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Friday, April 29, 2016

An Eye for Others: Dorothy Day, Journalist, 1916-1917 - A Book Review

The timing for An Eye for Others: Dorothy Day, 
Journalist 1916-1917 couldn't be better.

On April 19, 2016, the Archdiocese of New York announced a canonical inquiry into Dorothy Day's life. Currently a Servant of God, she is on the next step in the formal process of Sainthood. There are many ordinary people whose names we will never know who lived as saints, but Saint with a capital "S" would lift Dorothy to the role of an acknowledged example of how to live as a disciple of Christ. This inquiry will include a theological examination of her writings with an eye for doctrine and morals, and An Eye for Others is a good place for the curious layperson to start.

The book, written by Tom McDonough, covers Dorothy's articles for The New York Call  and The Masses from 1916-1917. McDonough puts the articles in context by reporting on what Dorothy and New York were going through during the year leading up to World War I, sometimes in Dorothy's own words from her later writings. This gives the reader a unique and personal perspective of an important moment in history. 

A dedicated advocate of the poor, Dorothy lived a bohemian life with a string of lovers, an attempted suicide, and an abortion before she converted to Catholicism. Through her writings, the reader can understand the basis for her attraction to Socialism and similar ideologies as well as the disillusionment that caused her to later abandon them.

For one who is unfamiliar with her writings (and too familiar with the vitriolic rantings of many activists today) one of the most surprising characteristics found in her "voice" is the humor and wit with which she attacks her subject, often through a "Silly me, I should have known better" viewpoint that often borders on comedy. One such example arises out of her time spent on the The Call's Diet Squad, when she tried to live on $5 per week (about $100 in current money) in sympathy with the poor. She despairs of having spent $2.40 on weekly groceries -- $0.58 more than the amount recommended by the Organized Charities:

"You are too extravagant," said the Organized Charities..."You should not eat so much fruit, you should not eat so many potatoes, and you should eat butterine instead of butter...you have been gormandizing as much as four rolls at a time."...

I left the office chastened. Yes, such reckless extravagance must cease.   

              from "Call's Diet Squad is Accused of Gluttony by Experts" by Dorothy Day,  Friday, December 16, 1915

The articles also bring to light some shocking reflections of the time, such as the amount of money the wealthy Astor family spent on their baby, while children all around New York were starving: $75 per day for baby Astor (almost $1,800 by today's standards) as compared to $0.33 per day for the poor.

The poor were struggling to find work and to eat, while controlling corporations focused on price-gouging for profits, especially as the U.S. geared up for war. Dorothy passionately called out the hypocrisy embedded in the responses of politicians and the wealthy.


It was disheartening to find that some things never change. Workers were being left without jobs, having been replaced by machines. Today, those jobs go to computers or overseas. The left was committed to abortion as a solution to the poor, as if eradicating them would make their lives better. Mainstream media channels weren't trusted, though, ironically, it was the left that feared they were controlled by the right. The media's agenda for the most part has flipped from right to left these days, but the root fear that corporations controlled the message remains the same.

In the end, Dorothy realized that the various ideologies that first attracted her were in love with their way of thinking - without any real love for the person.

"I either want to retire from the world and study for the sake of acquiring wisdom or else I want to do something simple and useful."

           from The Eleventh Virgin by Dorothy Day

Fortunately for us, she chose the latter and went on to join forces with Peter Maurin to establish the Catholic Worker Movement, a charity dedicated to the Works of Mercy and the God-given dignity of every human person.

Reading An Eye for Others won't give you a full picture of Dorothy Day's life, but it's a great start to understanding the woman Pope Francis recently praised as an example of "a great American." By the end of the Church's investigation, I think we'll find she was much more than that.  



Monday, April 18, 2016

Looking for Opportunities to Promote Your Book? Author Marilyn Meredith Tells You Where to Look!

