Friday, May 6, 2011

Meet Turner Hahn

So you're going to write a novel, mon ami!  Swell!  Groovy!  What's it about, hon?

I wrote a novel.  Called it Murderous Passions.  About two homicide detectives named Turner Hahn and Frank Morales working on four separate and unrelated homicide cases.  A case of 'whodunit' overkill for those who are fans of the mystery/detective genre.

Okay.  You write a novel about homicide detectives you need to create a visual image--make an in depth character study--of them.  Make the character(s) strong enough, interesting enough, and the book has a strong chance of actually being read by someone.   In Murderous Passions there are two main characters.  Equals.   Not the traditional main character with a tagalong lap dog following around repeating like a dull echo everything the main character says.  I wanted to write a complex novel.  Among other things, I wanted to create a 'buddy' novel.  Show that it was possible two equally intelligent, tough, interesting mugs could occupy the same space at the same time.  I think I succeeded.

The mugshot above is the spitting image of one of the main characters.  Turner Hahn.   Yeah, you guessed it.  The photo is Clark Gable--the 30's matinee idol of moviedom.  One tough, hard nosed, but likeable main leads in filmland to come down the pike.  I wanted to paint a mental image in the reader's mind what Turner Hahn looks like.  Clark Gable fits the bill.

Turner is bigger.  Stronger.  Has a thicker neck and a thicker mustache.  But there's that same dark hair.  That same smirk like Gable's.  That same smart-ass attitude that marked all of Gable's roles.  I'll be honest with you, pilgrim.  One of the other reasons why I wanted to write a novel, and hopefully an entire series, about two tough, hard headed, smart-ass good guys is because I think we've seen the venerable ol'genre of the mystery/detective turn into a cheering section for the anti-hero.

The bad guys and/or 'I really don't know what they are!' anti-hero is winning out.

Not good, me bucko.  Not good at all.

I think all of us need our heroes.  We need stalwart figures to stand up in literature and hold back the gathering hordes of those who prosper in chaos and mayhem.  That's Turner Hahn.  Big.  Mean when he has to be.  Gentle when he has to be.  A forever smart-ass; but as intelligent as they come.  A working blue collar cop who came off a piss-poor farm in Missouri and left it forever when he got a football scholarship to a major university.  Married once; but divorced.  Likes women but has a hard time keeping one around for long.  And rich.  Yeah, buddy;  I said the guy is rich.

One day a lawyer shows up at the precinct house and tells him a grandmother he thought was long dead left him a sizeable inheritance.  So overnight he goes from being a cop who lives from paycheck to paycheck more or less like the rest of us--suddenly finds himself wallowing in an ocean of money.

Yet he remains a cop.  Still keeps his detective's badge and goes to work every day. 

The second book of the series is coming out soon.  Called A Taste of Old Revenge.  It fills out the character sails of Turner's past and makes him a more complete man.  And you get to meet Turner's grand father.  That in itself is one interesting experience.   With luck the novel will come out in e-book form in June.

If you've read any of the many short stories I have out featuring Turner and Frank, you'll get a feel of the men.  And I'm hoping you'll like'em.  I think they'll remind you of the classic noir/hardboiled main honchos of the past--but discover they are uniquely different as well.  So go hunt up one of their stories, or the novel, and sit down and read it.  You won't be disappointed.

Now that you've met Turner there is the other half of the duo to know.

Tomorrow I'm going to talk about Turner's partner; Frank Morales.  So come back and let's do this again.

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