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Saturday, March 19, 2016

My Homage to John D MacDonald's Travis McGee

From time to time I get on a re-read kick and the last week it took me back to John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series (The one with a different color in each title, such as The Empty Copper Sea). Reread five in about that many days. We had a wonderful spell of weather here in KC and I could sit outside and read and sip--along with Travis--Boodles gin on ice.

That series was good. I had enough distance (and poor memory) to forget the details of many of the plots, but what I enjoy most is not the story, it's being with Travis again. Through Travis, MacDonald creates a reality for the reader easy to enter. Creating reality with words is my goal in fiction writing.

I wanted to create my own Travis type of character. His name is Phillip McGuire. Instead of a beach bum who lives on a houseboat in Florida and makes money doing various kinds of salvage work (and most of that salvage for Travis was healing people), my guy is a
burnt-out foreign correspondent who gives up journalism to return to his college town to buy and run a bar.

I have two books about McGuire published by Curiosity Quills: Tortured Truths and Heart Chants. If you are a Travis McGee fan, I hope you'll check them out and let me know what you think.

True story here: I was driving in the car and listening to the radio news when an AP report told me that:  "Travis McGee, the creator of the John D. MacDonald series, died today." I kid you not. My God, how both the creator and the created would have loved that.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Like to get "creeped out?" Blow Up The Roses recommended

An interesting, but not uncommon, review came in for Blow Up the Roses the other day. This reader is not the first to acknowledge not wanting to continue the story, but being so captured they couldn't quit.

Here's that most recent comment:

"I had put off reading Blow Up The Roses. I wasn't sure I wanted to read it.  When I started, I wasn't sure I wanted to continue.  But like all of your books, I couldn't put it down.  The story grabbed me, even as I didn't want to know what happened next. We all know there is evil in the world, but this kind of reality is almost too evil for words.  Any parent feels fear at the stories of children being lured into a car.  We can't even begin to contemplate that something like this could happen to our children.

"You think you know your neighbors.  What a frightening prospect!  I guess everyone has skeletons in their closets but this was a truly scary story.  And, of course, I really enjoyed it."

Here are some other similar reactions:

"After reading the first two paragraphs of this book I wanted to stop because I knew it would be disturbing. I continued reading because I've looked at my neighbors' homes and thought about the possibility that they're hiding terrible secrets in their basements and attics and no one will ever know. Apparently, Randy Attwood has also. Thought about it, I mean. I hope."

Here's another:

"At the end of the first paragraph I had to decide whether I was brave enough to continue. I wasn't sure I wanted to know what happened next. I did read the whole story and enjoyed Mr. Attwood's characters; a veritable crazy quilt of unlikely neighbors who maintained a strange sort of formality despite the ugly reasons for their interactions. I would remind the reader that the most frightening parts of a story are those we fill in with our own imaginations."

We'll end with this high praise:

"Read the first four chapters. Very creepy. Kind of reminded me of Tom Harris from the Hannibal Lector series. I like how you build suspense with Mr. Brown and whatever he's got cooked up in his duplex. The way you use Mr. and Mrs. adds a coldness to the writing that prevents the reader from getting comfortable. I think this is a great book."

So if you like a dark read and to get "creeped out," here ya go:

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Notebook: No Reader Yet Has Foretold the Ending

I think it's one of my more arresting ebook covers. A couple of times it has popped into the top 100 in its Amazon category but I hate to divulge which one because that gives too much away too early. No reader yet has foretold the ending.
Reviewer for The Notebook wrote:
"Two people connect over their losses, brought together by an unbelievable confession and a mysterious notebook hidden in an attic. Impossible to describe this story without spoiling it, but it is very powerful. The ending has a twist you'll never see coming."