Monday, March 15, 2010

Separated at Birth

A couple of Steves: Barnes, L. Perry, R.

The writer, now also a life coach, Steve Barnes and I go way back. We met in L.A. twenty-five or more years ago when he was living there. We once co-wrote a script for an animation show -- he did the outline, and I did the draft based on it -- much to his surprise ...

We bumped into each other at cons, or sometimes, pitch meetings for toon scripts. We did panels together. Sang doo-wop on one once. Even paired up for a Whose Line is it, Anyway? improv skit -- and that's harder than it looks -- and eventually wound up studying the same martial art from the same teacher for ten or so years when Barnes moved up into my neck of the woods.

Barnes moved back to LaLaLand after his daughter graduated from high school, and we see each other less frequently now -- at silat seminars or the local science fiction con when he makes it up. I read his blog, we exchange the odd email. I offer my opinion on the gun stuff in his books, like that.

Always liked the man, and the reason I got into silat was because he mentioned it to me and had his -- later our -- teacher come to a convention one Sunday to do a demo.

We have both written about martial arts in our work.

So I got a fan letter from a kid who went on about how much he loved my books, especially Street Lethal and Lion's Blood ...

I was kind in my reply. I can remember, long ago and far away, meeting a writer and gushing, only to realize he wasn't who I thought he was -- and feeling really stupid when he ever-so-gently pointed it out. One of those head-slapping, wish-you-could-magically-disappear moments.

No problem, I told him. Barnes and I get mistaken for each other all the time. Happened before -- I was once invited to a black writers' conference, and wouldn't they have been surprised if I'd showed up, glowing in the dark and all ...

10 comments:

Bobbe Edmonds said...

I loved "Any Way You Want It", and they played "Don't Stop Don't Stop Believin'" at my high school reunion.

We love you, Steve Perry!

Thomas said...

My personal favorite was The Kundalini Equation. It kept me from committing suicide. I can't afford another copy...could you send me one?

Bobbe Edmonds said...

*AGOG*

...Then I woke up.

That was a good one, Thomas, you had me for a second there.

Steve Perry said...

Reason I quit Journey was to get away from my crazed fans. What with the surgery and all, almost nobody recognizes me any more.

Steve Perry said...

Oh, yeah, Thomas, no problem. Stand by your mailbox, it's on the way. USPO is a little slow but don't despair -- I'm sure it will arrive by the time Hell freezes over, or an eon or two past that.

Dan Gambiera said...

All these martial arts Steves - Barnes, Perry, Plinck, Strauch. Damn cheap sale name

steve-vh said...

Dan, I resemble that remark!!

Don't be hatin' cause you can't be in the International League of Steves. (hey, it's what Barnes wrote in my copy of Street Lethal!).

Dan Moran said...

I never liked Journey and I'm glad you left them. (Though, to be sure, you didn't suck as bad as Boston. I admit, that's a back handed compliment, but you should take what you can get after having written shameless crap like "When a Man Loves a Woman.")

Anyway, I think the guy who got you mixed up with Barnes is silly. I happen to know Barnes can dance.

Steve Perry said...

I'm not going to ask you how you know Barnes can dance, Dan. I don't want to know.

Some guy said...

These two are the only two blogs I read so if I'm quoting something to someone I end up referring to "the martial-arts-doing-science-fiction-writing-blogger named Steve - the [black/white] one." Hey, it keeps me amused.