Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Don Farmer and Chris Curle - An Inside Look at TV News

If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of network news, you won’t want to miss a new novel by two Marco Island authors. Deadly News by Don Farmer and Chris Curle gives readers what Farmer calls “a fun look into a strange vocation.” There are few people more knowledgeable about the subject than this husband-wife team. Between the two of them, they have logged over 99 years in the news business.

Farmer and Curle’s relationship started in a newsroom. In 1970, Curle was working as a news anchor/reporter for an ABC affiliate in Houston. Farmer, the southern bureau chief for ABC news, was in Houston on assignment. The two were covering an incident of social unrest when Farmer first saw Curle. “I asked her what she was doing after the riot,” he says. “I thought that was the best pick-up line ever.” It must have been – they were married two years later.

The newlyweds moved to Europe where they covered international news, then returned to the states where Farmer covered several presidential campaigns and spent five years as a congressional correspondent. When media mogul Ted Turner created CNN, he hired Farmer and Curle as two of his first on-air news anchors. Here they had the unique opportunity to interview some of the biggest names in politics, sports and entertainment. The two had a close working relationship in more ways than one. According to Farmer, “We both had desks in an office the size of a phone booth.” Following their stint at CNN, Farmer and Curle anchored the news for Atlanta’s WSB-TV.

In the mid-1990s, Farmer decided to try his hand at writing a book. “My frat brother was Skip Caray, the legendary sportscaster for the Atlanta Braves. We were talking about some of our crazy experiences, and I told Skip I thought we should write a book about them.” The result was Roomies – Tales from the Worlds of TV News and Sports, a book co-authored by Farmer and Caray.

After the publication of Roomies, Farmer thought he’d take a stab at fiction. “I enjoy collecting bizarre happenings and personal quirkiness,” he says. He began compiling funny stories about some of the people he’d known and worked with. “After spending my life writing non-fiction, it was liberating to be able to write something I could just make up,” he explains. The result was Deadly News, a book Farmer describes as “a humorous satire, with murder and mayhem, set in the news business.” Set in Atlanta and southwest Florida, the story centers around the murder of a movie star who is thrown off a 46th floor balcony, landing on the tower of a TV news truck. With enough thrills and drama to keep readers riveted, the novel’s dark humor will have them laughing as they flip the pages. Fox News host Greta Van Susteren says the story “…cleverly weaves together the fast-paced worlds of media and crime.” Katie Couric praises Deadly News as “…an explosive, exciting thriller.”

Farmer credits his wife and co-author with the novel’s success.  While Curle calls herself “the back-up singer,” Farmer says he couldn’t have written the book without her. “She has so much more patience than I do,” he says.  Farmer hopes Deadly News will give readers an insider’s look at the TV news business and leave them wanting more. “If you’ve ever watched a news program and wanted to throw something at the TV,” he says, “this is the book for you.”

Farmer and Curle have another murder-thriller in the works. Titled Open Season, most of the action takes place in the Naples, Florida area, Atlanta, Georgia and the North Georgia Mountains. When eco-extremists kidnap a star TV news anchorwoman as she leaves an Atlanta restaurant, a media frenzy erupts nationwide. She’s threatened with death unless her captors’ outrageous ransom demands are met. The man behind the kidnapping is a flashy, low-life killer who passes as a wealthy man-about-town. The kidnapping of anchorwoman Nikki Z is part of a larger scheme, a world-wide crime ring and a tale of strong women who decide to do something about it.

For more information, visit the authors' website at www.donfarmer.com

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