Tag Archives: Book Talk Tuesdays

Book Talk Tuesdays: Guest Interview with David Swykert

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Please welcome David Swyket author of The Death of Anyone!

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What is your book about?

The underlying theme in my latest book, The Death of Anyone, poses the Machiavellian question: Does the end justify the means? I developed this story around an impulsive homicide detective, Bonnie Benham, who wants to use Familial DNA, a search technique not in common use in the United States. Only two states even have a written policy regarding its use, Colorado and California.

What inspired you to write this particular story?

I first heard about the use of Familial DNA working as a 911 operator in 2006. It came up in a conversation with officers working a case. I thought at the time it would make an interesting premise for a book. I began writing the mystery some three years later after leaving the department. I had just finished editing a first draft of The Death of Anyone in the summer 2010 when news of The Grim Sleeper’s capture in Los Angeles was released. I read with interest all the information pouring out of L.A. regarding the investigation and the problems confronting prosecutors. All of which are explored in The Death of Anyone.

Describe your writing in three words.

Very straight forward.

Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?

I begin a story idea by first developing characters in my head. Then I put them into a situation which creates the conflict. I write a story like you’d watch a movie, all the chapters are scenes that point towards the resolution of the conflict I’ve created.

Are your characters in the book based on anyone you know?

Often my characters are based on people I’ve met or seen. Bonnie Benham in this book is modeled after a female officer I worked with. I remember watching a very large man resist being arrested by her and taking off. She chased him down the street and tackled him like a linebacker. That impressed me. Bonnie describes herself as a blond with a badge and a gun. She could tackle someone.

Have you ever had difficulty “killing off” a character because she or he was so intriguing and full of possibility for you?

This will sound very strange, but the most difficult characters I have ever killed off in a story were the wolves in Maggie Elizabeth Harrington and The Place Between. I got teary just writing the scene where they are shot by bounty hunters. Usually, as I know it is just fiction, I am not so quite affected by own writing.

If your book was made into a TV series or movie, which actors would you choose to play your main characters?

This is easy, Scarlett Johansson would be Bonnie Benham and Dermot Mulroney as Neil Jensen.

Who gets to read your drafts before they’re published?

My girlfriend, Donna, besides being girlfriend, lover, confidant, and friend, is also my editor. She’s edited every book (5) that I have in print.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve Googled?

Antimatter. I’ve long had a fascination with physics. Mathematically, I can’t balance my check book, but I’ve long had a fascination with our origins, and those of the infinite.

What projects are you working on now?

I have a book in the final editing stages that will be published this spring that is somewhat about the infinite. It’s a story about the broken relationships and addiction of a dropout physicist who has been reduced to cleaning swimming pools, or “infinite ponds” as he refers to them titled: The Pool Boy’s Beatitude. The book should be released by a small Indie press out of Detroit, Rebel e Publishing in another month. I’ve also begun a story about a retired soldier-cop whose wife has died and he’s retreated to a family cabin on a mountaintop to try and recover his zest for living. The book has a working title: Counting Wolves. I have no idea when it will be finished, or published.

Is there anything else you would like to say to your readers?

Stay in touch with what’s going on in our world, but then turn the TV off and read a good book. Reality TV, or “unreality” TV as I prefer to call it, isn’t worth the electrical energy to keep the flat screen on not to mention flat lining a brain cell with.

Where can readers find you and your books online?

http://www.melange-books.com/authors/djswykert/deathofanyone.html

http://www.writewordsinc.com/chofen.html

https://www.nobleromance.com/Books?author=223

www.magicmasterminds.com

Detroit homicide Detective Bonnie Benham has been transferred from narcotics for using more than arresting and is working the case of a killer of adolescent girls. CSI collects DNA evidence from the scene of the latest victim, which had not been detected on the other victims. But no suspect turns up in the FBI database. Due to the notoriety of the crimes a task force is put together with Bonnie as the lead detective, and she implores the D.A. to use an as yet unapproved type of a DNA Search in an effort to identify the killer. Homicide Detective Neil Jensen, with his own history of drug and alcohol problems, understands Bonnie’s frailty and the two detectives become inseparable as they track this killer of children.

Benham arrived first, no sign of Russo or Jensen. She got a table and told the maitre de to send them over when they arrived, and that there would be a third party, a Detective Lagrow. As he seated Benham, the maitre de informed her, “The show starts at about 12:30 pm. We have a couple of new dancers.

Benham screwed up her nose, gave him a curious eye. “Dancers?”

