Sunday, June 26, 2016

Other Eyes

I've now done signings and readings on both coasts.  That means meeting and hearing from readers who move in very different circles.  The West and East Coasts (I've lived on both) really do have different perspectives, rhythms, and vibes.  I've also done signings in the southwest which has its own distinct culture.  I think it's great that even with mass media and cheap airfare and all our migrations within our own borders that we remain a diverse nation.  The old Hippie in Port Townsend, the Presybterian book group leader in Pennsylvania, the Hispanic English teacher in's been a joy to discuss my book with all of them.

I've been struck by how Denise Aragon has resonated with people from diverse backgrounds.  She is definitely hard to take for some people.  But when they've stuck with her, they have come to admire and respect her.  Sometimes it has been men who don't take to her right away.  She puts them off because maybe she doesn't fit their idea of a good choice for a date on the town. But then I learn how their admiration for her develops and by the end of the book they see her as a true hero, and maybe someone they'd want to emulate in their own lives (though I don't suggest her diet for anyone with cholesterol problems who doesn't work out at her level).

"You're such a nice guy, how did you ever come up with that?"  I've heard that, too.  All I can say is that I'm not responsible for my bad guys.  The way I right, not imposing myself, indeed striving to remove myself entirely from what is on the page, they simply take things where their characters want.  And then I'm stuck with cleaning up.

Like Denies Aragon.  One of the things I've revealed is that if I was going to write her honestly I couldn't know how the crimes she worked on were solved at the very beginning.  To be in her character I had to truly be in the shoes of a homicide detective inspecting a crime scene.  I dealt the cards, loading up the scene with forensic evidence, painting a portrait of brutality, but I had no more idea than Det. Aragon what it all meant.  We solved the crimes together and I think that made for a much better book.

Thanks to all who have been reading my book and sharing their thoughts and questions with me.  It has been a joy and has made me a better author.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Suspense Magazine reviews The Drum Within

Always a thrill to receive a positive review:

Detective Denise Aragon is on the force in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her recent job involves outsmarting corrupt lawyers and judges in order to stop a celebrity artist named Cody Geronimo, who just so happens to kill people to use for his “art.” His latest victim is Linda Fager, wife of cold and calculating criminal attorney, Walter Fager. But for the very first time, it seems that Walter wants the police to succeed, and bring down the sick artist before he can hurt anyone else. Unfortunately, Marcy Thornton, Walter’s former protégé, is defending the killer with a passion.

                Most of the police force know that Cody took his celebrity to new horrors. In fact, everyone sitting in court knows that on the night of the murder Cody called his attorney to actually inform her about what he’d done. This phone call is what Detective Aragon playsin court. Sadly, the judge rules that Aragon eavesdropping on a confidential call between attorney and client is illegal. Hence, the murderer runs free and Aragon is suspended.

                 As Aragon tries to keep her case afloat, Cody trespasses on private property and remains a vicious man. But Aragon will never quit as she deals with the subject of American Indian tribes, their property lines, as well as the social conflicts that crop up when dealing with the law.

            A thrilling police story, this gives the real mystery buff a lot to absorb. A major look at justice in all its colors, this incredible author gives us good guys and bad guys and, cross your fingers, it might just be the start of a new series.