F. M. Meredith who is also known as Marilyn Meredith is nearing the number of 40 published books. Besides being an author she is a wife, mother, grandma and great-grandmother. Though the Rocky Bluff she writes about is fictional, she lived for over twenty-years in a similar small beach town. Besides having many law enforcement officers in her family she is counts many as friends. She teaches writing, loves to give presentations to writing and other groups, and is a member of Mystery Writers of America, three chapters of Sisters in Crime and on the board of Public Safety Writers Association. Visit her blog, Marilyn's Musings , website Fiction for You,  and Amazon Author Page. She writes the Rocky Bluff series under F.M. Meredith and the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series under Marilyn Meredith.

Heads Up!  Marilyn is hosting another contest. The person who comments on the most blogs during Marilyn's current blog tour can have a character named after them in the next Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery. Tomorrow you can find Marilyn at Thonie Hevron Mysteries

Anyone who follows Marilyn knows that she is always off on another book-signing adventure, so I asked her to share her experience with other writers looking for venues in which to promote their books. 

Marilyn, how do you make all of those connections? 

This is not an easy question to answer. First, I must say I love meeting readers and talking about different facets of writing.

Early on, I felt like bookstore signings were the only way to go—but it didn’t take me long to discover there were so many more places to appear and talk about my books.

I always keep an eye out for book fairs and craft shows. Book fairs are great because the people who come are interested in books. I tend to like the smaller ones where there aren’t so many big names in attendance for obvious reasons. Craft shows are great too. As I’ve grown older, I like the ones best that provide the table and chairs.

Marilyn at the 2015 Jack Ass Mail Run
When I started going to the craft show put on by our local art gallery, I asked if I could give a talk on “How to Get Published” and they were enthusiastic about the idea. I’m thinking of doing another “How to” there.

Library talks are wonderful. Sometimes a library has approached me, other times I’ve asked. Some libraries have special author days—and these are great. Find out what’s going on in the libraries around you.

Speaking to special interest groups like various Sisters in Crime organizations. I belong to three chapters and am always ready to speak on various subjects. Recently I was asked to give a talk to a brand new chapter in a nearby city by a friend on Facebook.

Writers’ groups are always looking for writers to share their expertise on a variety of subjects.
Offering your expertise to writing conferences can also offer you opportunities to speak.

I’ve spoken about writing and my books to many schools, from grade school to college. Usually I’ve been asked by a teacher, but sometime it was initiated by a student.

Last but not least, contact local service and social groups who are always looking for speakers, and always take along a supply of books to sell.

Anyone who has any other ideas, please add them in your comments.

F. M. aka Marilyn Meredith

Thank you, Marilyn. Be sure to visit Marilyn's social media sites, and check out her latest book!
Places you can find Marilyn:  Website:BlogFacebookTwitter

 A Crushing Death

A pile of rocks is found on a dead body beneath the condemned pier, a teacher is accused of molesting a student, the new police chief is threatened by someone she once arrested for attacking women, and Detective Milligan’s teenage daughter has a big problem.

Buy it here!











Thursday, March 10, 2016

Casting Color: Getting to the Root of Diversity in Film

I thought Chris Rock did a great job at the Oscars. He addressed the controversy about black representation in movies from both sides and brought humor to the issue as well. Humor makes truth go down so much easier!

Years ago, I took a screenwriting class, and the teacher stressed writing diverse characters into the script. While this may mean changes to the dialogue to account for accents and slang, it really comes down to the character descriptions. 

And I remember resenting this. Not because I didn't want people of various races in my stories should I have the good fortune to see my story on the screen but because I think that throwing in descriptions of someone with an Afro or dark skin at random is condescending. I have written a variety of ethnic characters, but it was because I saw certain people in those roles. When I write, when most people write, they have themselves and people they are familiar with in mind, whether it be Aunt Jane or the guy who checks them out at the grocery store. 

I know it sounds as if I am passing the buck, but I think that diversity in films falls squarely on the shoulders of casting directors. 

Casting directors have my admiration, because they can take a guy or girl who comes in to audition, someone wearing a sweatshirt or t-shirt or dress or shorts, and can envision them in the role with makeup and costume. It's a huge, creative talent. 

If I write a doctor, I want the casting director to cast the best actor for the role regardless of color or gender (unless color or gender are a necessary part of the story.) The character doesn't have to be an inner city doctor to be portrayed by a black actor. In the following examples, I can't say what the original scripts called for. Maybe they specifically described the characters as they were cast, but my point is that regardless of the description in the script, the casting director (with leeway from the powers that be) can go beyond stereotypes and simply find good actors who can play the roles.