The maitre de nodded. “Yes, belly dancers. We have a new one I’m sure your friends will appreciate. She’s very good-young, friendly.”

Benham just shook her head. ”I’m sure they will,” she said as she sat.

“Can I get you something to drink?”

Whoa, the brake in her head told her. You know you, you know your history. You know what a slip can do to you. Doctors, psychologists, treatment, rehab, counselors, AA, each and every one of them flashed across her head as her mind absorbed the offer. “Just a coke, or, actually, would you just bring me a black coffee.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Benham sipped her coffee and looked through her brief notes of the case. They were very brief, there was little to put in them. A young girl, perhaps ten, dead, strangled, almost for certain assaulted, lying in an alley for a few hours. And it had only been a few hours—Pierangeli seemed pretty sure she hadn’t been there long. She was found at around nine-thirty am, so she died maybe around eight am.

She lay there, choked, defiled, beautiful, and dead, and nobody was looking for her. She had to have been taken pretty early this morning, so it’s been about five hours she’s been gone, and nobody loves her enough to miss her. Benham could feel the anger rising from within, from the source where feelings come from, from deeper but inclusive of the stomach, from the birthplace of emotion.

A hand touched her shoulder and startled her. “Me and Jensen are here, bring on the dancing girls,” Dean Russo bellowed, joyous almost, and that irritated Bonnie a little. There was nothing to be happy about this day.

“You’ll get your wish. The belly dancers will be here in a few,” Benham said, with a bit of obvious disdain that Russo picked up on.

“You picked the place.”

“Yeah, I know,” Bonnie answered, feeling a little sorry now she sounded so disapproving. “Yeah, I picked it. Didn’t think about belly dancers, but, hey, we’re here, and I love pastitio, and they have the best. Sorry if I sound pissy, it’s only because I am. Once you see the girl you won’t be dancing in the street either.”

Russo quit laughing. “How long you been in homicide, Benham?”

Bonnie could see she rubbed something, “A couple of months.”

“You were in narcotics?”

“Yeah, I was in narcotics. I was in it and it—I was narcotic.”

There was a pause. Jensen looked across at Russo, glared a little, trying to shut him up with a look. And out of the corner of his eye let Bonnie know he saw her, too. He wanted her to keep this cool.

But it was a little late, and Bonnie was a bit volatile. “You know fucking well I was in narcotics. And you fucking know why I’m in homicide. I got myself transferred out for becoming more narcotic than narc. Quit beating around the bush. What’s your point?”

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DJ Swykert is a former 911 operator. His work has appeared in The Tampa Review, Detroit News, Monarch Review, Zodiac Review, Scissors& Spackle, Spittoon, Barbaric Yawp and Bull. His books include Children of the Enemy, a novel from Cambridge

Books; Alpha Wolves, a novel from Noble Publishing, and The Death of Anyone is his third novel, just released by Melange Books. You can find more about him and how to buy his books on the blogspot: http://www.magicmasterminds.com, they are also available on Amazon and at select mystery bookstores. He is a wolf expert.

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BOOK TALK TUESDAYS: Guest Post by Carlene Rae Dater

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Please give a warm welcome to Carlene Rae Dater, author of eleven novels, including her most recent mystery releases, Not for Sale and Deadly Deception!

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Middle Aged Packing Blues

I’m getting ready to go on a vacation, and I dread it. It’s not the trip I mind, it’s the packing.

Things were so much simpler when I was twenty. I opened my duffle bag, threw in a couple changes of underwear, a few clean T-shirts, my toothbrush, comb, lipstick, acne cover-up and I was on my way. If I happened to stay longer than a few days, I’d just wash out what I needed in the bathroom sink and hoped it would dry overnight. Wearing slightly damp panties didn’t bother me a bit.

Oh, how things have changed! Now that I’m in my middle years, I have to take at least one coordinated outfit for each day of my vacation, with shoes and purse to match. I wouldn’t dream of traveling without a nightie, robe and slippers. Who knows what could happen in the middle of the night? An earthquake? Tsumini? Native uprising? I shudder to even think about being caught oust side my room in the nude. Then there’s my makeup: foundation, powder, moisturizer, several colors of eye shadow, eyeliner, eyebrow pencil, false eyelashes for evening, blusher – the list goes on and on. Of course I wouldn’t dream of traveling without my makeup remover, moisturizer, dental floss, mouthwash and toothbrush.

