Texas Vibrators

Unreal's holiday wish-list includes crime fiction, sassy shorts and, um, "sensual massagers." Plus: Don't bring your screaming tots to opera auditions, people.

Santel is loath to give away any of the meat of the story. And yet, there's more....

Unreal:Your publicist says that "even something as simple as going to the grocery store can end in tragedy."

Steve Santel: [Laughs] Well, that's pretty dramatic. I think the gist of this book is it's based in St. Louis, and it's just kind of normal people, and for some of them simple day-to-day events turn into an end.

Hunh. She also says your book was inspired by an event twenty years ago and that your main character resembles you. Does he?

Not really, but I think some of the emotional turmoil and some experiences he had through loss would resemble mine.

You're not psychotic?

[Laughs] He's not psychotic either!

What happened twenty years ago?

My girlfriend's dad — I guess he was probably in his early 50s — he was told he had to take a mandatory retirement, and he got real despondent, depressed. And one night he wrote a suicide note to his family, but he must have changed his course of action, because he ended up killing her, her mom and her brother. It was pretty brutal stuff.

But there's no triple murder and suicide in your book.

No. Multiple homicides by one individual. He's a serial killer; he's killed more than fifteen women and at some point in time he reaches number twenty. I won't give away much more than that, but obviously he's made a life of doing this stuff.

That's quite a résumé!

Yeah! I think other serial killers would be impressed. But don't print that. I don't want them calling me or anything.

By the way, that's quite a title.

Fate is a very common theme in this book, and in some instances the fate is jagged.

We can visualize straight fate, but what does jagged fate look like?

In this instance it's brutal.

Killer, indeed.



Commontary™ This week's Commontary™ comes from Anna Shallenberger of University City, who was reprimanded for electioneering on her bum.

I thought you might find this of interest. I cast my ballot at U. City High School. When I went to vote, I was asked to put my coat on to cover the seat of my sweats, which had "Bush Bites" — à la Juicy or Greek traditions. I suggested that it was not "electioneering," as he was not on the ballot. I was told that while it wasn't, some other voters had found it offensive. I asked if I was going to be asked to leave and denied my right to vote, to which I received no answer. OK then, I said, "I guess they'll just have to live with it." I voted and left.

I found it very hypocritical that nothing was done at this same polling place in 2004 when election officials were telling voters that lines were long because not enough Democratic officials had shown up — but my expressing an opinion draws fire.

Ever get the urge to jump up and ____ this damn town? Tell Unreal about it! unreal@riverfronttimes.com.

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