I have always adhered to that adage: write what you know. As a former radio announcer, I wrote about broadcasting in one of my earlier books, The Radio Murders. I was recently introduced to a writer I had never read before. Richard Schwindt. After reading his wonderful book, I was not surprised to discover, he too, was writing from a wealth of experience in the mental health field. He is a therapist and has been a social worker in Kingston, Ontario for a number of years. His current work involves providing counseling for people targeted by workplace mobs. Serious work considering today’s violent social atmosphere.
Before I go further, let me share with you about Richard’s book. It is one of the strangest, yet most engaging books I’ve read in a long time. In my Amazon review, I described it like this: kooky, crazy, off-beat, and just delightful. It’s disjointed and hops from year to year and location to location. I found myself hopeless engrossed in the movement of the story.
The book has an unusual storyline. Richard Sutton is summoned to an attorney’s office and told he is the benefactor of over a million dollars and is being transported back in time to live for fifty-seven years. In his new life, he will live free of the heart disease that has plagued him and will not be permitted to contact his wife, children or grandchildren. What follows is a funny and poignant adventure. I don’t want to ruin the story, suffice to say I was able to relate personally to the flow of the book. If you grew up in the sixties and seventies, maybe the book doesn’t seem strange to you at all.
Like his book, Richard Schwindt has a biography that is unique and rich. We know he is a therapist who deals with a very serious subject, but oddly, he describes his work as ” funny, provocative, and meant to entertain, or provide practical help when you need it.” He has written an award-winning book titled Emotional Recovery from Congenital Heart Disease. On the lighter side, he co-hosts on Sunset Country Radio in Sioux Lookout. He also finished as a runner-up in the Comedian Idol of Kingston Contest. He has been married for 40 years and has been blessed with two kids and two grandchildren.
When I was a child, I loved horror. I was the only one in the family that stayed up late at night to watch Bella Lugosi suck the blood from the neck of a compliant woman. It scared the “yell”out of me. In later years, I transitioned to Stephen King to get my horror fix. “Salem’s Lot” and “Pet Semetary” are all-time favorites. I must admit while reading Pet Semetary, I put the book down at the point in the book when Louis Creed began digging up his dead son. I was just too creeped out to finish it for awhile. It was a
transformational moment, because up until then, I wanted to be scared to death. In later years. in a moment of nostalgia, I volunteered to be part of a Halloween haunted house for two months. I loved returning to my childhood passion, but horror has not been a part of my diet until recently.
On a friend’s recommendation I read Van Dyne’s Zuvembies: A Pierce Mostyn Paranormal Investigation by CW Hawes. Hawes writes in many genres and is an award winning poet. He is the author of over 20 post-apocalyptic, mystery, alternative history, and horror novels and stories.
I delved into the world of Zuvembies. To become a Zuvembie, you must be a woman who drinks the black brew. And I’m not talking Starbucks here. No. The black brew has roots in the West African Snake Religions. Once turned, the Zuvembie no longer eats human food and lives in a house or a cave like a bat. Oh, yes, like vampires, it lives forever. Zuvembies no longer speak but summon their unwitting victims with a hypnotic, haunting, wordless spell that draws the poor unfortunate to their untimely death. The only pleasure for the creature is to slaughter human beings. Pierce Mostyn and his fellow employees of the OUP (Office of Unidentified Phenomena) are called to solve a series of horrific murders by women who slaughter their own families. The investigation is fast-paced and full of more creatures than Monsters, Inc. CW Hawes has created a captivating blood-curdling tale that will keep you reading all night with the lights turned on. Sleep tight.
I’ve never met the man, but I feel like I know him just by reading his books. Caleb Pirtle III and I have been housed with two different publishing companies through the years and have become friends and supportive authors. I am now a member of a marketing support group for authors that Caleb and his wife Linda initiated and manage. I am thrilled to be working with both of them. They have years of expertise and knowledge that they readily share.
Add to Caleb’s resume three teleplays:Gambler V: Playing for Keeps, a mini-series for CBS television starring Kenny Rogers, Loni Anderson, Dixie Carter, and Mariska Hargitay, Wildcat: The Story of Sarah Delaney and the Doodlebug Man, a CBS made-for-television movie, and TheTexasRangers, for John Milius and TNT television.
While I am working with Caleb on a professional basis, I am also a rabid fan of his books. I’d like to share some of them with you. Caleb is a prolific writer that can whip out an excellent novel in a matter of month and to date has written in the neighborhood of ninety novels. He does it with such ease and speed that it boggles my mind. It takes me a year and then some to get a novel to market. He loves suspense with an eye on history, including four noir thrillers in the Ambrose Lincoln series: Secrets of the Dead, Conspiracy of Lies, and Night Side of Dark, and Place of Skulls.
Ambrose Lincoln is a trained assassin who the government uses to eliminate those who pose a threat to them. They erase his memory after every assignment using mind control and shock treatments. He becomes a man with no memory, no family, no feeling. He is the walking dead.
Caleb’s new writing project is called the Boom Town Saga Series. Eudora Durant is a formidable woman who just might have ensured her status as a widow with the help of a 22-caliber coon rife. She’d had enough of the drunken reprobate known as Washburn Durant. He disappeared and there were whispers that she shot him. She kept the secret close to her heart, and only Doc knew the truth. Doc Bannister had been a con most of his life, selling things he called doodlebugs to unsuspecting farmers. When the farmers discovered the doodlebugs were useless hunks of junk, Doc was already on the road planning his next con. His path crossed Eudora’s in the small wasted town of Ashland Texas. He smooth-talked her into drilling for oil on her land. Oil sprouted into the hot Texas sky, making Eudora one wealthy woman. He’s still a con but she loves him and forgives his occasional disappearances when a hot poker game calls his name.
The third book in the series is called Lost Side of an Orphan’s Moon, Eudora is waiting for Doc at the Ashland train station when a pale, green-eyed boy steps off the train with a tattered piece of paper pinned to his coat. My name is Ollie Porter. My daddy is Oliver Porter. He works in the oilfields. Does anyone know where he is? Dad is nowhere in sight. Eudora tucks the boy under her wing and the stage is set for another spell-binder from Caleb Pirtle III. Here’s the Amazon link to Lost Side of an Orphan’s Moon. https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Side-Orphans-Moon-Boom-ebook/dp/B088KV1VFK/