I'm a huge fan of Firefly, which was kind of a space cowboy television show. The captain of the ship, played by Nathan Fillian, had a second in command who was a trusted fellow soldier in the last war. They cast a woman and a Cuban American, Gina Torres, in the role of Zoe. And when they turned the series into the movie Serenity, The Operative, a James Bond-style government man who tracks them throughout the film, was played by the gifted Chiwetel Ejiofor. The casting of these two actors was the result of casting directors who didn't have barriers up when they looked for talent who could play the roles better than anyone else. And these actors excelled.  



In the movie Prometheus, the ship needed a captain, not a black captain. Enter actor Idris Elba.



British television seems to get this better than we do. They use actors of color without the need to make an excuse for the actor's color. People are people.  Elba starred for several years as Luther. The character's description is "a near-genius murder detective whose brilliant mind can't always save him from the dangerous violence of his passions." Are genius and passion limited to one particular race? No. Bring on the actor that can play the role.

In Dr. Who, Rose (white and blond) had a boyfriend, and I'm willing to bet  his character description wasn't "dark-skinned". They needed a good-looking actor who could do comedy and drama and gave us Mickey, played by actor Noel Clarke. And they didn't make an issue over the racial differences.


If they ever turned my book, Civility Rules into a movie? Edward and Nicholas would need passably athletic physiques and dark good looks. (And I'd like Edward to keep his goatee.) What do you think of Idris Elba as Edward and Isaiah Mustafa as his younger brother, Nicholas? Works for me.

 


I also love that British actors can look like people, not models, but I'll save that for another post. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

And the Winners of Last Week's Book Giveaway Are.....

Last week, authors G.B. Pool and John Paul Wohlsheid allowed their characters, Gin Caulfield and Benny Cahill, to prove who was the toughest Private Eye. Well, the characters tied, but the readers came out winners!


And the winners are



Steven Vredeveld won a free ebook copy of Trouble is My Client!



Jane (no last name given) won a free paperback copy of Hedge Bet!



The winners will be contacted by email!


Congratulations to Steven and Jane!

Friday, February 12, 2016

A Romantic's Perspective on Valentine's Day

Jacquée T. lives life romantically. Through being a writer and imbiber of life. She is an authoress, and proprietress of Detour Productions. She is the former newspaper columnist for 'Letter from Chicago'. And the poetess of the book Growing Up (the pain, the joy, the discoveries) "Romance is a matter of perspective." she says.

I am pleased to welcome
Jacquée T.  to A Writer's Jumble just in time for St. Valentine's Day!  Remember to check out A Romantic's Perspective for suggestions on wine, cinema, and first dates!

Welcome!





I was excited to hear that you have recently teamed up with WREN Internet Radio out of Topeka, Kansas, for "A Romantic Moment" on Saturdays at 12:30 pm Central Time, USA. WREN Radio dates back to 1926, and in 2012 transformed to an all Internet station. They broadcast a classic radio OLDIES format.

How did you, in Chicago, connect with a radio station in Kansas?


I am on the road via a “Jacquée T. Writer in Residence expedition,” and featuring Kansas. “Writer in Residence” was initiated via my website A Romantic’s Perspective(.com) TRAVEL section.

Shortly after I arrived in Topeka, I discovered WREN on the Internet, and became a regular listener and fan. I would “tune them in” as I traveled to other parts of Kansas. I thought the station would be a fabulous match as a “Writer in Residence” sponsor. One time when back in Topeka, I approached the station owners Frank Chaffin and Les Glenn. They thought it would be a better idea to work together.

Ahh, serendipity! It so happened I had already started recordings for my “A romantic moment” concept and had the recordings filed in my computer. I presented the concept to Mr. Chaffin and Mr. Glenn. They thought it was a great fit for the Saturday Frankie C. Show. We started working together right away.

We are all excited about with this collaboration, discussing ways to further entwine Romantic’s and WREN.



Does the Oldies format make a good pairing with romance?

O, yes!

