Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Interview with John Pearce

Interview with John Pearce,
Author of Treasure of Saint-Lazare

Questions by Author Roy Murry




Can you tell me a little about yourself?
I'm a lover of Paris -- I call myself a Part-Time Parisian. For a while I even had a blog by that name, until I discovered I couldn't blog about Paris, write a novel about it, and do justice to both. My wife Jan and I live in Sarasota for nine or ten months of the year, with the rest of the year reserved for Paris. For my blog, I make do with http://johnpearceauthor.com/

Do you remember the first story you wrote?
Treasure of Saint-Lazare is the first work of fiction I’ve completed. Years ago I started a spy novel but had the sense to drop it before it embarrassed me. I still have the notes. But I've been a writer a very long time, in daily journalism and magazines. I was the Washington economics reporter for The Associated Press and then worked for the International Herald Tribune, covering business and finance in the German-speaking countries, when we lived in Frankfurt.

Were you inspired by someone or something?
Like most aspiring writers of my generation, I was inspired by John Le Carré. I still am, although I think he was more comfortable with cold-war stories.

What do you like about writing a story?
I like the act of creation, of making a new world that meshes smoothly with reality.

Can you tell us about your book?
Treasure of Saint-Lazare is a historical mystery whose basic question is, "What if some really bad guys were convinced you knew where a priceless work of art was hidden and would do anything to find it, including murder?" It's based on Raphael’s painting "Portrait of a Young Man," which was stolen by the Nazis in 1939 and disappeared in 1945 while it was being shipped from Poland to Munich. The book is set in Sarasota and Paris, mostly Paris, and it has a pretty strong romantic feeling. One reviewer said he'd never been to Paris until he read the book. That made my day.

What genre best fits for the book?
Treasure of Saint-Lazare has some thriller elements, although it’s really a mystery. I was pleased when it reached #25 on the Kindle historical mysteries best-seller list. It's available in Kindle, paperback and audiobook editions.

Are you working on something new at the moment?
I'm almost finished writing a sequel, whose working title is Last Stop: Paris. Editing and pre-publication marketing will take several months, but it should be out this year. My third novel, a prequel, should be out next year, because I’ll be able to work on it while other people help market the sequel. I’ll be sure to come back to you to ask for pre-publication reviews.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Write. Sit down and stay in your chair. No other advice has any value if you can't do that. Then finally, when you’re pretty sure you have done the best work you can, put it away for a month or two and work on something else. Weak spots that would be invisible in the heat of creation will jump off the page.

After you're satisfied with the editing, have it meticulously proofed by someone else. Your goal should be to have zero typos, whether you're seeking an agent or planning to publish yourself. Typos are death for a self-published book.

Where can people go to read your work?
For now, it’s on Amazon, although I will probably broaden the distribution in June. The Sarasota Public Library bought three copies, so if you live in my town you can find it there. And any bookstore can order the paperback from the Ingram catalog. The audiobook was done by ACX, an Amazon subsidiary.



Sunday, April 13, 2014

Review of The Circle's End

Review of The Circle’s End
(Cowboys and Angels)

By Penny Childs

Review by Roy Murry


Unfortunately, I did not read the first books in the series Cowboys and Angels, The Circle’s End being the last book in the series. However, I can say for certain, that based on reading The Circle’s End, the characters are intriguing, complicated, and well developed.

Joined by a common cause, the main characters communicate by an unusual means that endears them to each other.  The youngest of the group holds the key to complete The Circle’s End. All comes together when that key is used.

Leading up to that event, many lose their life and livelihood because of the person behind the door the key opens. His terror reign may come to an end if the key is turned the right way.  

Ms. Childs’ crime thriller keeps you on the edge as CIA agents’ conflict with each other not knowing who the good guys in the room are. She has interwoven a seemingly plausible story with paranormal conflicts that true believers will love.

Her writing is enjoyable to the point I may go back and read the first in the series. I look forward to it.

