Friday, August 2, 2013

Something Old, something New, coming out soon

Coming soon.  A collection of 21 Turner Hahn/Frank Morales short stories I hacked together over the last two years.

I have to admit (again!) Turner and Frank are my two most favorite characters.  I dunno . . . there's something about their personalities and their chemistry which makes me smile every time I start writing a story with them as the main ingredients. They're like two old friends.  You just like being around them as much as you can.

As you know they're homicide detectives.  Two cops dropped down into a city filled with bad guys who look upon the act of murder as a day-to-day occupational hazard.

No big deal.

So there's twenty-one stories.  Murder . . . puzzles . . . damsels in distress . . . damsels who will slit your throat twice before you can bat your eyes.  There are killers who are bat-shit crazy.  Killers who are as cold as ice.  And there are killers who get away with their crimes. 

And humor.  Dry . . . almost droll . . . humor.

I have a theory about writing in the mystery/detective genre.  The best stories are the ones which have three major ingredients.  A Plot.  Interesting Characters. And Humor.  Not necessarily in equal measures, mind you.  But each one absolutely essential.   We can quibble about which of the first two ingredients are more important:  plot or interesting characters.  I, for one, think they are absolutely equal.  Don't mix enough of an attention-grabbing plot . . . or make the characters cookie cutter wannabes . . . and the story is going to suffer.  Suffer to the point of not working at all.

But humor is absolutely vital.  Yet it is the ONE ingredient so many writers fail to plug into their chemistry set.  I call it the Ying-Yang theory.  You can't have blood and mayhem without off setting it with a measured amount of laughter.  Or at least a sardonic little smile.  Humor does two things in a story.  First, it makes the trauma of murder more poignant.  Secondly, it settles the mind back into a neutral position for the next big slap in the face.

Ying and Yang.  Life and Death.  Light and Darkness.

Turner and Frank are interesting characters.  Each as their own little quirks.  Each has their own brand of humor.  Just happens the two separate characters work very, very well as a team.  They are synergistic in nature.

And the stories . . . the plots . . . are not bad at all.  Remember now; we're writing short stories.  That means you've got to pack the whole works into a rather tight frame and hope to hell they work.  I happen to think they do.

In the next few days I hope to get them out in ebook format.  Yes, I'm the one bringing them out.  No publisher seems interested.

As they say about the Jamaica bobsledding team winning the Winter Olympic event;  maybe someday . . . .

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