Hmmmm . . . .been thinking over the weekend about this. About the two characters of mine, Turner Hahn and Frank Morales. The boss at Trestle Press asked me to write a short blog concerning my 'journey' in developing these two down through the years. So I whipped up something for him and sent it off to him.
Honest words, mind you. Some thoughts and emotions truly felt. But over the weekend I've been, off and on, mulling over what I said about Turner and Frank. I realize there are some points I should have mention . . . or at least emphasised, in more detail.
For instance. The 'buddy story' part. Yeah, sure; the stories featuring Turner and Frank are designed to be relatively decent 'whodunits.' The novels are set up to feature two cops who are overwhelmed almost in working multiple homicide cases. As, I'd bet in larger cities, a lot of homicide detectives face on a daily basis. Two or more homicides that are unrelated. Each a separate case that forces the two to hop from one to the other as they work their way through them all.
Sounds confusing, I know. But I actually think it works.
The short stories are different. It's one odd-ball crime after another they hustle around with. There's always a twist about'em. They set you up to expect on thing and then trip you up in the end somehow.
But in the 'whodunit' complex in writing the stories one aspect of the Turner/Frank sometimes is overlooked. The buddy part of their relationship. I purposely sat down to write a buddy story. Two guys who are genuine friends. And that in itself posed a problem. How do you write a buddy-novel where both characters are equals. Think of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. You could say those two in their stories are definitely friends. But is Watson equal to Holmes intellectually? We know the obvious answer.
Holmes and Watson are just one example of what I am trying to say. I'm sure you can think of other examples as well. Hundreds of the.
So how do you do it? How do you write about two characters who are decidedly different in their personalities yet equal to each other in their abilities? I actually don't know. But I try.
The second thought that crossed my mind concerning these two and their series I'm writing was about the stories themselves. Writing the 'whodunit' part. Let me be conceded enough to suggest that I am trying to write more a complex story featuring emotions and personalities as compared to the current headlines we all read about on a daily basis.
Just what are the forces which make someone want to commit murder? When does a personality bend to the point it breaks? Why do people continue to believe they can commit a murder(s) and get away with it? No . . . I want come out and say I write psychological novels of murder and mayhem. But in my own way I do like to look at the motives which makes a person commit violent crime.
Sometime this week (?) a collection of eleven short stories are going to come out. Called Eleven from the South Side. Eleven stories that show Turner and Frank at their best. Tough, hard, determined. Yet with a dry . . . one could say even droll . . . sense of humor. Friends. One relying on the other in every situation they find themselves in.
Sometime later on a novel is coming out. Entitled A Taste of Old Revenge. Two homicide cases. Each as complex as the other. Neither related. One involves a lot of spies and slips into the horrors of history. The other is about greed. Plain . . . simple . . . murderous greed.
These two guys are old friends of mine. Yeah, sure. They are fictional characters who live in my mind. But they're alive. They talk to me. They're friends. 'Hope you find them and discover you like'em as much as I do.
They're good men to know.