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Showing posts from 2016

Creating An Audio Book - "The Case of the Running Bag" a Jonas Watcher Detective Adventure

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In The Begining...

I had considered reading my own book, and I may yet one day, but I just don't have the time as a new author. That is a bit of a stretch to say new author, I have been writing for over forty years. I have only been actively writing mystery novels since 2014. Actually they are better described as detective adventure novels circa 1930. Getting into the world of self publishing was a decision based upon expediency. Egotistically I believe I write novels that are worthy of publication and I have had a number of professionals that agree with me. Since I am an old fart I decided to publish on my own. But what does that have to do with reading my own book? As a self published author I thought I might produce audiobooks of my novels all on my own. As I said, I dont have the time. More on that later.

Life As a Self Publishing Amatuer

Currently I have three books on Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, iTunes, Kobo and other internet sites.
The first book, "The Case of the Runn…

Mysteries of the Noir Detective Stories

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A writer with a Copy Editor
Once I started mystery Novels, I had a lot of people who wanted to offer advice. A lot of it was good and a lot of it was just different. The one thing I definitely needed was a copy editor. I was fortunate to get two. They have been great in helping me fine tune my writing. If you are interested in finding a good copy editor, take a look at Grizbokkit . I use Peter to handle copy for me in advertising and of course my books. My Blog is me, warts and all. I'm sure Peter would have apoplexy if he saw what appears in my blog. 
New Book Format
“The Case of the Running Bag” Audiobook is in the final stages of production and will be released in October 2012. It is being created using ACX. While noir mysteries continue to be among the most popular books that are read, the daily commuter looks to audio books to provide the passing of time during a commute entertainment. Traveling by train or a bumpy bus ride can be a more pleasant experience as the commuter is …

Missing in Action - Independently Published Author

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An Author's Journey

I wish I could say I have been reaping the rewards of being a full-time writer, but in fact, The Sisters Fate have been messing with me. If  my references to the Sisters Fate doesn't resonate with you, I might be able to help with that. First, I have finished my third book in the Jonas Watcher series and have had it published through CreateSpace and Smashwords.

The third book is "The Case of the Jade Dragon". In this story, Jonas comes to the rescue of an older Asian gentleman and his daughter. This good deed puts Jonas in the crosshairs of a number of underworld groups because he agrees to escort a bride from St.Louis to San Francisco. A gun fight on a train, A cross country flight on a dragon, a game of three car monte in SanFrancisco, and Jonas relying on his skills as a sniper won't save him from the forces after him. He must call upon the hidden talents of the Azure Dragon to bring together two feuding families steeped in ancient Chinese …

The Case of the Looking-Glass Mirror - An Experiment in Murder Mysteries with the Help of Lewis Carroll

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Charles Lutwidge Dodgson never wrote a detective adventure story, but I thought he might be of help for me in creating the fourth novel in the Jonas Watcher Detective Adventure Series. I chose Through The Looking-Glass for the template for my novel because it was the lesser known of the two Alice in Wonderland stories. Additionally, it contained characters that could act as blueprints and it had "a most marvelous" villain in the form of  the Jabberwocky. My only obstacle was to be sure that I committed no plagiarism. This was actually quite easy because Through The Looking-Glass is to be used as a template not to be copied but a reference.


I already had my title, and oddly enough I hadn't gotten it from The novel by Lewis Carroll, but from another author; Agatha Christie. The title came from her novel, The Mirror Cracked. I must confess the original title for the fourth book started out as The Case of The Broken Mirror, but it wasn't quite working for me. While I was …

The Case of the Jade Dragon - Have Gun Will Travel

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After I finished The Case of the Bourbon Street Hustler I had already decided the next story would be based upon a scene from the television series Have Gun Will Travel. While Jonas has some characteristics of Paladin, he is by no means the same character. Both men are for hire, and both live in San Francisco, and they both travel about the United States on assignments. There could be more similarities, but there are a dozen other characters that share similar storylines. Jonas is younger and from a different era.

For this specific story, the genesis comes from a story where Paladin helps out an elder Chinese gentleman and his daughter at the beginning of an episode. There the similarity ends. This is another case of myThe Case of the Jade Dragon was born. I spent a fair amount of time researching Trains in the 1930s, where they went, what thy were called and the passenger accommodations. I also returned to San Francisco, which I was familiar with from The Case of the Running Bag. I …

The Bourbon Street Hustler - The Second Novel Born From What Next?

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I was still writing The Case of the Running Bag when I realized that Jonas Watcher was going to be more than a single novel character. I had a number of stories floating in the ether of my mind when I recognized that Jonas would be the character to bring all the stories together. It was happenstance that I chose the era of the 1930s to tell the story of the Running Bag in. I had always been a fan of films of detective stories from that era and while I had a Hollywood idea of the period I had no first-hand information. It was then that I remembered reading somewhere that if one wanted to get a better look into a period, that detective mysteries and adventures provided the best window into a time period.

I started reading more writers that wrote in the period and I started doing more research into the thirties and forties. I realized that I would have to take my research back into the roaring twenties and take a more definitive view of World War I. These were the periods that made the …

The Case of the Running Bag - The Creation of Jonas Watcher

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The Continental Op was a collection of short stories by Dashiell Hammett which defined the tough-guy private detective for generations to come. Want to write detective adventure stories this is a must read. Take the characters out and place them in another genre and you can create some credible and fascinating stories. Remember to use the as a template, don't plagiarize.