Firstly, WREN features oldies from the '50s, '60s and '70s. The majority of songs in these eras inspire folks to dance. And dancing is a titillating exchange between males and females.

Not that folks listening in are grabbing partners to dance. Although some might be. Others listening may reminded of times they have been dancing – whether they did when this music first came out, or they did after the music officially became Oldies. All this raises the spirits, and brings smiles.

Secondly, these featured eras present styles of music, lyrics and passion all their own. Their heydays are bygone and the styles cannot be reproduced. Yet the affect remains timeless in appealing to our emotions.

Thirdly, WREN Radio makes this music accessible, in classic car-radio style that includes live deejays. To boot, it’s on Internet radio to bring these eras to a modern day medium. ’Tis accessible to folks who listened to this music when it first came out, and to the younger generations who are discovering it.

The WREN Radio format crosses eras, and inspires its own brand of romance across generations. And now its songs and deejay voices are accessible globally. Romance is timeless, and is universally understood. Quite a nice fit.


The purpose of "A romantic moment" is to demonstrate to listeners simple ways to weave romance into their daily lives. Can you share a few tips?

’Tis my pleasure.



To live life romantically begins with you. Whether you are in a couple, or presently between relationships, you need to foremost nurture the romantic in yourself. From there you may enlighten others with your romantic attitude.

“A romantic moment” celebrates this, and how easy it is to add romance to your lifestyle.

Per each segment, I feature a subject, and for three to five minutes present suggestions to incorporate it into your attitude and your routine. This to add quality to your life and make it a little more romantic every day.

“Begin with you” is one of the earlier features. Here I suggest pausing to recognize what inspires you. Embrace the little things like a good cup of coffee, for example, or a clean desk. If you love coffee, find a favorite way to make your own – and do it. Savor it in the morning as part of your preparing for the day, or take it in a thermos to work to savor as you tend to your tasks.

If you feel comforted by working at a clean desk, pause to straighten it up, before lunch, or before finishing the workday – so that when you return your desk is in order and ready for you.

If you love to read, designate more time for it.

These are examples. You need to take note of things that add comfort to your day, and take time for them to make your days more fulfilling. Tend to the romantic in yourself, and sharing your romantic attitude with others will become second nature.

Another “A romantic moment” feature: “Gotta love chivalry.” Here I emphasize that chivalry is ver-ly much alive and urge both men and women to partake in the exchanges.

For example, one of the basics is a man opening the door for a woman. His gesture is not at-all implying “You can’t open your own door.” ’Tis expressing, “I respect you as a woman.”

The woman completes this exchange by accepting the gesture. She walks through that door, and perhaps offers the gent a smile or “thank you.”

Chivalry is an honoring of masculinity and femininity through small gestures that may be made wherever men and women commingle. Each time the exchange is completed adds a bit o’ romance to the air.

These are all aspects you may integrate into your days to make each day more romantic.

"A Romantic Moment" is sponsored by Avenue Hair Styling & Day Spa based in Topeka Kansas. And, sponsors with products available in stores and online: PINES International, based in Lawrence Kansas, Fabulous Florals based in California, Chilly Root Peony Farm in Alaska, and The Tasteful Olive, based in Topeka and Overland Park, Kansas.

How did you go about finding sponsors?

The main objective is to find businesses that complement the “A romantic moment” mission. I select businesses per an agenda of the “romantic” nature, and personally invite the owners to sponsorships.

Yet I do not invite a business per their niche alone. With each company I invite, I am ver-ly particular.

Examples: Flowers are romantic. However I do not invite just any florist. I seek out florists that provide locally grown and USA grown flowers. I also find flower farmers who are in the United States and offer flowers nationwide.

Cooking is a romantic part of life. And having the right supplies, like olive oil, is essential. Yet not just any olive oil. I find a business that knows olive oils, and takes mission to offer top quality products.

Eating healthy is romantic. It’s taking care of your body. I seek companies that have a dedicated, naturally-based mission that is carried out in the products they offer.

The next objective is geography. WREN Radio is based in Topeka, near the northeast corner of Kansas. So of course I seek regional businesses that fit my “romantic” agenda.