Penny's link: https://www.facebook.com/penny.childs.writes?fref=ts








Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Review of Bride for a Champion

Review of Lindsay Townsend’s
Bride for a Champion

Reviewed by Author Roy Murry

This unlikely love story is placed in thirteenth century when the men ruled the world and the women who lived on it. The men fought the wars for merry old England and the women were theirs for their control and pleasure.

A lord of the realm, on his dying bed, bequeaths all his processions, which include his daughter, to his champion, who has fought by his side in a foreign war. This is where Ms. Townsend’s begins her entanglement between its two characters Simon and Alice.

The crux of this novella is their interplay on who has the upper hand on the situation at hand – who will rule Alice’s father’s lands and subjects. Simon has the legal man’s right to rule, but Alice believes she has rights too. If Simon will full fill one important request for Alice, she may bow down to his wishes.

They say that behind every great man there is a loving woman. The two main characters Ms. Townsend has developed fall into this mole after a rocky start in their relationship.

The story moves at a pleasant pace with a many tits for tats between Simon and Alice, leading up to an unusual ending. The characters are well developed into one moving unit that can conquer their worldly problems. You will be pleased also at how they reach their ending.

Ms. Townsend’s book can be found on Amazon: http://amzn.to/QD4axT  She can be found at https://twitter.com/lindsayromantic and http://www.lindsaytownsend.net/



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Review of Leprechaun Lament



Wayne Zurl’s Leprechaun Lament
(Sam Jenkins Mystery)
Reviewed by Author Roy Murry

TV’s Law and Order, Castle, and Bones - look out here comes a Sam Jenkins’ mystery TV series, my opinion. I’m too old to play Sam’s part, but I’d love to give it a go.

All four endeavors are police work at its finest, using cognitive and deductive knowledge to unravel a mystery that landed on their door steps. Whatever the criminal case it is to decipher, each series methodically go about the business of getting the job done.

In Leprechaun Lament, Wayne’s small town police chief with big city detective training, encounters an administrative problem he must complete to comply with the federal government’s requirements – security clearance for all town’s employees that work close with the police force.

It’s easier said than done, when it comes to one long time employee, who isn’t up front with his background. Sam, the chief, is up against the wall when the mayor overrules him and lets the employee be reinstated even though his history is not collaborate on any level – he doesn’t have a driver license for God Sake and he’s the town’s mechanic.

A body is found and it’s this leprechaun liar, a short elderly man of dubious Irish background. Now, Sam has more than a security clearance to approve. He has a criminal case to solve.

Sam’s personality, street knowledge, and his connections help him in his ability to follow leads another may over look. He is not Sherlock Holmes, but logic is his trade mark in resolving the mystery at hand.

Mr. Wayne Zurl writing with its home grown Tennessee humor mixed with NYC sarcasm will have you laughing. But when it comes to police procedure, his writing is on spot, according to me a police TV series nut case.

His links and more detail of his novels are below in his interview: http://bit.ly/1mscyNm

Interview with Wayne Zurl


Interview with Wayne Zurl,
Author of A Leprechaun's Lament 
(Sam Jenkins Mystery)

Questions: R. Murry


Can you tell me a little about yourself?

Shortly after World War Two I was born in Brooklyn, New York. Although I never wanted to leave a community with such an efficient trolley system, I had little to say in my parents’ decision to pick up and move to Long Island where I grew up.

Like most American males of the baby-boomer generation, I spent my adolescence wanting to be a cowboy, soldier, or policeman. Those aspirations were based on perceptions fostered by movies and later television. The Vietnam War accounted for my time as a soldier. After returning to the US and separating from active duty, the New York State Employment Service told me I possessed no marketable civilian skills. So, I became a cop. 

That was as close to military life as I could find. Now that I’m retired from the police service, I still like the cowboy idea, but have interrupted that aspiration with an attempt at being a mystery writer.

Years ago I left the land of the Big Apple, to live in the picturesque foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee with my wife, Barbara.

Twenty (20) of my Sam Jenkins mysteries have been produced as audio books and simultaneously published as eBooks. Ten (10) of these novelettes are now available in print under the titles of A MURDER IN KNOXVILLE and Other Smoky Mountain Mysteries and REENACTING A MURDER and Other Smoky Mountain Mysteries.