On the Dock By the Bay

I was reading a short story that involved a faithless husband and I found myself asking "What if?". The idea for a story was born and I played with it in my imagination for about a month.

I had the beginning of a novel, but I had yet to develop my private detective. I needed to come up with a way to introduce my hero and make it unique and interesting. Having my main character start out as a derelict wasn't a new idea, and I need to put him into peril immediately. I had to give his introduction something unique and interesting. Then I remembered an article I had read a long time…

Where do I Get my Ideas for Stories?

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I have now written three novels in the Jonas Watcher series. I have three more I am trying to organize as to which one I will choose next. There are another three or four on the back burner. Initially, I get an idea and I let my imagination run with it. After awhile I will bring it into focus and I will create a working title. I put that on my computer and then I will add notes and comments until it begins to flesh itself out, and then I will begin my outline.

My outline doesn't follow any format, no numbers, no indentation, no structure except that I create chapter titles, (working titles) for thought organization. I have had as many as three going at one time in this mode, though new ideas pop up all the time. While I am in the outlining mode, usually one story will find itself in the forefront of my imagination and that will be the next novel in the series.

I have been to a number of conferences and invariably someone asks a writer, "Where do your ideas come from?" o…

The Next Book

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Want to Make the Gods Laugh, Tell Them You Have a Plan

I have been working on the Jonas Watcher Series for about two years,
I am starting my third year. When I thing about books, I usually start with an idea. Next, I develop a title. It helps to give me direction as to where I want the story to go. The title may change a bit, but it is usually pretty close to the original title. "The Case of the Jade Dragon" was born from a scene from an old "Have Gun, Will Travel" episode. Maybe on day I will tell which one, though those who are familiar with the series may be able to figure it out.

As I work on novels, ideas and title come to me for new ones and I will put them down. I will also do some outlining. That way I don't lose the story. I have completed three novels in the series and I have six in some form of development. I have been settling down to tackle the next novel in the cycle when I realized that the cycle may be wrong. I decided to get some feedback. So I …

Book Release, Re-release, New Covers, and an Author's Book Fair

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The Case of the Jade Dragon

The best unkept secret, I am releasing the third book in the Jonas Watcher series, "The Case of The Jade Dragon". The cover I had initially created caused a bit of a controversy because it partly resembled a poster from the movie Chinatown starring Jack Nicholson. I admit the poster was my influence for the cover, but I had thought I had created something different enough to be okay. Many of my peers disagreed with me, so I adjusted the cover. The final cover and the one the book will be released with is to the right.

Synopsis- Jonas is on a train to San Francisco and it is stopped the Los Angeles rail yard. Jonas just happens to see a Chinese couple being kidnapped. He comes to their rescue. This action begins a series of adventures where Jonas travels to St. Louis to bring back a bride for an arranged marriage. Jonas finds himself dealing with Chinese mysticism, mythology, and some very real people who will stop at nothing to see that he fails, i…

The Case of the Jade Dragon Approaches being Published.

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Create Space


I will use CreateSpace to print up Proofs for my readers who will check my story for continuity and I will provide a word document for those who will do proofing for me. I choose createSpace because so far they have provided me the best pricing to get my books printed through POD. I have looked to others, but they are more expensive, even as much as twice what CreateSpace charges me.

The front cover has everything I want. A shadowed image of Jonas Watcher, I blue-eyed Chinese woman and an image that works for me as the Azure Dragon. In the story, the statue is carved in jade. I also like the color of the cover. I am also fond of the shadowed image of the front cover on the rear cover.

The cover went through several iterations which I have documented and this is the finalist. I have finished the rough draft. I have gone through the novel with Grammarly and I have done a first pass at wordsmithing. It is time for my proofreaders to take a crack at the book and for my story p…

Publishing, Re-Publishing, Re-Issue, and New Covers

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It might be the first of April when this will appear, but it is not about April fools, it's about learning from others mistakes, so I am sharing my mistakes so that others might learn. As I have said before I am a self-published author. Although I may be considered a pariah in some literary circles, I continue to write and publish what I write. This is not to say there aren't problems with the traditional publishing process but self-publishing has its problems.

This is not about writing process, but how you choose to actually get published. I am a truly a DIY kind of writer/publisher. There are a lot of services out there to help you get your work published, and this is about my choice and my mistakes or rather my ignorance. I chose to use CreateSpace as my means to get published. From the outset, I believe this was my best option, and I still do. However, I have put myself in the position of having to do some extra work because I didn't quite understand how part of the p…

Cover Conflict

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I am updating this post because there seems to be some confusion between what the original poster looked like that was the inspiration for my book cover.

Here is the original Poster.

This secondary poster showed up in 2012 for a movie named Faith in Destiny.























Having seen the second poster, I thought that it might be okay to use the cover on the left that I developed from a number of clipart images I own. However, I received a number of comments that it did remind readers of Chinatown, and I should consider altering the cover. So I altered  the cover and the one on the right is what I came up with.  I hope this additional information will help people understand where it started and Where I ended.






I would like comments of what you think and any suggestions. It could get you a reference in Acknowledgements. Plus I would really like to hear what people think.