Plus WREN Internet Radio is accessible via the World Wide Web. They have a global audience, including active listeners in Europe. Yet at present the majority listenership is in the United States.

So I seek romantic and otherwise inspiring businesses throughout the United States – preferably ones that have a storefront or farm to visit plus option to order online.

These all represent aspects I consider before inviting a business owner to sponsorship. The ones who accept, of course, are truly romantic.

Sponsors sign on for four or more weeks at a time. We have a limited number of sponsors per segment. Therefore, as “A romantic moment, by Jacquée T.” continues, sponsors alternate.

Do you have any local events in the Chicago area planned in the near future?

As I am on the road, events in Chicago are presently not on the agenda. I am considering beginning a series of recording “A romantic moment” live in the communities I visit.

Any last minute words for us as we prepare for St. Valentine's Day weekend?

Indeed! Ladies and gentlemen, get out and celebrate – if you’re in a couple, and if you’re

single.

Valentine’s Day is not a holiday that was invented to sell greeting cards. It dates back over 1,000 years in honor of St. Valentine. ’Tis said he performed secret marriages to couples in love – at a time the Roman Emperor prohibited marriage because he wanted men to dedicate their minds and their hearts 100% and only to war efforts.

St. Valentine defended romance because it is an integral part of human existence. On Valentine’s Day we honor him and honor romance.

For couples:

Fellows, take the initiative. Sweep your darling away to a lovely evening together. To some of you this may seem like much pressure, yet ’tisn’t. Simply pause to consider details to make this a special Valentine’s celebration.

You may orchestrate a “classic” date with a romantic dinner and a gift or two, or an interactive date.

Depending on the level of your relationship, the details of the date may vary. Perhaps ’tis a budding romance. Perhaps it seems like you have been lovebirds together forever. The main thing is compose this date to celebrate your romance. Once the date begins, focus on her. Do so with enthusiasm, and she will reciprocate, with rosy cheeks.

For singles:

You’re romantic! Seize this romantic holiday.

Compose a “singles only” gathering. Invite all your friends who are unattached, and have them invite all their unattached friends. Nudge them. Have them nudge their friends. Nobody stays home.

Make it a “red party.” Participants need to wear something red.

Host it it at your favorite Happy Hour place, wine bar, or other public venue that has space for mingling.

Or, host it at your place. If so, have folks bring something red, like red appetizers, or a red wine or liqueur.

While this “singles only” Valentine’s gathering does not promise meeting the love of your life, it does promote a hearty mix of fellows and gals who are between relationships, to mingle, and flirt per whim. It promotes laughing, and rosy cheeks.

In summary, I gotta say, celebrate romance every day, through your attitude and little things you do. And for Valentine’s day, definitely celebrate it to honor romance, as romance is a fabulous part of life.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Battle of the Sexes Meets Two Private Investigators

              Welcome to the pre-St. Valentine's Day                  Battle of the Sexes - PI style! 


Who's the toughest Private Investigator, Ginger "Gin" Caulfield, or Benny Cahill? Both are excellent investigators written by outstanding authors. To help you decide, we peppered both the characters and the authors with some tough questions to determine which PI would win the Battle of the Sexes. There is a link at the bottom of the page to a brief survey. Place your vote, and the first 100 people to respond to each survey will be entered in a drawing to win the latest novel of the author for whom they voted, so make sure to enter the correct email address! Winners will receive either the paperback of Hedge Bet or the ebook version of Trouble is My Client. Winners will be announced next Tuesday!


                             


We'll let the characters introduce themselves. Ladies first.


Hi, I’m Gin Caulfield. G.B. Pool asked me to answer these “Toughest PI Questions,” since I’m a private detective in one of her detective series. I came along before her Johnny Casino character, so I guess I have a few more miles under my belt. And I’m the one who trained Johnny, so half of what he knows, I taught him. Sorry, Johnny. Age before beauty, handsome.

Alright, let's get this over with. My rent ain't going to pay its self. My name is Benny Cahill. I'm a PI in a big, bad city. This writer, John Paul Wohlscheid, asked me to answer these questions about whose the toughest PI, but we already know who that is. The kid likes to call himself my "biographer". I guess it sounds better than "writer". To me, he's a pain in the butt. Excuse me, if I'm a little short, but I just spent the last two days playing nursemaid to a new PI named Solomon Strong, while we tailed a mark. I'm sure you'll learn about it soon enough. Now. let's get to the questions. I running out of coffee.


