Divine Intervention

Successful mystery writer James Callan decided early on that writing was not going to feed his family. I think most writers ultimately come to that conclusion sooner or later. Personally, I am still juggling a full-time job with the government and writing murder mysteries when I can wedge time in my busy schedule. After getting a degree in English, Callan went back to graduate school and got a degree in mathematics and taught math and computer science for thirty years. Perhaps, it was divine intervention when someone put a book by mistake in Callan’s car. His interest piqued, Jim dove into the book and didn’t put it down until he finished it at two am. That unique event and the fact that his children were now grown and well-established on their own helped Callan make the decision to shake off academia and return to his first love-writing.

To date, James Callan has written seven novels, and four non-fiction books. He admits that he felt like a novice as a fictional writer after years of technical writing in the math and science arena. But James  Callan has succeeded wonderfully in his new career with several awards including the one he is most proud of, the Reader's Favorite Award. He spends considerable time thinking about a book before he sits down to write. Jim writes daily, but admits life sometimes intrudes and he has to adjust his schedule. A recent illness stalled his writing momentum. He spent months in the hospital and further recovery required bedrest for yet another month after three surgeries. Now fully recovered he's back on track. For more information, check out Jim's website:
https://www.jamesrcallan.com/

Callan’s most recent mystery venture has been the Father Frank Mystery series. His stories are very unique to the genre because the chief protagonist is a priest. Father Frank is a cleric at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Pine Tree, Texas. His astute understanding of human behavior and common sense has been able to help local law enforcement catch the bad guy. But in A Plot For Murder, the case takes a personal turn when Father Frank’s sister Maggie becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a well-known author who was the chief speaker at the Pine Woods Writers Conference. Determined to keep his innocent sister out of jail, Father Frank works with the Texas Rangers to find the real villain. https://www.amazon.com/Plot-Murder-Father-Frank-Mystery-ebook/dp/B08T8QVXV8

I must give considerable credit to fellow author and blogger Rox Burkey who gave me unlimited access to her interview with James Callan. If you'd like to see the whole interview, it's available here. https://roxburkey.com/my-chance-to-speak-to-james-callan/


JUST A TASTE

I love writing, but I must admit the process of writing and traditional publication had become stale for me. I wanted something new and fresh to invigorate my writing. It was at the prompting of several friends that I decided to write my next book by podcast. It’s not quite an audio book, but you get the flavor of one without me reading my book to you. So I invited a fellow radio broadcaster, Larry Hinze, to put on his theatrical mask and become homicide detective Nick Winston. I have become his partner in policing, Pat Strom. If you haven’t had the opportunity to tune into my new book Podcast, Deadly Match, I’d like to give you samples of my episodes. Hopefully, I’ll intrigue you enough that you’ll tune in every other Sunday for a new episode.

Episode One finds Seattle Homicide Detectives Nick Winston and Pat Strom called to a late night murder scene at the Nickerson Street Saloon in Seattle. Pat finds Nick near a dumpster where a homeless person had been dumpster diving and instead of dinner, he found the severed head of a once beautiful woman. If this is your first visit, you can listen to the entire episode here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpQYvDDQiUo&list=PL1YyuYedCtU79EsXf1SdUQQLoREFI5RBJ

In Episode Two, Nick peruses online dating sites and discovers revealing pictures of a woman who looks suspiciously like the victim he and his partner had discovered the night before. The provocative site is called Meet Your Match and the woman’s user name was Spanish Eyes 69. Listen here for Episode Two. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RMfHMt1hUQ&list=PL1YyuYedCtU79EsXf1SdUQQLoREFI5RBJ&index=2

Episode Three finds the two detectives scrambling to discover the identity of the Spanish Eyes 69. Their supervisor, Captain Martin, decides to make a public plea and engages the help of a forensic artist to draw the image of the severed head. A frantic call to the Seattle Police Department leads to success for the department, but marks a tragedy for a family desperately hoping to find their loved one. Here’s the link for Episode Three. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztMfuFeV_CY&list=PL1YyuYedCtU79EsXf1SdUQQLoREFI5RBJ&index=3

Episode Four: Nick and Strom visit the home of Valentina Colon’s family. The victim’s mother is now the custodian of the dead woman’s three young children. Nick is captivated by three-year-old heartbreaker Mateo Colon. Later, Nick makes Tandy an offer she can’t refuse. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVFdVw9u544

Episode Five Nick and Pat learn another body part has been found in trash bin behind a Mexican Restaurant just south of Seattle. Their goal is to find the killer who has murdered and dismembered Valentina Colon. The detectives hope more of her body can be recovered for a more thorough autopsy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag48l-u1iU0&list=PL1YyuYedCtU79EsXf1SdUQQLoREFI5RBJ&index=6

