Friday, April 25, 2014

A LITERARY AFFAIR - Book Signing (Taylorville, Il.)

          TAYLORVILLE – “A Literary Affair,” featuring four area authors, will be presented from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 3 at Dana’s Book Exchange on the north side of the historic Taylorville Square.

            The public is invited to meet the authors, who will display, sell and sign new releases and other books in their first joint effort.

            Each author focuses on a distinctive creative force, from the gritty streets of New York City to the heartland’s Abraham Lincoln.

            Complimentary refreshments will be provided.

            Participating will be:

·         Andrew G. Nelson, Edinburg. The retired New York City police sergeant
has released his second novel, Queen’s Gambit A sequel to his debut Perfect
Pawn, his new book realistically continues the perilous adventures of retired Big Apple detective James Maguire.

·         Pam Stone, Mechanicsburg. The author will present two children’s books
that celebrate real-life family experiences, including encounters with a turtle. Titles are Oscar’s Adventures in the Woods and The Watermelon Party.
Stone has worked in the media, insurance and marketing fields.

·         Carol Alexander, Taylorville. The second edition of her 2013 book, The Big
Squeal, will debut at the event. Endorsed by famous historian Doris Kearns
Goodwin, the books tell the true story of Lincoln vs. courthouse pigs. The expanded new edition takes a kid-friendly look at the Eighth Judicial Circuit
that prepared Lincoln for the presidency.

·         Courtney Michel, Glenarm. A state of Illinois employee, Michel has written
a collection of romance novels., She is the mother of three boys and attended Eastern Illinois University.

For more information, call bookstore proprietor Dana Frasier at 287-7888 or
Alexander at 824-2194. Authors are available for interviews and programs.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Illinois Stories (PBS) Mark McDonald

Nancy and I had the distinct pleasure of being interviewed by Mark McDonald for Illinois Stories on PBS.

The show airs:

Sunday, April 20, 4:30 PM
Tuesday, April 22, 6:30 PM

Check your local listings for the channel.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Book Signing - Dana's Book Exchange (May 3rd, 2014)

I will be doing a book signing at Dana's Book Exchange located at 109 W. Main Cross, Taylorville, Ill. (217) 287-7888 on Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 @ 10 a.m. Looking forward to meeting everyone and answering any questions you might have regarding the books.

I will have copies of both Perfect Pawn and Queen's Gambit. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: Here's What I Know

I thought I would share some 'words of wisdom' from author, JA Konrath.

While he wrote this post about authors, I think a lot of this applies to just about anyone, like this line: "You can curse the rain all you want, but you'd be better off getting an umbrella."

Hope you enjoy !!

A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: Here's What I Know: Be self-aware. Be deliberate. Don't be a pinhead. Publishing is a business. Writing is an art. You may not enjoy the business, but...

Friday, April 4, 2014

Radio Interview - 97.3 WTIM (Monday: 04/07/14)

On Monday, April 7th, at around 8:30 am (give or take), I will conducting a radio interview, courtesy of 97.3 WTIM (Taylorville), with Morning Show host Matt McLemore. We will be discussing my latest novel, Queen's Gambit. 

If you live in the Christian County area you can listen to it live. 

You can also listen live, by visiting their website at:

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Author Interview - Tom Bradley Jr.

I recently had the opportunity to sit down and interview Tom Bradley, author of The Kona Shuffle and The Hilo Hustle.

 Me: Describe The Kona Shuffle in 26 words or less.
Tom Bradley (TB): When a backpack full of stolen jewelry goes missing, private eye Noelani Lee matches wits with mainland crooks and greedy locals to find the lost rocks.

Me: How does a Pennsylvanian who’s lived in California, Texas and Vegas, wind up writing a story set in Hawaii? Do you have an aversion to the fly over states?

TB: Maybe deep down I’m Hawaiian? No? Okay, well we vacation there every year—pick an island, book a flight, and settle in for a week in a timeshare condo. Well, the Big Island is my favorite and after one trip there several years ago, I started having flights of fancy about writing a novel set there. Especially after we saw the black-sand beach at Punalu’u. The place exudes some kind of magic for me, which I play off in my current project, THE PAHALA TWIST.

That’s pretty much it. And while I have nothing against fly over states, I’ve driven through them. So I know for a fact, there’s a reason why they are called “fly over states.”

Me: Your character, Noelani B. Lee, is a Private Investigator. What was your attraction to that career and what was the reason for choosing a female lead?

TB: I’ve always loved detective fiction, dating back to when I was a kid, devouring Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie tales. I still love them. So, fancying myself a crime/mystery/caper writer, I decided to make my main character a PI. How she became a woman was, almost literally, an evolutionary step. Plus I think it’s a challenge to write a female character, although she is one with a hormonal condition that leaves her with some male traits. But she’s cool, she’s smart, and she’s got enough flaws to make her interesting. Like most women I know.

Me: Mystery writers are an odd bunch. Alcoholic beverages aside, what, or who, would you say influenced your work the most?

TB: Other mystery and crime writers, most notably the late, great Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen. I’ve drawn a tremendous amount of inspiration from those guys and some others. As for the booze, I really don’t drink much when I write. Though what qualifies as “much” is relative.

Me: Most people pick up a book and don’t realize just how much work goes into writing. What would you say was the hardest part?

TB: Looking at that blank first page and think, “What the hell am I doing?” But once the story starts to flow, and especially when you have good days and you crank out a couple thousand words or so, it almost seems too easy. Then you edit it and you think, “Oh wow, this is awful.” But that’s where the real fun comes in for me. I love editing, and I have no problem slashing and burning my own writing. I know crap when I read it, and if I write crap, I take no offense from myself for destroying the village in order to save it.

Me: Did your original idea for the ending actually survive until the end or did you alter it along the way?

TB: Nope. The ending of THE KONA SHUFFLE is a far cry from what I planned at the outset. But it works much better.

On the other hand, the ending for THE HILO HUSTLE came out just as I anticipated, with some minor variations.

Me: You just released The Hilo Hustle in early February, the sequel to The Kona Shuffle. Any plans for a third book, The Mauna Loa Macarena perhaps? 

TB:  I’m off-and-on writing THE PAHALA TWIST as we speak, and am collecting mental plot notes for future novels THE WAIMEA TWO-STEP and THE PUNA SHAKE. But THE MAUNA LOA MACARENA? Kinda has a ring to it. Can I keep it?

Me: Tom, thank you for taking the time out to share your story with my readers. Now get back to work and keep churning out more good reads! If you are looking for a good upcoming summer mystery read, set in a warm tropical paradise, then I recommend that you check out Tom’s book.