And now, for the questions.


What is the stickiest situation your detective has ever had to get out of?

 I’d say the stickiest situation in a book came along in my latest case, Damning Evidence. It had me thinking that I just might have run out of options. It started when I discovered a body up by a local dam. The main suspect hired me to prove his innocence. I went searching for clues to the real killer and found something that changed everything and it almost cost me my life and maybe the lives of hundreds of others.


Does being stuck on a boat between an armed gangster and his armed thug count? When the smoke cleared, they were both dead. And I was unarmed. Never a good thing.

Who is the most dangerous criminal your character has faced, and what made him/her so dangerous?

The most dangerous criminal I ever faced? That’s easy. Anybody who wants to kill you is dangerous, but one with power can really ruin your day. In Hedge Bet, I thought I knew who I was after when an acquaintance turned up dead at the racetrack, only to find out the hard way I was missing a piece of the puzzle And what made the killer so dangerous? The killer knew who I was and was waiting for me.

I've had to deal with quite a few gangster since I got home from the war. For worst gangster I've dealt with so far, there's a tie between Tom Branigan and Frank Cassidy. One sent a sniper to kill me and the other sent his goons to iron out my skull.

What is your detective's weapon of choice and why?

I have no problem carrying a gun… or two. I often do. But sometimes I’m in a situation where I can’t use a gun or I don’t have a gun with me. What do I rely on then? My brain.
I usually carry a rod. I own couple different ones, so it depends which one I grab that day. Sometimes it's the Luger and sometimes it's the Colt Police Special. But my weapon of choice is my fists because they are silent and don't need to be reloaded.

Does your private eye work alone, or does he or she have help?

When I first started out in the biz, I worked for another agency. I did undercover jobs and worked alone. Now that I have my own agency, I occasionally rely on another member of my staff to do some of the legwork. My husband, Fred, often gets roped into doing small jobs like bringing a Mexican firecracker back across the border in Hedge Bet. He had a few choice things to say about that. I hired a capable trainee quite a few years ago, mostly to save him from getting into serious trouble. He went on to start his own agency. His name is Johnny Casino. You can read about our first meeting in The Johnny Casino Casebook 1- Past Imperfect. Or when he first worked for me in The Johnny Casino Casebook 2 – Looking For Johnny Nobody. But now that I am getting older, I want to bring on a full-time partner. I know who he is: my husband. Wait until I tell him about it… in a forthcoming book.

I'm not Superman, I can't do everything myself. My biggest helper is a barfly named Mickey Jakes. Jakes used to be a top investigative reporter until he decided to dig through the mobs dirty laundry. It wasn't too long before the fixed his little red wagon. He still has a bunch of contacts around town, so I tap him when I need help with a case.

Do the police help or hinder your character?

That depends on the cop. In real life, cops give P.I.s some leeway. If you screw up once, they’ll give you a pass. But don’t let them catch you a second time. So far, that has worked. I do have a couple of cop friends who have backed me up a few times in both Hedge Bet and Damning Evidence. But there are one or two cops I wouldn’t turn my back on.

I mainly deal with two detectives: Lieutenant. Brady Summers and Lieutenant Crowley. Summers is a good cop and I generally get along with him. But Crowley’s another story. As soon as I show up on a case, he works overtime to make me fit the crime. I don't think he likes me.

Who was your toughest client and why?

You ask who was my toughest client? Donald Delvecchio from my Hedge Bet case, because the idiot married somebody less than 24-hours after his wife was killed. My quote: “Are you out of your freaking mind? Marrying somebody before you even buried your wife! Do you want me to save your butt or direct traffic to your hanging?”

I've dealt with quite a few gangsters in my time. Before that, I helped kick the Nazis out of Europe. But none of those scared me like Mother Mary Peter. She taught high school at St. Sensation's the whole time I was there. Most of the kids tried their best to stay on her good side, but there always was someone begging for the ruler. She hired me to clean drugs out of her school a couple of years after I hung up my shingle. She might have been in her eighties, but you still didn't mess with her. I gave the kid the information, but he hasn't written it up yet. (The story will be published later this year. JPW)

What is the toughest part of writing a series featuring a private investigator?