Always the well-groomed traveler, I must bring my curling iron, hot rollers, brushes, combs, mousses and gels. And jewelry. Do I pack it in my suitcase and hope the airlines don’t lose my luggage? Do I trust the baggage handlers to keep their hands off? Or do I take everything in my handbag and pray I don’t run into a mugger on some strange foreign street corner. I didn’t have to worry about things like that when all I owed was a Mickey Mouse watch and a pair of imitation gold hoop earrings.

Of course, I’d never leave home without my sinus pills, anti-acid tablets, aspirins, vitamins, eye drops, migraine medication, sewing kit, bandages, ear plug, sleeping mask or extra pair of eye glasses. I’ll probably never need any of these things, but I have to take them along, just in case.

Packing was much faster back in the good old days too. When I was 23 I went to Europe for two weeks. It took me fifteen minutes to pack. Now when I contemplate travel, I start at least two weeks in advance, making lists so I don’t forget anything crucial. The sad fact is I need almost as much junk for a week-end trip as I do for a two week cruise.

My husband thinks he’s come upon the secret of packing for a middle aged travel. (He’s the smart one – I’m the pretty one.) He says the thing to do is take twice the money and half the stuff you think you’ll need, and everything thing should come out even. Maybe I’ll try his method this time.

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So far in her career, Carlene has published eleven novels in the romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romantic suspense humorous romance, mystery, and humorous mystery. Check her website for titles and buy links. Questions? Comments? Email Carlene at: carlenedater@sbcglobal.net.

Carlene Rae Dater

www.carlenedatercom

www.themysterystartshere.com

www.Facebook.com/CarleneraeDater

www.ManicReaders.com/CarleneRaeDater

www.amazon.com

HOLY HELL BLOG TOUR & CONTEST: Interview with Lucifer

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Please welcome give a warm welcome to Viola Ryan, author of The Mark of Abel! Today she’s here interviewing Lucifer!

Holy Hell Tour

Viola Ryan: Thank you for being with us today, Lucifer. It’s quite an honor to interview the Prince of Darkness.

Lucifer: Not if you call me that. There’s nothing darker than what lies inside the human heart.

VR: I’m sorry. What do you prefer I call you?

Lucifer: I go by Luke now.

VR: All right, Luke. Thank you for being with us today. Shall we get started?

Lucifer: Whatever. Just as long as you agree to help me find the artist I’m looking for.

VR: You promised me earlier you won’t harm her.

Lucifer: You have my word.

VR: Pardon me if I’m skeptical.

Lucifer: I can always leave.

VR: Fine. Kim and her readers are more than happy to help you find this artist.

Lucifer: I only hope it’s in time.

VR: For what?

Lucifer: Before she dies. She keeps dying.

VR: Humans tend to do that. What’s it like to be immortal?

Lucifer: Tiring. Tedious. Lonely.

VR: Lonely?

Lucifer: There aren’t too many creatures who are immortal. Why become attached to someone who is only going to die?

VR: So you don’t have friends?

Lucifer: One.

VR: Tell us about him?

Lucifer: Her. My friend is Maggie. You know her as Mary Magdalene. I turned her into a vampire nearly two thousand years ago, but she’s usually busy with the Gnostics. She turned them about a hundred years after I turned her.

VR: Why did you turn her into a vampire?

Lucifer: I promised Yeshua I’d look out for her if anything happened to him, and we all know what happened to him.

VR: Yeshua?

Lucifer: Jesus.

VR: Why a vampire?

Lucifer: Because that’s what I am.

VR: How did you become a vampire?

Lucifer: Not on purpose. I was sick of the special treatment Adam received. I was the highest of God’s angels. I should have been the favored son. Not that overgrown ape. The only thing separating Adam from the other lower forms of life was the blood of humanity. I drank it, like Adam and Lilith had. That’s what turned me into a vampire. I don’t regret it. Angels lack free will. Now I have it.

VR: Tell us about this artist you are looking for.

Lucifer: Yeshua gave me a prophecy, a way back to heaven. I need to find this artist, study her artwork and a map will be revealed telling me how to get back to heaven.

VR: You mentioned she keeps dying. Human’s only die once.

Lucifer: Not this one. She keeps reincarnating.

VR: How do you know she’s the same artist?

Lucifer: She always bears a mark–a circle with three curved lines radiating from it. I call it the Mark of the Artist. Maggie’s been helping me, but there are so many people on the planet now, I need more help.

VR: What will you do with her once you find her?

Lucifer: Nothing. She is irrelevant. What matters is her artwork.

VR: Okay folks. Lucifer needs your help. Have you seen anyone with a circle with three curved lines radiating from it?

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Lucifer: Thank you.