My first full-length novel, A NEW PROSPECT, won Indie and Eric Hoffer Book Awards for best mystery and best commercial fiction in 2011 and 2012, and was a finalist for a Montaigne Medal and First Horizon Book Award. My other novels are A LEPRECHAUN’S LAMENT and HEROES & LOVERS. A fourth book, PIGEON RIVER BLUES, is under contract and tentatively scheduled for release around June 1st, 2014.

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

As a schoolboy, probably something about what I did on my summer vacation. But as a newly retired adult, I volunteered at The Fort Loudoun State Park and wrote non-fiction magazine articles relative to their living history program. The first one published (where I got paid by the magazine) was about how a detachment of New York volunteers from Rogers’ Rangers fought in the Anglo-Cherokee War of 1761 after the massacre at Fort Loudoun in what today is Vonore, Tennessee.

Were you inspired by someone or something?

I wrote non-fiction for ten years, was lucky enough to get twenty-six articles published, and I thought getting paid for writing was pretty cool. When I couldn’t conjure up any new and thrilling ideas on the 18th century French and Indian War in Tennessee, and experienced that old burned-out feeling, I passed the torch to another volunteer. But I had time on my hands and liked the idea of having a creative outlet. I thought if I could sell articles to magazines, how difficult could it be to get a novel published? That was in 2006. I was sixty, but obviously, in the world of big-time publishing, I still thought like a child. I had just read Robert B. Parker’s first Jesse Stone novel, NIGHT PASSAGE. 

Stone was a former L.A. detective who became a small town police chief. I liked the premise. I liked how Parker wrote. I thought: Parker was never a cop like me, why can’t I make a retired New York detective a Tennessee police chief? I grabbed a yellow pad and pen and started writing—incorporating elements of my old cases and assorted vignettes into a fictionalized and embellished police mystery. Originally, I called it MURDER IN THE SMOKIES, but when I decided it should be different than the average murder mystery where I needed a body and the start of an investigation by page three, I changed the title to A NEW PROSPECT and tried to sell the book as a character driven police procedural.

What do you like about writing a story?

There is a lot of ego involved with me. I readily admit, I’ve got a better memory than a vivid imagination. I based all of my early stuff on cases I investigated, supervised or just knew a lot about. Police fiction that veers far from reality or even plausibility drives me crazy. I stop reading when it’s too incredible to possibly happen. I’m all for suspension of disbelief, but some writers should abandon the mystery genre and call their work cop fantasy. I enjoy taking the reality of true police work and adding those little necessities to make a good story and tell readers like it really was. I first envisioned my target audience as cops or ex-cops or hardcore fans of police fiction. I figured if any one of those readers said, “Hey, this guy got all the details right and told a good story,” I’d be happy. 

Can you tell us about your book?

A LEPRECHAUN’S LAMENT is based on the most frustrating and bizarre case I got involved with during my twenty years of doing investigations. It started out innocently enough, but soon escalated into something no one saw coming. In the book, I incorporated the modern Patriot Act to provide a reason for doing a background investigation on an employee who worked for the city of Prospect for almost thirty years. In reality, it began when a man’s budget position was changed from General Services to the Police Department. Most of the dialogue and action is as I remember it actually occurring. That disclaimer on the frontispiece about “Any similarity to real persons or events is purely coincidence,” is hogwash. 

This is what happened. I transplanted it from New York to Tennessee, added a little spice, and because Sam Jenkins is who he is, I thought a beautiful girl would keep him interested and on his toes. Paraphrasing Jack Webb’s statement from every episode of Dragnet, “Only the names have been changed to protect the guilty—and keep me out of civil court.” Here’s the dust jacket summary. It tells all the basics:

A stipulation of the Patriot Act gave Chief Sam Jenkins an easy job; investigate all the civilians working for the Prospect Police Department. But what looked like a routine chore to the gritty ex-New York detective, turned into a nightmare. Preliminary inquiries reveal a middle-aged employee didn’t exist prior to 1975.

