Friday, April 29, 2011
TWO NOVELS PLACED!
Good news today!
I just returned from Mail Boxes, ETC from mailing signed copies of my contract for two of my novels to be published by StoneGate/StoneHouse Publishing! Best twenty bucks for the gas for this trip I ever spent! (Reason it cost $20 was that it’s half a mile from my house and my car only gets 40 miles to the gallon…)
Both novels are thrillers and were placed by my (awesome!) agent, Chip MacGregor. (I’m hoisting one to you, Chip…) Since my noir thriller, The Rapist, is coming out from Bare Knuckles Press sometime in the next year, this is fast becoming a red-letter year!
Here’s the synopsis of the first, titled The Perfect Crime:
Criminal genius Charles "Reader" Kincaid makes but one mistake in what would have been the "perfect crime" when he steals a Futaba remote controller from the wrong person—Jack Fogarty, the brother of retired cop Grady. Once Grady's involved in the case, his bulldog tenacity uncovers enough clues to nail his brother Jack's murderer and turn the tables in a surprising twist on Reader. Reader's plan is to wire banker C.J. St. Ives with a bomb that not only can't be removed, but is controlled by remote control. The money Reader is after is the weekly drop of illegal millions from drug czar Fidel Castro (a cousin of the more famous Fidel) which St. Ives launders through his bank. St. Ives has his own plan for stealing the same money, which complicates matters. In the end, it turns out that Reader has been orchestrating the whole affair and his real purpose is achieving vengeance over Titus Fuller, St. Ives' father-in-law and also the man to whom Castro answers. His machinations would have worked perfectly if Grady Fogarty hadn't become involved.
The setting is a bit of Dayton, Ohio and a lot of New Orleans. While on the heels of Reader, Grady falls in love with animal control officer Whitney Farver and gains assistance from new friends Sally and Veronica Graziano, both retired NOPD cops who own a bar in Jefferson Parish. Also involved in the plot are Cuban drug dealers, a slimy ex-con named Eddie who loves expensive shoes, and more electronics than you'll ever see outside of a Radio Shack.
One of the things I had fun with in writing this novel, was a sex scene. Normally, I don’t like to write ‘em, mostly because just about all the original ways of showing a sex scene have been done. But, I’m proud to say that I came up with a different way to create this one. Instead of doing what many of us do—ramp up the volume with more and louder screams and deeper slashes with fingernails on backsides—I came up with the opposite tack. The first time Grady makes love to Whitney, they’re on a stakeout in a duplex and are in the apartment directly above the bad guys. The floors creak so much they can’t even walk around in stockinged feet. They do the nasty while having to remain completely silent or else they’ll be discovered and killed. Not only don’t they dare move much, they can’t breathe too heavily since the bad guys below don’t turn the TV on and the slightest sound will expose them. It turned into one of the best scenes I’ve ever written. My litmus test when writing a humorous scene is that I have to laugh out loud. And, more than just during rhe initial writing or reading. Every time. I apply the same test to sex scenes. If I don’t get physically turned on during the writing and upon subsequent readings, it ain’t working. I’m happy to report that reading this scene still turns me on… Although, that can be simply because my libido is so low, which explains the five marriages perhaps...
The second novel is a psychological crime thriller, titled The Bitch. Here’s the synopsis:
In the rich vein of psychological thrillers such as Scott Smith’s bestseller, A Simple Plan, Les Edgerton’s The Bitch is the story of Jake, a two-time loser who, since his last release from prison for his second bit, has reformed his life completely. He has begun attending college, has fallen in love with and wed the beautiful Paris Meacham, and they are expecting their first child. Jake has also prospered in the hairstyling business and is just about to open his own salon. Life is good. Think: A Simple Plan meets Beloved, if you will!
It’s at this point, that old cellmate Walker "Spitball" Joy enters his life, requesting a favor—to help Walker pull off a job. A burglary. A favor Jake can’t deny as he owes Walker for saving his life back in the joint, even though if caught, he faces being sent back to prison for life under the Habitual Criminal Statute. (Commonly referred to as "The Bitch" derived from the Ha-bitch-ual Criminal...) The favor? To pull off a burglary (once Jake’s specialty).
The biggest guiding force in Jake’s life has always been his fierce sense of loyalty. Forced by his code of ethics to perform the crime for Walker, Jake's act sets off a chain reaction of catastrophic violence that ends with his beloved Paris dying. A story of criminals and their code of honor and how that trumps even the fierce love of a man for a woman. Jake’s once idyllic life plunges farther and faster into the abyss, to the point where, one by one, his actions are responsible for his brother’s death, he is forced to kill his mother-in-law, his friend Walker Joy, his father-in-law, and finally, in a staggering and blinding moment of self-realization, is forced to allow to die the woman he loves, Paris. He realizes at that moment that loyalty wasn’t what guided his life at all, but a more base tenet—survival. He experiences an epiphany that shows him that he’s never been any more moral than the lowest animal and he realizes his soul has been damaged beyond repair... that he's warped beyond redemption.
(As a note of possible interest, Cathy Johns, the Assistant Warden of Louisiana's Angola Prison ("The Farm" of the award-winning documentary of the same name) has read Edgerton's work and she told Edgerton he had delivered the truest and most accurate portrayal of the criminal mind she'd ever read.)
So there you have ‘em.
Stonehouse Publishing is a relatively new press that has been tearing up the publishing world as of late. Their sales are off the charts and I’m hopeful that my books will soon be contributing to the bottom line. The novels should be available in a couple of months and you can bet I’ll be announcing it here. A link to their site is included in my favorite web sites here.
I’m also looking for potential blurbers. I’ve got several great ones for The Bitch but haven’t sent The Perfect Crime to anyone yet. If anyone here is interested in providing a blurb, please let me know.
And, it looks as if there’s possibly more good news on the way with several others of my books. The possibility of a mass market paperback sale with Pocket, a possible sale of my next writer’s how-to craft book, a YA, and my memoir, among others. I’ll keep you posted!
Now, I’m off to down a bottle of Corona Dark…