BLURB

Lucifer is fed up with humanity. He created hell to deter evil, but man’s inhumanity is only escalating. He just wants to return home to heaven, but ever since that little problem in the Garden of Eden, the Pearly Gates remain firmly shut to him. It doesn’t help that he’s the first vampire, an abomination in God’s sight.

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Fortunately, two thousand years ago Lucifer’s estranged brother, Jesus, gave him a prophecy. To fulfill it, all Lucifer has to do is find the right artist, study her artwork and the path back to heaven will be revealed. The artist even bears a symbol so he knows who she is. Too bad she is murdered every time he finds her. Janie’s a frustrated artist and college art teacher who wants two things—a guy she can show her paintings to and a night without nightmares. Each nightmare plagues her until she paints it. She doesn’t realize these paintings are key to unlocking her destiny, one that could redeem the original fallen angel.

Buy Links

MuseItUp Publishing: http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=516&category_id=69&manufacturer_id=250&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1&vmcchk=1&Itemid=1

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Mark-of-Abel-ebook/dp/B00B0FSH9A/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1358130524&sr=8-4&keywords=The+Mark+of+abel

authorbio

~~halloween 2012

A very good friend of Viola Ryan in high school said, “You don’t think outside the box. You blow the thing up.” Sometimes boxes need exploding. That’s why she’s here. She has a whole bag of C4 and isn’t afraid to use it. She’s blessed with people who treasure her eccentricities or at least put up with them.

Sometimes the box can be a cozy place. Without some sort of stability, her two daughters’ and her life would be unmanageable. That stability comes from her husband. He’s the rock holding her family together.

On the flip side, his career is anything but stable. He’s a Chief Marine Safety Technician in the US Coast Guard. They’ve lived from Kittery, Maine to Yorktown, Virginia. Fortunately, the moves have all been on the east coast. Then again, the Coast Guard tends to guard the coast.

Her oldest daughter (16) was born on Cape Cod, not far from Plymouth. Massachusetts. Her youngest (12) was born in Yorktown, Virginia, down the road from Williamsburg. Viola jokes they’re doing the colonial America tour.

Website: http://www.violaryan.com

Blog: http://violaryanauthor.blogspot.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jeanie.ryan.9

pinterest: http://pinterest.com/violaryan/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6922260.Viola_Ryan

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/violaryan

Watch the Trailer: http://is.gd/LuciferVid

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Meet Judith Barrow – Author of Silent Trauma

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Hey readers. Please welcome Judith Barrow to Book Talk Tuesday!

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I’ve been a compulsive reader for as long as I can remember. As a child, every Saturday morning I went to the local village library with my mother and carried home a stack of books that didn’t always last the week. My father didn’t believe in the television or radio, so reading was always my greatest pleasure. Books were both my passion and an escape.

As I grew older they also became an inspiration for the writing I did in secret. I hadn’t the confidence to show anyone what I was doing; the short stories, plays and poems stayed firmly hidden. And, later again, like many women, work, getting married and bringing up a family was a priority for a lot of years. I didn’t start writing seriously until I was in my forties, had gained a BA degree and a Masters in Creative Writing.

My first book, Pattern of Shadows, and the sequel, Changing Patterns, which is due out in May 2013, could be described as sagas, the life stories of my characters. But, because they’re written during WW2 and in the fifties I think of them as Historical fiction as well. And there again there’s also touches of romance and crime … so, in the end I leave it to the reader to decide.

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My latest book, Silent Trauma, is even more awkward to categorize; it’s fictional but based on fact. It’s a story of four women affected in different ways by a drug, Stilboestrol, an artificial oestrogen prescribed to women between the decades of the nineteen forties and seventies, ostensibly to prevent miscarriages. Not only was it ultimately proved to be ineffectual it also caused drastic and tragic damage to the daughters of the women. I learned about the charity (DES Action) some years ago through a relative and became involved. I wrote an article for the annual newsletter and mothers and daughters affected by the drug began to contact me

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The characters are a disparate group; their stories are run both in parallel and together and have been described by readers as ‘strong’ and ‘speaking with a true voice’.

Both Pattern of Shadows, and next year Changing Patterns, are published by Honno, brilliant independent publishers. But I chose to self-publish Silent Trauma initially as an eBook, now also in paperback, mainly because, after years of research, I was impatient for the story to be told. Luckily, I was given permission to reprint an interview from the Independent on Sunday with two DES Daughters as the Foreword (which lends both veracity and authenticity to the book) and I’ve been given quotes from many women affected by the drug to use at the beginning of each chapter.
But, ultimately the story is fictitious and has been described as’ a good read’ and ‘sad, fascinating and poignant’.

