Writing (yes, I spent more time with my computer today than the whole week combined...feeling ultra-productive)
  • _1__Culinary Delights/Disasters Created With Own Hands (that pre-packaged salad and pre-packaged cookie dough didn't make itself!)

Today I would like to share an excerpt of the column I wrote for my city's newspaper, The Las Vegas Sun. It's still under review whether or not the editors-that-be will accept my idea, but in the meantime:
“Catching The Killers” by Jessie Humphries
—A local attorney-turned-author attempts to persuade the rock band, The Killers, to appear at the launch of her book KILLING RUBY ROSE.

Jessie Humphries was born at Sunrise hospital, not far from the lights of the Las Vegas strip. As a graduate of Chaparral High School (class of 1996) and the Sam Boyd School of Law (class of 2006), Jessie’s roots in the valley run deep. From her first job as a tour guide at family owned business, Anderson Dairy, to her present job as a local Family Law Attorney and Young Adult Author, Jessie is committed to the community that raised her. She is also averse to talking about herself in the third person…

So, hi…I’m Jessie.

And I have a dream. A crazy-stupid, outrageously ridiculous, and absurdly unrealistic dream. To catch The Killers. I realize that the odds of convincing the rockstar band to play at my book launch is somewhere between zero and a chance in hell. But hey, since a lot of people like to call Las Vegas "hell"...I figure that I might have a pretty decent chance after all.

About five years ago, in the midst of private practice as an attorney, I started writing a novel. It was absolutely awful and I threw it away.

However, a few years later, I wrote one that was pretty good. Good enough to land one of the top ranked literary agent in North American sales, Sarah Davies of the Greenhouse Literary Agency. In 2013, my agent sold that book, KILLING RUBY ROSE (and the sequel) to Amazon Children’s Publishing/Skyscape. On May 6, 2014, KILLING RUBY ROSE will hit the shelves, and I want to celebrate in style. I want to take a “Shot At The Night”—a Killers song about taking chances and living life to the fullest, even if it’s just one night. So “Catching The Killers” is my attempt at convincing The Killers to appear at my book launch and celebrate.

“Celebrate what?” you mutter, pinching your eyebrows together in confusion.

“Well, I’m glad you asked,” I respond, a delighted smile spreads across my face.

Las Vegas is cool. We all know that. Millions of people travel here every year to experience our coolness. But what all those millions of tourists might not know is how exceptionally normal we are beyond all the bright lights. When we visit other places, I’m sure we’ve all been asked this question: “Do people actually live in Vegas?” Brandon Flowers (The Killers lead singer) was asked by a European reporter once, “Do you even have kindergartens there?”

Yes, we do! And we have the arts, and culture, and community…and other normal stuff. Maybe all of our normalcy isn’t plastered on billboards with all the bare butts across town, but it’s here. And it’s getting stronger. With bands like The Killers and Imagine Dragons, businesses like Zappos, and local artists/authors busting at the seams with ideas to make this place even better.

Anyway, back to the celebration part: I want to celebrate this idea of behind-the-scenes culture and community in Las Vegas as well as the reinvention of Downtown Las Vegas. Sixty years ago, my grandfather made his living Downtown by selling milk to hotels like the El Cortez and the Golden Nugget. Now in 2014, I’m heading Downtown—hopefully to the Container Park or similar venue—to celebrate the history and culture that is coming back to life with a vengeance. Beyond promoting literacy, getting teens and young adults excited about books (which are extremely important), this event will be a killer party!

“But what does the band, The Killers, have to do with your book?” you ask, rubbing your chin skeptically.

“Aha,” I answer, tapping my fingers together like the novice master-villain that I am. “Let me explain.”

The extent of The Killers relevance to me, or my Young Adult Thriller, KILLING RUBY ROSE, (which was pitched as “Dexter” meets “Veronica Mars”) is negligible at best:
  1. I mention the band and their song “A White Demon Love Song” on page eleven, which is interesting (to me) because:
    • I wrote that scene three years ago, before I had any reason to believe the book would ever be published;
    • The Killers reference is on page eleven! And the number eleven is my lucky number.
  2. The root word “kill” is in both our titles.

That is all.

“Yeah, not a very convincing opening argument, counselor,” you say.

“True,” I admit.

However, beyond these utterly un-compelling relevancies, there are far more compelling reasons for the rock band (voted “Greatest Live Act of 2013” by Gigwise) to perform at my book launch: (presented with the use of Bullet points—people don’t call me a B-Word for nothing)

  • The Killers are from Las Vegas! They are a true local success story.
  • Both Brandon Flowers (lead singer) and Mark Stoermer (bassist) graduated from the same high school as me—go Chaparral Cowboys. Though I got to hang out with either of them, due to different graduating classes, school spirit has to count for something.
  • It’s no secret that the band cares about their hometown. In my opinion, an appearance to promote a local author, highlight the community arts, bring much-needed attention to the Downtown area, might just be my most killer idea yet.

There are more reasons than just these, and that is what the subject of this column will entail. All the reasons why The Killers should appear at my book launch will, in time, be revealed.

Until they say yes. Or until they tell me to take a leap off of Hoover Dam.

Either way. This is my attempt to Catch The Killers.

Jessie With A Shot At The Night


  1. Hee hee, I see very much of myself in this letter! This is so much the kind of thing I'd do - and indeed intend to do when one of my favourite books I've written is released!

    Also, home town pride and school spirit counts for a LOT! I live close to where the band Muse is from, and they still have very strong ties here, even though they are insanely famous now!

  2. Here's hoping they reciprocate! I mean, a book launch in Vegas. Who could turn that down? :)

  3. I love you, Jessie. I believe you do have a shot at the night. :) :)

  4. Good luck with the newspaper article and convincing the band. And yes, weight fluctuates. I'm on the scale about every day and finding that out. We just have to keep at it and we will lose the weight. Impressed with how much you wrote this weekend.

  5. Holy Man balls of steel. Jessie, you are awesome. I like your guts and other stuff.

  6. I've got my fingers crossed that they publish your column AND that The Killers play at your book launch. I'll just be sad to miss it!

  7. Jessie, this was SO much fun to read. I'd bet anything you know how to throw one hell of a book-launch-party. How can The Killers resist?!?

  8. Do you ever do anything small? This is awesome. Fingers crossed.

  9. I'm seriously still in awe! I bet they publish it and it takes off like nobody's business! Keep on truckin'!!

  10. That would be so awesome if they could be there! I knew the Killers from Las Vegas! Maybe they'll pay homage to the other artists in town (namely you!)

  11. I've known a few people who have lived in Vegas, all of them have said it was a great place to live.

    Good luck catching the Killers.

  12. I hope you catch them! Fingers crossed. :)

  13. Cheering you on, Jessie! I have every faith you can catch The Killers. Sending virtual cookie dough love your way (zero calories!). XOXO

  14. Good luck catching the Killers! I'd be so jealous...

  15. Now that is a killer idea. Love their music and that would be so awesome! Wish I could be at your book launch!!!