CW Hawes is a man of varied tastes and abilities. The eclectic author has penned over twenty books from a variety of genres including apocalyptic, mystery, alternative, history, and horror. His most recent book is Nine Deadly Dolls.
What drives this charming mystery is the unique characters and the interplay of their personalities. Justinia Wright is a private eye with lots of connections to powerful government spy agencies around the world. The six-foot-plus, incessant cigar-smoking private eye shares a home with her brother Harry and his wife Bea, and a few furry friends.
Justinia who is known simply as Tina to family and friends gets a befuddling new case. Bobby Joseph Frieden is a nephew greatly grieved when he discovers his uncle has died. He is quite convinced dear Uncle did not commit suicide but was in fact murdered by a dangerous Haitian terrorist organization. Uncle bequeathed his belongings to Bobby who becomes the target of Men Nwa Nan Lanmo known in English as the Black Hand of Death. He hires Tina to discover the truth. She jumps in with seven-league boots and is off traveling to exotic places to solve the mystery. I found myself entranced with this light-hearted mystery.
CW is a lover of fine food, tea, and music that runs the gamut from classical to fifties and sixties pop. He also digs philosophy, mythology, art, architecture, books, history, nature, airships, and steam-powered technology. Whew! Yes, of course he’s retired. That’s the only way he could feed his curiosity for all the above.
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.
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/
The dictionary describes second wind as: a new strength or energy to continue something that is an effort. I’ve needed that for some time now and just couldn’t find the heart to carry on.
I’ve been writing seriously now for close to eleven years. In that time, I’ve completed five books. I pounded out those stories with a fevered pitch and crossed my fingers for success. It’s been a mixed bag. I’ve had years of decent sales and some that could be described as anemic. The last three years have been complicated by changes in publishers, a marketing campaign with a company that failed to deliver on promises made, and a year where my books were off the market as I transitioned between publishers. During that time, I sank thousands of dollars into marketing schemes that didn’t seem to affect the bottom line. Eventually, it took a toll on my drive to finish the next book. Continue reading →
My life is overflowing with busy-ness. I work full time for a government agency and give them forty hours a week. In addition, I am raising my teenage grandson who just started high school. While I admit, my daily duties with him have diminished, I still rise early weekday mornings, roust him out of a deep slumber, get him breakfast, find him an elusive pair of matching socks, and finally get him out the door before the school bus comes rumbling up the street. In my SPARE moments, I write. It’s my favorite thing to do, but as you can see, I have little time to spend on my avocation. Continue reading →
Publishing is a carnivorous business. The competition is keen and it’s a struggle to get your material noticed among the hundreds of thousands of books published yearly. One thing has become crystal clear since I became an author-I’ve learned that I need help and lots of it. I rely on my friends to give me feedback and yes, to help promote my book when it’s done. The Beatles said it so well, “I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends.”
One of my best friends is Sandra Nachlinger, a talented writer and terrific editor. She is the first person I turn to when my book is complete. She has an awesome editing eye and catches many mistakes in my raw manuscript.
It’s her other gift that I wanted to share with you today. Sandy has penned two romance novels and I asked her how her journey to successful author began. “I wrote my first love story in elementary school. It takes place on Halloween, and the heroine receives a kiss as the happy ending. I’ve written short stories and articles for magazines for many years. My first book (I.O.U. Sex) was co-written with my best friend Sandra Allen in 2010.”
I.O.U. Sex is such an intriguing title. I had to know how the two Sandras came up with that title. Sandy chuckled when she explained, “The idea for my first book came from my high school diary. I’ve known my I.O.U.Sex co-author since 8th grade, and we nearly died laughing when we read my high school diary. Reminiscing about our high school boyfriends and speculating about their current whereabouts led to the book’s premise.”
I was curious and asked Sandy if she had ever considered contacting her high school boyfriend. I found mine in Fairbanks, Alaska. Her eyes sparkled and she gave me a big grin. “You wouldn’t believe how many people have asked if I.O.U. Sex is based in reality! No, my co-author and I did not track down our high school boyfriends, and we certainly didn’t hook up with them. But we had a lot of fun imagining what would happen if our characters did that.” Pour a glass of wine and settle in for a charming, funny, bittersweet saga.
Sandy followed her initial novel with Bluebonnets for Elly. “My second book is a more traditional sweet romance with a younger hero and heroine. It was picked up and released by Sweet Cravings Publishing (an imprint of Secret Cravings Publishing). Unfortunately, like many smaller presses recently, they went out of business. I then re-released it as a self-published novel. Although bits and pieces of people I’ve known appear in Bluebonnets for Elly, the plot and characters are purely imaginative. However, I spent many summers at Lake Texoma (the book’s setting) and the nearby small town of Pottsboro, Texas. They definitely inspired my depiction of the area where Elly and her grandmother live.”
Sandy stays busy with a blog of her own called Writing With a Texas Twang and writes articles about a variety of subjects. She often introduces her followers to books that she has recently read and recommends. If you’d like to take a look, here’s the link: https://SandraNachlinger.blogspot.com
Writing is a lonely profession. We authors often sit up late in the night while our spouses,
Kelly Marshall with grandson, Dawson
children and, in my case, grandchild have all gone to bed. Frequently tired after a day full of activity, it’s the quiet time when we can think, imagine, and write without interruption. It was my desire to connect with my reader that prompted me to start a blog. I fought the idea for some time. I kept thinking, how in the world will I ever find the time to add one more thing to my exploding schedule? My decision to write a blog was prompted by that need to reach out and connect with those individuals who inspire me and share their thoughts with me—just like they did on my radio shows. Continue reading →