Research is extremely important to me; I need to know the physical world I’m going to let my characters live in. I need to know their homes and their surroundings. For my first two novels I actually traced over a street map of the town I wanted to use, adding a few places and renaming the roads and various places. Most important of all I need to make sure of the setting in time is correct; that the period my characters exist in is true, real in every way to that decade. And that each character reflects that in their uniqueness and in the way they deal with the conflict and tension in their lives.

I know what I want my characters to look like but I need to sort out their personalities first. I don’t think you can be a good writer without empathy for your characters. They can’t be one-dimensional; good or bad. I suppose, initially, they’re a mixture of people I’ve known but mostly they become rounded by their place in the book. Once I have a clear picture in my head of my character’s personality I can feel free to tell the story. But it rarely finishes up as the one I have in the beginning; the characters lead the way in that; I can sense how they react to the events in the plot, how they feel, what they say, invariably means I change the direction of the story.

I’m an extremely slow writer. Even before I sit in front of my computer I carry and explore characters, ideas, a story in my head. If I know when and where events take place I will research that. And because I let myself be easily distracted by past characters and the history of places I inevitably emerge realising hours have passed and I haven’t even started writing. But on the plus side I know my settings, the details of the background in my books are strong and a fitting place for my characters to live in.

When I don’t have a particular project to work on my imagination is triggered by something I see or hear; an expression of someone I pass; an overheard phrase or sentence. I lead creative writing classes and often the exercises I set for the students will trigger something for me as well. Or the discussions we have can lead to an idea for a character.

I also believe our memories are a powerful tool in writing; we have within us a subjective and original collection of past senses to draw upon; to transpose and merge, to form our experiences into our own words in order to evoke images and pictures for our readers. Mainly though I have to admit my imagination can run riot through some problem, an internal conflict I’m struggling with. Then I can conjure up wonderful dialogue for characters to use somewhere.

I usually write very early in the morning before the day begins, but if I’m on a roll I can carry on all day, firmly ignoring all the domestic trivia, the housework, which is shouting at me from the other side of my study door. I’ve also been known to write all through the night.

Reading was my all-consuming passion in my childhood but now it also runs alongside my obsession to write. I’ve earned to give my creative self some time without feeling there are other more important things to get on with.

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Guest Interview with Peter Cimino

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Hey, readers! It’s my pleasure to welcome Peter Cimino, author of Lucky Says Hello.

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What is your book about?

“Lucky Says Hello” is a short story set in the crime ridden, politically corrupt decade of 1930s when at times, it was difficult to tell the “good guys” from the bad.

What inspired you to write this particular story?

Two things brought this story to life. First, is my passion and borderline obsession with the mafia, particularly the prohibition era. I started reading about mobsters when I was in my teens and have managed to build up quite a huge library of mafia books. I also watch just about any mob movie or television special that is out there.

That era (late 1920’s and 1930’s) is truly intriguing to me because although these were still hardened criminals, there was true organization, rules of engagement and honor amongst thieves – if there is such a thing.

The second thing is my grandfather, whom I am named after and died before I was born. He was a successful businessman and politician in a small northeast New Jersey town called Garfield. He owned a relatively successful import and trucking business and came in contact with all sorts of people. I heard many stories about him; some true, some not and some half true. The one story that stuck out was his “rumored” association with Lucky Luciano. Hence the main character “Big Pete” is my grandfather; or should I say he inspired him.

Describe your writing in three words.

Humanistic, Realistic, Character-driven.

Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?

I wish I could share some magical technique that I use (grinning), but I really can’t. I usually do not start writing until I have the complete story in my head; know exactly how it is going to start and end. Writing usually begins with just random thoughts and ideas just typed up on a blank page. Those random thoughts turn into an outline which I use continuously as a reference. I do change things from time to time; move things around, add or even take out. But, that original outline is pretty much my bible. As the story develops I always get new ideas in my head. Whenever I get them I add them to the bottom of the outline and try to implement them as I go. But, in the end, the outline is my guide.

Are your characters in the book based on anyone you know?

Yes, like I said, the main character, Big Pete Carissimo, is based on my grandfather. Although I never met him, it is just how I envision him. Right, wrong or indifferent; as they say, it is “the writer’s prerogative.”

His best friend and right hand man Dominick, is just my creation of the perfect, loyal counterpart for Pete.

His mentor, Vito Paradiso is somewhat inspired by Mario Puzo’s the Godfather, Vito Corleone. His attorney Antonio is another completely created character that just popped in my head.

