Hi Richard! Welcome to the blog. What can you tell us about your Murder At The Jersey Shore trilogy?
Murder at the Jersey Shore is a three book series featuring detective David Nance and his girlfriend, Bobbie. The three books were the first books I wrote. They were published by small presses that have subsequently gone out of business. I was given back the rights and combined the three books into one volume and posted it on Amazon Kindle. The price is $2.99 for the three book volume.
Since the books were written prior to the wide spread use of computers and cell phones, I updated the books. You will notice in the 24 reviews on Amazon that some readers commented on the poor proof reading. That has also been corrected to the best of my ability.
All three plots were derived from newspaper articles. The first book in the series, Secrets Can be Deadly was taken from a story about a new-born that was diagnosed with a brain impairment and the father refused to take him home from the hospital. He thought he could returned the infant like a “spoiled jar of mayonnaise” he bought. You’ll have to read the book to find out why the mother did not object.
The second book, Diamonds are for Stealing is from a story I read about phony diamonds being substituted for real diamonds. For those of you who are not yet engaged or are looking to upgrade you engagement ring, there is a segment in there that explains what to look for when buying a diamond.
The third book, Murder on the Links is taken from a story about the “mob” pushing inflated and phony stock on unsuspecting buyers.
One thing that runs through all these books and is commented on by many reviewers is the relationship between David and Bobbie. For example one said, “What really grabbed me, though, was watching the hero deal with his issues, eventually with a measure of success, while his girlfriend dealt with him and her issues involving him.”
I noticed in your website you included a map of where the investigation takes place and a gallery of photos of the Jersey Shore. What makes this setting work for a mystery novel?
Murder at the Jersey Shore is set in a real place, eastern Monmouth County, NJ. I live in the area and know it well. As you read the books you may even decide to visit. If you do visit you will find the names and descriptions of the towns and many of the main streets David and Bobbie travel to be real places. However, the names of certain streets, businesses, buildings and some places where the action and murders take place are fictional so as not to denigrate any real places. As noted in the book, the antique center is renowned by celebrities.
You’ve written novels in a number of genres – thriller, mystery, historical fiction – are there any I’m missing?
These are the types of books I like to read, but I never intended to write an historical fiction novel. That kind of came to me from a visit to the city where I was born.
My grandparents had immigrated to Paterson, New Jersey in the 1890s. I was born there, but my family moved to the Jersey Shore when I was twelve. I knew little about Paterson except it was America’s first industrial city and the home of the silk industry in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. When I read an article in the newspaper that the Passaic County Historical Society was giving a lecture on Paterson and tour of the historical district I decided to attend to see what life was like for my grandparents.
As I listened to the lectures and walked the tour, I started thinking about a story line, but the lectures only gave me an overall picture of the era. After extensive research in the Paterson library, Silk Legacy, was born in 2006.
Like all my books, Silk Legacy, is a novel of conflicting characters. Plots are important, but I think inner conflicts and conflicts between the characters are what keep the readers turning the pages. The reader wants to find out how the character solves his/her problems.
The following is the plot for Silk Legacy. Imagine the conflicts.
In early twentieth century Paterson, New Jersey, dashing twenty-nine year old Abraham Bressler charms naïve nineteen year old Sarah Singer into marriage by making her believe he feels the same way she does about the new calling of a modern woman. He then turns around and gives her little more respect than he would a servant, demanding she stay home to care for “his” house and “his” children.
Feeling betrayed Sarah defies him and joins women's groups, actively participating in rallies for woman suffrage, child welfare and reproductive freedom. For a while she succeeds in treading delicately between the demands of her husband and her desire to be an independent woman. Her balancing act falters when a strike shuts down Paterson’s 300 silk mills. With many friends working in the mills, Sarah is forced to choose sides in the battle between her Capitalist husband and his Socialist brother, a union leader who happens to be her best friend’s husband.
Do you have a favorite genre? What is it about that genre that speaks to you?
My favorite genres to read are mysteries and suspense novels. Again, the suspense of how the character gets out of his/her conflicts keeps me reading.
Are you working on any new projects?
Yes, I am working on a new romantic suspense novel, The Bishop Committee. It has a rather interesting and conflicted relationship between the protagonist, Jason Sorren, and his Quaker girlfriend, Ariel Hammond. Here is a blurb:
There can’t be a more improbable romance than that of Ariel Hammond and Jason Sorren. Ariel is a Quaker with an absolute aversion to war and killing. Jason is the head of the legal department of America’s largest weapons manufacturer. Their budding romance is thrown into turmoil when Jason uncovers evidence that links his company’s CEO to The Bishop Committee, a group of international arms dealers selling weapons to terrorists and Ariel becomes caught up in the conspirators’ efforts to retrieve the evidence.
As the chases, kidnappings and harrowing escapes intensify, Ariel is forced to kill to save hers and Jason’s lives. She becomes deeply despondent, questioning her life–long convictions about war and killing. How Jason defeats The Bishop Committee, convinces Ariel she did not forsake her principles, and how their love survives when the battles are over make The Bishop Committee an emotionally charged, page turning thriller.
Look for this novel in mid to late 2014. You can read the full book jackets, reviews and excerpts for all my books at my website, www.silklegacy.com, as well as the Amazon pages for these books. There is a link to the Amazon pages on my website or you can put the titles in the Amazon search box for these books.
Thank you so much for joining us on the Freelance and Fiction blog, Richard!
Enjoy the post? Please share with your fellow writers and readers! You can find me on Twitter if you want to keep up with blog news, interview requests, and general ramblings.