Sunday, August 26, 2007

Good Crook, Good PI

Bo's back in a two-part two bit story called "Good Crook, Bad Cop" over at MuzzleFlash. The story is a police 'interview.' The first part is with Axel, a friend of Bo's, and the second part is with Bo herself. Part 1 should really be read first. The story is about an arrest, some emails that may or may not have been obtained leagally, and a vendetta.

Insider's Note: Bo uses the word vendetta rather than grudge because of her speech impairment. Since her impairment leaves her unable to say R's, (amongst other problems) she does sometimes pick a synonym without an R.

  • Excuse for not writing: working 4 jobs. But I did get a fair amount of editing done on "Death by PI"
  • Last story finished: Good Crook, Bad Cop pts 1 & 2
  • Story in progress: Several different pieces as my whismy dictates

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bo's back . . . finally!

It's been a long several weeks, but Bo's finally come out of the shadows. The story is called "False Impressions" and it appears at Yellow Mama. In the 3600 word short story, Bo is trying to find a woman with a tendency towards fraud. Things start at a domestic violence shelter where the workers mistakenly thinks Bo-- fresh out of a bar brawl-- is there for assistance. First impressions can be both good and bad. They can also be true or false.

I had fun writing this story, especially given the amount of Bo's bitter naration.

One note: those who are familiar with Greek mythology might get the reference of LEDA (as in the mortal raped by Zeus.) I happen to think that it makes an excellent acronym for a domestic violance assistance program. But then, word play has always been my weakness. That's probably why nearly all my titles have some sort of word play in them-- this one included.

Lastly, thanks are in order for both DZ Allen at MuzzleFlash and to Frank Zafiro for putting links from their pages onto mine. The more the merrier. And I still get geeked when my little bookworm hit counter goes up and up.

  • Story in progress: just several different bits and pieces
  • Last story completed: Medium-Well
  • Excuse for not writing: writing tests for a Windows Vista course (aka job #4)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Under a Raging Moon

Still nothing to report in the publishing front. Sorry.

I did finish my anthology entry, with some wonderful help from DZ Allen, editor of MuzzleFlash and fellow writer.

I also finished reading "Under a Raging Moon" by Frank Zafiro. Not only is Frank a talented writer, but he also helped me out with my own writing back when I was first figuring this whole author thing out. When I ordered his book, I insisted on an autographed copy. When he makes it big, I'll sell it for cash!

I enjoyed "Under a Raging Moon." It was a gritty, suspenseful story following the lives, intertwined as they are, of a group of police officers as they try to stop a robber called Scarface. Not only is the tale taugtly woven, dragging a reader on and on, the characters are very real. These could well be real police officers, down to frustrations and fears and questions about who they really are.

Frank manages to ratchet up the suspense to incredible heights towards the end of the book. Literally, I was on the edge of my seat, damn near skimming because I wanted to see what happened next. Now, I'm a 'flip to the end' person. For better or for worse, the last pages don't contain any answers, which really defeats the efforts of one like me. But the pages before those last are intense.

I'm a fan of crime noir, often defined as gritty, dark settings and stories, and I would place Frank's first novel "Under a Raging Moon" into that category. Not only was a good read, it was probably far better than any "how to write police procedurals" book I've read! The jargon and routine and such that are the inner workings of a police department (or so I assume!) are woven into the story's setting and plot. And it's smooth, unlike some texts that are heavy-handed in their attempts to show an insider's view.

Overall, I'd recommend "Under a Raging Moon." Click on over to Frank Zafiro's website and tell him Bo Fexler sent you. Or Clair Dickson.

  • Story in Progress: Jammed Peg
  • Last story finished: Medium-Well v2
  • Reason for not writing: Too many jobs, not enough hours

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Strange Names

Ever notice how private eyes of fiction often have unual names? I was over reading Kevin Burton Smith's list of 100 Eyes article over at Mystery Scene blog and noticing the rather odd names that come up-- Jinx Alameda, Elvis Cole, Dirk Gently, Aaron Gunner, Max Hamm, Precious Ramotswe, Easy Rawlins, Daryl Zero. And let's not forget Thomas Magnum and Remingston Steele. What IS it with author's trying so hard to come up with such unusual names?

One might think that I could offer some insight, given that I've named my female protagonist Bo. I can understand how recognition could be a factor-- every writer wants the name of their detective to stand out, especially in the ocean of crime, mystery, and suspense novels. Sometimes there is also the notion of fitting a name to a character. Bo, with her traditionally man's name, is a very shrewd, tough, and un-lady-like woman. She can use fists and sex with the male private eyes that populate her genre. But beyond that, I don't have any answers for the other authors.

On a similar note, there was a study done a while back that found that children with unusual names were more likely to end up in trouble, and incarcerated, than their traditionally named counterparts. And private eyes are known for sex and violence and debauchery and all that fun stuff.

I wish I could add a link to some recently-published story, but it seems like folks are taking the summer off! In cooler months, I get much faster replies to submissions. And new issues of zines appear quicker. I'm not complaining, just observing.

Writers and private eyes do well in their trades when they are careful observers.

  • Story in progress: Medium-Well
  • Excuse for not writing: housework

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