Have you ever had difficulty “killing off” a character because she or he was so intriguing and full of possibility for you?

I have not been confronted with this dilemma yet. That kind of struggle, if this saga continues, would probably be inevitable though.

If your book was made into a TV series or movie, which actors would you choose to play your main characters?

It’s funny you ask this because several people have approached me about turning this short story, and my complete novel into some kind of screen play. So, thoughts like this have popped into my head.

Quite honestly, I cannot picture any current actor that fits the physical characteristics of Big Pete: six feet – three inches tall, 320 pounds, and almost completely bald. At one point I pictured someone like Rod Steiger, but he is too old and too small. Russell Crowe does have the face and look, but his hair would have to be shaved and he would have to gain a lot of weight. I could see him pulling it off though.

Either Josh Brolin or Sean Penn would be the perfect Dominick. They are both ruggedly handsome with a very tough persona.

Vito Paradiso could easily be played by Sean Connery. He has the perfect look. However he would have to change his British accent to broken English / Italian.

As for the legendary Charlie Lucky Luciano, this a tough sell. I actually just looked this up and someone put a picture of Mark Wahlberg next to Luciano. Although Mr. Wahlberg is a tad bit better looking than Mr. Luciano (no disrespect), with the right makeup, I think he could do it. So, let’s go with that. After all, the more star power, the better.

Who gets to read your drafts before they’re published?

The first person who sees my drafts is my dear friend and professional editor-extraordinaire, Joelle Walker. I am very fortunate to have met someone so early in my fiction writing journey who I not only get along with marvellously, but who gets my voice (never changes it), loves my writing skills and loves the genre. I could not have hand-picked a better set of eyes to view and edit my work.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve Googled?

Okay! Didn’t see that coming! Well played..! How about what actor could play Lucky Luciano! I’m not a very weird googler…at least I don’t think so. I consider myself a defensive googler, meaning whenever someone mentions something or someone I do not know anything about, I try to quickly google it.

What projects are you working on now?

My writings take me in many different directions, mostly nonfiction. I write about sports for the sports, web-magazine the Bleacher Report and I write book reviews for the New York Journal of Books.

As far as fiction works go, I just started to type up random thoughts on a Y.A. baseball story that includes a supernatural twist. I am very early in this process, so we’ll see where it takes me.

I have been asked several times about another short story to follow up Lucky Says Hello. That is a possibility, but Lucky actually comes after the novel called The Four Corners, a Sicilian Story. This MS has the same characters and setting as Lucky, but it is the in depth story about how the relationship and partnership between Big Pete and Lucky Luciano is born and how it solidifies. I am currently seeking literary agent representation for this novel. So, if you know of any agents or publishers, who are interested in this genre, spread the word or let me know!

Is there anything else you would like to say to your readers?

I couldn’t go without thanking everyone for supporting my writings; be it my fiction work like Lucky Says Hello or my sports writing. I truly do not think I would continue to write if I did not get positive feedback. I have met so many wonderful people over the years! To all of you! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Where can readers find you and your books online?

Lucky Says Hello is available at all of these on-line e-book stores: MuseItUp, Amazon / Kindle, Smashwords, Bookstrand, Diesel E-Books, Omnilit, Barnes & Noble / Nook, Apple iBooks, KoboBooks

Pete Carissimo, known to his friends as Big Pete, is a successful Sicilian immigrant businessman and politician in New Jersey. He has connections, associations, and relationships in all walks of life—including a clandestine partnership with the notorious mobster, Charles “Lucky” Luciano. Pete vows his alliance with Luciano is strictly related to business that he is not and never will be a gangster. However, in the fall of 1931, he finds his stellar reputation, successful business, and budding political career facing ultimate ruination with his secret allegiance on a head-on collision course with exposure. Backed into a corner, Pete is faced with becoming something he vowed he never wanted to be; a real gangster.


Big Pete, as many of his friends called him, had not gained his powerful status from just being a smart businessman. He took great pride in being a man of the streets and a man of the people. His reputation was stellar, as an honorable man, who oozed charisma that drew people to him like a pied piper. He touched thousands of lives in every walk of life, even the types of characters no one would ever expect. These were critical, secret relationships existing in the shadows and dark corners of his life, and they needed to remain there. Only a very select few knew they existed, with Antonio being one of them. Pete always knew the day would come when he would be faced with the threat of exposure. But, being prepared and staying one step ahead of his challenges was a cornerstone to his success.