Episode Six :A shocking new development in the case of the murdered young mother, Valentina Colon. Winston and Pat Strom are stunned by the new information that changes the whole thrust of the investigation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnU2bxt1J3A&list=PL1YyuYedCtU79EsXf1SdUQQLoREFI5RBJ&index=8

Episode Seven: Our two homicide detectives, Nick Winston and Pat Strom, are increasingly convinced that another serial killer has emerged in the Pacific Northwest. Camila Vasquez, the mother of Valentina Colon, is instrumental in providing invaluable evidence in the hunt for the madman murdering and mutilating area women. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0gI0cTqivg&list=PL1YyuYedCtU79EsXf1SdUQQLoREFI5RBJ&index=9

Episode Eight: Seattle Detectives Nick Winston and Pat Strom have been desperate to find the phone of murder victim Valentina Colon. They believe the cell phone will identify who was the last person to see Valentina alive. The detectives rush to a remote area on Cougar Mountain where her car is finally discovered. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqf23RrD_Xg&list=PL1YyuYedCtU79EsXf1SdUQQLoREFI5RBJ&index=4

Episode Nine: is produced and set for publication. At last, Winston and Strom have the name of the man who perhaps was the last person to see their victim alive. The detectives locate Handsome Harry. Join me for the next exciting episode of DEADLY MATCH at KellyMarshallBooks.com/on-the-air.

FOLLOW YOUR DREAM

I have numerous friends who love to write. They’re not on the New York Times Best Seller list yet, but they’re working on it. I’d like to share the story of one of my good friends who plows through an impossibly busy life to find time to follow her passion to write.

Kathy MacKenzie is truly a renaissance woman. She is a real estate broker and owner of Mackenzie Realty in California and Texas. She is a social media marketing specialist, a publicist, a web designer, and was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Valley Center California Parks and Recreation Department. She is also a member of the Valley Center Planning Group, and the Chamber of Commerce.

Whew! On top of that she gives piano lessons once a week, and participates in a Kiwanis program called Rolling Readers that assists young children at their elementary school who need help with reading. Oh, yeah, she also plays tennis twice a week. In addition to this crazy, busy schedule, she has written two award-winning novels under the pen name of Bonny Brookes: Linked Lives and Darkest Dawn.

The 2014 winner of the Beverly Hills International Book Award in the relationships category, LINKED LIVES details the story of two women who cement a bond early in their childhood and develop a life-long support system for each other through poverty, unemployment, family struggles, betrayals in love, illness and death. Their linked lives created a rock solid friendship and love that spanned decades.

 

In Darkest Dawn Kathy writes about a woman named Linda who is unemployed, alone and facing an unplanned pregnancy. Abortion or adoption? The woman wonders if she can raise the child by herself after the father abandons her. In addition to this heart-wrenching decision, she is attacked by vicious dogs and stunned by a cruel death that leaves her inconsolable. Loving hands reach out to help her out of the depths of despair into peace and joy.

Like Kathy, my life is busier than I’d like. My dream is to retire from my full-time job and write every day, but someone has to pay the mortgage, and that would be me. I am working on my sixth novel, the fourth one in my Winston and Strom murder mystery series. Seattle homicide detectives, Nick Winston and Pat Strom are called to investigate the murder of Father Michael Dunne who has been tragically stabbed to death in the confessional. Who would want to kill the popular priest? BLESS ME FATHER FOR I HAVE SINNED will be published in the Spring of 2019

 

 

 

 

No More “Happy Ever After”

How many times have you heard people say, “I’m going to write a book one day?” I muttered that phrase to myself many times. I’d sit down with a legal pad in hand and start writing about love gone wrong because as a teenager that’s usually the case. Later in my thirties when I  was a bit more serious about actually finishing a project, I took a seminar sponsored by Harlequin Books and wrote copious notes about “the formula.” All romance books have guidelines about when the lovers meet, how quickly they fall in love, what obstacles they face in their relationship, and how the book should end. I tried. I really did.  Continue reading

A BREATH OF FRESH AIR

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

NICE TO NAUGHTY

Whether you are an actor, writer, musician, or another type of creative artist,  you have been confronted with the ubiquitous word branding. Loosely defined, it describes what the public thinks of you when they hear your name or see your image. As a Seattle radio announcer, the public identified me as a soft-spoken host of a love songs dedication show. My public persona was one of a caring D.J. who offered advice on the human condition from lost love to deep sorrow, to unbridled passion. That was the perception. The reality was that I deeply listened, offered compassion, and topped it off with a song that spoke to their condition. It was a successful formula.

 

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In my last blog, I spoke about my transition from radio announcer to writer. Sensuous, graphic murder mysteries poured out of me. I have no idea where these erotic stories Continue reading