Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Touching Spirits--Blurb for new book.

    This book took three years to write.I set it in a Mayan village 
I lived in. Notice the candle in the photo needs viagra. That 
was Yucatan in the summer. It was the time of my life, spear 
fishing for meat. The experience was priceless. 

                            Book Blurb for Touching Spirits.
     I'll be publishing under the pen name Charles Madrid.

     Every cop straddles the chasm between love and violence. At some point each must decide where they stand.
     Police Sergeant Cody Brannon, the one American on the Amsterdam force, is stunned when something unseen grabs his arm each night. To make matters worse, he finds men stalking him along dark streets. It’s almost too much to cope with when his wife leaves him.
     After a shooting Cody is forced to take a medical leave. He has to find out what grabs him at night, and flies to California to get answers from the family oracle, his freaky grandmother.
     Soon the men arrive and Cody must lead them away from the old woman he loves.
     He finds a house with a palm leaf roof, a frog residing in the toilet tank, and waits for the men hunting him. In this village beside the Caribbean, strange Mayas sit outside his house at night.
     With the department shrink guiding him via Skype, a stray cat bringing love into his life, along with the beautiful Clarissa, and oddball neighbors offering friendship, Cody begins to see a new path.
     When the men close in it is Cody’s time to choose where to stand.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Climbing the Rough Writing Trail

A childhood friend's suicide changed my life. I don't know if I would have traveled if he did not leave. But either way, there was something balled up inside me. 

For years I wandered Europe, hitch hiked North to South, harvested apples and hay. My soul sang for joy as I stood on a Paris on ramp, waving at drivers. I ran a bar in Israel and traveled atop supply trucks through Africa. The world was my playground.
All the while there was something caged inside me that wanted out. Since fifth grade, when a story I was writing jumped off the page and danced around me, I had to be a writer.

During my gypsy days I sold some travel articles to newspapers and wrote two bad novels and hundreds of stories. I didn't know my wandering was my path to being a writer. Through practice and reading I was learning the craft and tempering it with experience.

The novel is a fascinating, complex art form. I took classes, attended conferences, read like a fiend, practiced without end. And after years of work I am a beginner.

When Kindle came along I made tremendous mistakes. In one weekend 10,000 people downloaded a suspense novel of mine, only to find vertical text. It was a painful experience.

Now here I am. I have spent more than three years writing a new novel. Touching Spirits is about to be released on Kindle. I paid to have it professionally formatted, filtered it through three Beta readers (a process invaluable!), but I can't help but wonder if my name is tainted because of the previous blunder.

For that reason I am considering the pen name Charles Madrid. The result of years of study and practice is about to be on display. If I have created a book that readers will be sad to finish, a book that sits on a shelf and makes them nostalgic when they pass and see it, then I have gone beyond the formula novel.

Time and experience have tempered that caged beast. Whatever richness or wisdom travel brought to my writing, I consider it a gift from my friend. That's how I choose to remember a friend.