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Peter, a published writer and author, was schooled in the art of writing through various writing courses at Roosevelt University in Schaumburg, IL during his journey to a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He further honed his prose skills receiving two writing diplomas from the Long Ridge School of Writing.

In October of 2012, Peter was hired by the popular sports web-magazine the Bleacher Report as a contributing writer. He currently contributes several articles a month. For a complete list of his B/R work go to: http://bleacherreport.com/users/1345983-peter-cimino

Peter is also a reviewer for the New York Journal of books. His first review on a crime drama called the Ghostman, is due out February 12, 2013. He is currently reading two other books that will be reviewed in the coming months.

From February of 2011 through March of 2012, Peter was a lead writer for the print publication Sports Life Magazine. He authored numerous feature stories over the span of six printed issues of the magazine.

In 2011, he completed his first fiction novel called, The Four Corners, A Sicilian Story (the same genre, characters and setting as Lucky Says Hello), for which he is seeking agent representation.

Also in 2011, he penned a YA fiction short story published in the web magazine, Angie’s Diary, called One Woman, One Island, One Choice.

Over the years, he has had numerous stories and articles published on various content web sites featuring pieces on sports, real life experience, the paranormal and others.

Often told he has a “unique voice”, Peter’s specialty is bringing the human element into everything he writes.

Published writer /author Elyse Draper on Peter: “Peter has a genuine talent for creating real characters; not only characters that smack of reality, but ones people develop an attachment to. His talents are remarkable. It is only a matter of time before his work is on the New York Times BSL.”

Originally from New Jersey, Peter now lives in the Chicago suburbs with his wife Wendy and two young sons, Matthew and Nicholas.

For more information about Peter and his work please visit his web site at www.petercimino.com

Interview with True Crime Author RJ Parker

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RJParker

Internationally acclaimed bestselling True Crime Author RJ Parker is most well known for his books, TOP CASES of The FBI (Winner of the World Book Awards 2012), Unsolved Serial Killings and Women Who Kill. He has seven true crime books available in eBook, paperback and audiobook formats on Amazon, iTunes and Audible.

Canadian Author RJ Parker was born and raised in Newfoundland and now resides in Oshawa and Newfoundland, Canada. RJ started writing after becoming disabled with Anklyosing Spondylitis eight years ago, but only recently published. He spent 30 years in various facets of Government and has two professional designations. RJ is a proud dad of two girls, as well as twin sons. RJ also consults with Police Departments when requested.

In 2012, RJ donated fifteen hundred copies of his books to allied troops, wounded soldiers, police officers, and Author’s Page – http://bit.ly/RJparker-EBooks
Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorRJParker
Email – authorrjparker@gmail.com

Website – www.rjparker.net

Member of the Canadian Association of Authors
Member of the Writer’s Alliance of Newfoundland

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 What inspired you to write your first book–Women Who Kill?

Actually, Unsolved Serial Killings was my first book and then Women Who Kill. I’ve always wanted to write while being an avid reader for about thirty-five years, but I don’t have the imagination to create a fictional story. I’ve always enjoyed reading John Douglas books and thought maybe I can try to put together books that are not concentrated on one topic, or one murder, but a compilation of crime files.

 What is the hardest part of writing true crime novels?

Gathering information. I’ve contacted the FBI and have been given quite a bit of information, as well from their archives. Some things get blacked out however. The FBI policy on extracting information is that you have to rephrase or edit every paragraph, or, every 40 words. If the perp is captured and sentenced, than court documentation is a great source and very explicit in detail. If someone is interested in writing, those are two avenues plus, contacting the local police station that investigated the crime and if the case is closed, they will give you a summary of the crime but not crime scene pictures unfortunately.

 What is the most heinous crime you’ve written about?

Writing about school shootings. When I was writing No Killing in the Hallways, I was an emotional wreck. Being a parent of two teenage girls in school, and to research and write about what happened at V. Tech and Columbine, was emotionally draining.

Is there one crime that sticks in your head and heart and haunts you?

My most memorable time was writing about Jeffrey Dahmer. The following is an excerpt from Case Closed: Serial Killers Captured and it broke my heart to write it, it haunts me every day:

“In the wee hours of May 27th, 1991, Konerak Sinthasomphone, fourteen, was discovered wandering naked on the street, heavily drugged and bleeding from his rectum. Two young women from the neighbourhood found the confused young boy and called 911. Dahmer chased after the boy to take him back to his apartment, but the women stopped him. When the police arrived, Dahmer told them that Sinthasomphone was his nineteen-year-old boyfriend, and they’d had an argument while drinking. The two women were not pleased and protested, but the two police officers turned the boy over to Dahmer. The police later reported a strange smell inside Dahmer’s apartment, but did not investigate it. The smell was the body of Tony Hughes, Dahmer’s previous victim, decomposing in the bedroom. The two policemen did not try to verify the boy’s age and also failed to run the background check that would have revealed Dahmer as a convicted child molester, registered sex offender, and still on probation. Later that night, Dahmer killed and dismembered the young lad, keeping his skull as a souvenir. Author Note: Officers Joseph P. Gabrish and John A. Balcerzak were fired after this incident but appealed and were re-instated.”

