Saturday, August 3, 2013

Passage Of Crime, book trailer

Heritable traits are passed from one generation to the next and then combine with acquired traits. The wrong combination of those traits can be deadly. PASSAGE OF CRIME, the next generation of murder in the Ernie Bisquets Mystery Series. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Passage Of Crime

Coming soon!

Passage Of Crime

I'm excited because the release is not too far off now.

About the book:

The most unpredictable character trait can be buried deep in the dark soul of the next generation. But be advised—Evil will eventually seek its own level, and then evolve. PASSAGE OF CRIME, a new twist on murder in the Ernie Bisquets Mystery Series.

London’s East End, once known for poor boroughs and a derelict rail yard, is enjoying an optimistic resurgence. It’s becoming an affordable option for middleclass residents looking to have their pounds go further. Despite this sweeping out of old rubbish, a cautious step is still advised when passing by a few remaining dark alleys. If only Mary Walsh had listened.

Prophet Brown, a disfigured, pathetic little man, called Detective Inspector Flannel after stumbling upon the body of a young woman in one such alley. Flannel quickly realizes she is not the random victim she appears.  Add to that, the crime scene is hauntingly reminiscent of an old unsolved case; a case that almost ended an otherwise brilliant career eight years ago.

     For the moment, Prophet Brown is the only solid link between the two cases. He has been in the employ of Lord Alfred Raventhorn, a charismatic and well-connected Member of Parliament for 17 years. Raventhorn is also the very man Flannel unsuccessfully accused of the murders in the previous case. It should be noted here, in the private conversations of those of impeccable character and devoid of a tendency toward exaggeration, remarks have been made regarding the MP's rumored ill treatment of Prophet.

Flannel finds himself navigating a very treacherous course. His superiors have warned him for the last time to tread cautiously around the MP, as the rising tide of the past threatens to pull him under. Reluctantly, Inspector Flannel turns to a most unlikely ally, a reformed pickpocket named Ernie Bisquets. Together they disentangle a mesh of old lies and current clues attempting to bring a ruthless murderer to justice–ignoring the dangerous notion of murder being a carefully disguised trait passed from one generation to the next.

PASSAGE OF CRIME is a traditional English mystery, complete at 75,500 words. Sure to appeal to Nancy Atherton and Bill Crider fans, Passage Of Crime brings together the unlikely combination of a dowdy old Scotland Yard Inspector and a plucky reformed pickpocket in this whodunit set in contemporary London.

Email me if you would like to be contacted when the book is released.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Writer's Block

Writer’s Block

Anytime I get stuck on a plot line or character introduction I like to turn back to my brushes and a blank canvas. There is a great deal to be said about diverting creative energy in order to get the flow going in the right direction again.
Fortunately I started out life as an artist. It’s something I still enjoy, and has afforded me a fine living. Having that to turn to in times of writing stagnation is a comfort. It jumpstarts the creative juices and helps me work through whatever has stymied me.
About a month ago, while writing a short story about a reluctant murderer, I found myself in a quandary about just how to commit the crime. I wanted it to be different, but relatable in about 12,000 words. Getting the story started wasn't a problem. Then, about three chapters in, I found myself pacing the studio without a clue on how to bring about the demise of a very evil antagonist. The deed had to be worthy of the crimes committed, yet done in a manner acceptable to the reluctant protagonist. Hence, my dilemma.
It wasn’t long before I was sketching out a painting. I decided on a copy of a 15th Century Flemish painting; Portrait Of A Young Woman, by Rogier van der Weyden. It has always been one of my favorites, and I had just acquired a frame worthy of such a work. Normally I would paint something original, but painting a copy of an Old Master allows me to think through the writing issue rather than concentrate on what I’m painting. It sounds odd, but it actually works for me. And if I’m going to paint a copy, it might as well be one I like.
Together, we worked through my issues with the story. I made notes for the next chapters as the Young Woman kept a watchful eye on what I was doing on the canvas. As a result, I can safely say my creative juices are flowing once more over the treacherous rapids of murder. The painting is finished and hanging in my living room—the final result you see pictured above—and I’m back at my keyboard getting ready to deliver evil his just reward.
In another post I’ll let you know how the story turned out.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Few Words About Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction is more or less a derivative of the short story. Through the years many great authors have said so much with so few words. O. Henry’s Gift of the Magi comes to mind, as does the work of Poe and Maupassant. Aesop’s Fables are another fine example. Flash Fiction takes this one step further.
Consider Flash Fiction is to an author what the 100 Yard Dash is to a Marathoner; or, for the fitness crowd, Pilates for the brain. To sharpen the point even more, it’s the telling of a complete story in the least amount of words–usually 500 or less. The important thing here is you tell the whole story. Taking an excerpt from a longer story does not constitute flash fiction. Despite what others might think, that would still be considered an excerpt.
Hemingway is credited with penning the most celebrated with this 6 word story: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Tucked into those few words are all the elements of a good story. There’s a protagonist, conflict and a resolution. The remarkable thing about this type of fiction is the brevity of the work allows the reader to extract all that is implied, leaving them to interpret and draw their own conclusion of the author’s intent.
So, next time you have the seed of an idea and a little time to kill, put your story down on paper. When finished, start distilling it down to the least amount of words. Remember, implication is your friend, and brevity your motivation.

For example:

Call me Ishmael. I find myself alone, bobbing in the blood-stained waves, hoping the masts in the distance are that of the Rachel and not the delusions of a man half crazy with thirst and the visions of the great white whale that has brought about this end. The once turbulent waves are calm, devoid of any trace of the mysterious captain and his obsession with finding and killing the whale responsible for the loss of his leg. Gone, too, is the Pequod, an ominous looking ship festooned with the bones and teeth of the very devils its captain sought with murderous intent.
If I’m to die, so be it. All that’s left of this nightmarish voyage is the unused coffin I cling to–the coffin of Queequeg, a fellow harpooner. His repulsive appearance hastened my opinion of him as a savage, though our brief time together proved me wrong. Now, even in death, his kind spirit and selflessness will most likely save me from the tragic end I’ve witnessed to this brave crew.

It's a shame Melville didn’t have a blog.