Murray McGuire spent the second half of his life repairing office equipment for the small city of Prospect, Tennessee, but the police can’t find a trace of the first half.

After uncovering nothing but dead ends during the background investigation and frustrations running at flood level, Jenkins finds his subject lying face down in a Smoky Mountain creek bed—murdered assassination-style. 

By calling in favors from old friends and new acquaintances, the chief enlists help from a local FBI agent, a deputy director of the CIA, British intelligence services, and the Irish Garda to learn the man’s real identity and uncover the trail of an international killer seeking revenge in the Great Smoky Mountains.

What genre best fits for the book?

This one is pure police procedural with more than its share of thriller tossed in.

Are you working on something new at the moment?

I’m expecting a full-length novel, PIGEON RIVER BLUES to be published around June of this year. It’s Sam’s first foray into the world of country and western music. He certainly doesn’t perform on stage, but reluctantly accepts an assignment of acting as bodyguard for a beautiful singer who’s received threats from a group of right-wing weirdoes. More of Sam’s back-story comes out when he meets up with characters he worked with in the Army.

A new novelette, THE SWAN TATTOO, has just been recorded and will be produced as an audio book and soon published as an eBook. That one is about Chinese/Malaysian organized Crime in the southern US. Also in the works for the future is a novel called, A TOUCH OF MORNING CALM, about Korean organized crime in Knoxville and  Prospect, Tennessee.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Having my stories produced as audio books taught me a lot about the sound and cadence of what I write. I would suggest that everyone read what they consider a finished product aloud—as if you were acting the parts. If what you wrote SOUNDS good, you should be okay. If you experience awkward moments in the narrative or dialogue, revise it until SOUNDS smooth. If there are any bumps, smooth them out. If everything sings to you, you’re there. For a guy who doesn’t dance very well and can’t sing a note, I’m very concerned with rhythm.

Where can people go to read your work?

My stuff is available from all the usual sellers in print, eBook formats, and some in audio. Here’s a list of links where you can find me and the books on the Internet.
Author website:  http://www.waynezurlbooks.net 
Mind Wings Audio author page: http://mindwingsaudio.com/?s=wayne+zurl

Do you have anything to add?


At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ll again mention my obsession with the reality of police work. If you’re looking for Sam Jenkins to pull a ‘James Bond’ and shoot an arrow attached to a steel cable from his wristwatch while he’s chasing a felling felon, you won’t find it in something I write. I try to incorporate all the elements of a good story, but avoid mindless conflict, meaningless action, or any senseless fantasy element used only to dupe a reader. 

Real police work includes frustration, sorrow, regret, tension, action, fear, and lots of humor. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tracey Edges Presents Author Roy Murry to the UK.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Review of Wrong Place Wrong Time




Review of Wrong Place Wrong Time
Written by David P Perlmutter

Reviewed by Author Roy Murry

When we were young, our thought processes sometimes got confused either by lack of knowledge, by our emotions, or by some drug induced states we put ourselves in. It was our up bring that brought us back to reality and got us through those befuddled state of affairs.

In Mr. Perlmutter’s Wrong Place Wrong Time, David is just about to mature into an executive with all his future laid out for him. Working hard in a profession he enjoys, an error in judgment he makes leads to the disruption of that life, leaving him on the outside looking in.

To comfort himself, he goes to a Spanish resort area to get away from it all and to reorganize his thinking, looking for a new future. All is going well for a short period of time until more conflict enters his life. What is one to do – go with the flow even if it is not where you want to go?

David does that but lands where no one wants to be in a foreign country – on the wrong side of the law, because he thought he was doing the right thing. And no one was listening, other than his family back home.

This true story by the author has a number of misadventures to get into detail. What I will say is that David did the right thing in coming clean with his family, thereby freeing him from any guilt and allowing him to go forward with his life albeit not being a rosy situation.

The story was well written and gripping. It was somewhat of a cliff hanger at times, that the reader will keep on going until the end. Good job for David P. Perlmutter’s first endeavor.

I have also read his My Way and got some great tips on marketing a book on the internet. Thank You David. We have many of the same friends.