What authors or books have greatly influenced your own writing?

First and foremost, John Douglas is my favourite. Since I was a young boy, I always wanted to be an FBI Agent from watching the show at the time, The FBI starring Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. (who is 93 years young). I found out in my early teens that I couldn’t be with the FBI because I was Canadian…what a disappointment, I still remember it. Getting back to John Douglas, I really enjoyed his books: Mind Hunters, Inside the Mind of BTK, Obsession, and The Cases that Haunt Us. He has other books, but those were my favourite and inspiration to write. Other great authors are: Peter Vronsky, Gary King, Brian King, Ann Rule and Jack Olsen, just to name a few.

Have you considered writing books in any other genres?

Nah. I’m well known as a true crime writer it would be hard to change now. I did however write a children’s book for my grandson. It’s his book for life. Hopefully it will pay for his education in twenty years as he’s only three months old now.

Do you have any advice for fellow writers who are looking to publish their work?

I wrote my books over many years and had no intentions of self-publishing. I was holding out for a publisher and the book was going to be about 500 pages, called, Playpen to Prison. However, a friend and famous NY best selling author of over 80+ books convinced me to self publish in November 2011. I tell you, it’s been a learning curve because I no sooner had the books up on other markets, when I retracted them all after Amazon announced the Select Program. It’s been interesting and I have mixed views on this program. Self-publishing is definitely the way to go. Why spread the royalties around with agents and publishers? Like newspapers being replaced with the internet; paperbacks and hard copies are being replaced by digital format and it has only just begun. So I say, if you have a book to publish, get it edited and publish it yourself. You may want to think about hiring a narrator and publishing an audiobook. I have seven audiobooks through ACX and available on Audible, iTunes and Amazon.

What are your current writing projects?

I have a book called Killer Kids that I’m co-writing with another author. It should be published within a month. I’m also writing TOP CASES of The FBI (Volume 2). That book I’m hoping to have out by mid summer, again, in eBook, Paperback and Audio. I’ve received a proposal just today to co-write two books with a former FBI Special Agent. I think that will be a go. Just have to iron out some details. Then I’m hoping to produce a Serial Killer book on a more International scale.

Are you reading any interesting books at the moment?

I read everyday. Generally I read 3-4 books per week and I’m a Top 500 Reviewer for Amazon. I just finished “Reflection” by Kim Cresswell today. Excellent story, can’t wait for it to be released and share with my fans and friends. I use to read a lot of the great authors like Lee Child, James Paterson etc., but now I only read Indie books. I try to support my fellow Indie authors by reading their books and reviewing for them. Another wonderful author who was an FBI Special Agent is Daniel Adams and I really enjoyed his book First Lady Down. His book President Down will be out later this month.

Last but not least! Thanks, RJ for stopping by Trapped Inside My Head and answering some questions.

Thank you Kim for inviting me to your blog. 🙂 RJ


Upcoming Book Talk Tuesday Interviews

Interviews You Don’t Want to Miss!

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January 15th – Internationally acclaimed bestselling author RJ Parker is most well known for his books, TOP CASES of The FBI (Winner of the World Book Awards 2012), Unsolved Serial Killings and Women Who Kill. He has seven true crime books available in eBook, paperback and audiobook formats.

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January 29th – Peter Cimino, author of Lucky Says Hello (Pete Carissimo, known to his friends as Big Pete, is a successful Sicilian immigrant businessman and politician in New Jersey. He has connections, associations, and relationships in all walks of life—including a clandestine partnership with the notorious mobster, Charles “Lucky” Luciano. Pete vows his alliance with Luciano is strictly related to business, that he is not and never will be a gangster. However, in the fall of 1931, he finds his stellar reputation, successful business, and budding political career facing ultimate ruination with his secret allegiance on a head-on collision course with exposure. Backed into a corner, Pete is faced with becoming something he vowed he never wanted to be; a real gangster.)

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Don’t forget REFLECTION is available for purchase starting January 25th at MuseItUp Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, SmashWords and more!

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