Your last two questions will have to be answered by the author. So I’m signing off. See ya, Gin.

What is the toughest part of writing a series featuring a private investigator? The main thing I did when I started writing the Gin Caulfield P.I. Series was to write a biography for her so I knew where she came from and what type of person she was. Since I used to be a private detective, I sort of know what they can and can’t do. And I also didn’t want the books to be so regimented with procedures that I would get bogged down in detail, so I tend to let my imagination take her into fictional trouble rather than blood and guts reality. I don’t write cozies, mind you, so there are dead bodies and some high-wire tension to keep you on your toes, but the language is fairly reserved. Since Ginger Caulfield is a professional, she does use her head and follows the rules… most of the time… and she owns a gun.


I don't know what to tell you, so I'll let the kid answer this.

For me, the hardest part of writing this series is coming up with the solution to the mysteries. The banter and the characters are fun to create, but solutions take time for me to come up with. Most of the time, I'll come up with the crime to be solved and then build from there.


What is one situation/location/challenge you would like your character to face in a future book?
Gin was shot in the back by a very influential man who got away with it by lying to the police. She nearly lost her life and ended up closing her detective agency for a few years until the urge to solve a case became too great. I want her to catch the bum who shot her while he is doing something that will land him in prison. And I want it featured on the nightly news so the swine can’t deny it. It will be a subplot in a subsequent novel. And I will tell you this, I came up with the plot while answering this question. Thank you, Jackie, for stimulating my creative juices.
Well, that's a hard one. I've already been to the (spoiler). What?!? I can't even say (spoiler). For some reason, the kid has his Spoiler Filter set to high. So, I'll say that I've taken down gangsters and lesser criminals. Maybe in a future book, I'll take on bigger fish, like politicians. Because that's where the real money is.

A former private detective and a reporter for a small weekly newspaper, Gayle
Bartos-Pool has several books in print: The Johnny Casino Casebook 1- Past Imperfect, The Johnny Casino Casebook 2 – Looking for Johnny Nobody, and The Johnny Casino Casebook 3 – Just Shoot Me; Media Justice, Hedge Bet, and Damning Evidence in the Gin Caulfield P.I. Series; From Light To DARK, a collection of short stories; Eddie Buick’s Last Case, The Santa Claus Singer, and Bearnard’s Christmas. She is the former Speakers Bureau Director for Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles and also a member of Mystery Writers of America and The Woman’s Club of Hollywood. She teaches writing classes: “Anatomy of a Short Story,” “How To Write Convincing Dialogue” and “Writing a Killer Opening Line” in sunny Southern California. Website: www.gbpool.com.


John Paul Wohlschied was born and raised in West Michigan. He discovered
detective stories at an early age through the magic of Old Time Radio. Since then he has devoured hundreds of hours of radio shows (such as Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe, Boston Blackie, Richard Diamond and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar) and mystery stories. With all this knowledge, he decided to take a crack at recreating those hard-boiled stories of yesteryear. Someday he plans to expand into scifi and westerns and pick your own adventure games. You can visit his website or sign up for his mailing list to get the latest news! 

And now, vote for the toughest PI!

Click here to vote for Gin Caulfield

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Fill Up Your Christmas Kindle with Free and Discounted Books

Saturday, December 26 - December 28, sixteen members of the Indie Catholic Authors will have their books on sale. Check out the fiction and non-fiction options, all available for $.99 or FREE!

Here is the link!




Participating authors

  • John C. Connell
  • Jeanie Ewing
  • Ellen Gable
  • Melanie Jean Juneau
  • Theresa Linden
  • Gil Michelini
  • Erin McCole Cupp
  • Connie Rossini   Here is a previous interview I did with Connie.
  • Marianne Sciucco
  • Tim Speer
  • Thomas Tan
  • Jacqueline Vick
  • J.I. Willett
  • Gloria Winn
  • John Paul Wohlschied