Friday, February 15, 2013

The Projectionist - Chapter 3

Okay, looks like there's some interest in seeing more of The Projectionist. Thanks to those who have voted already. If you're not among that esteemed crowd, please take a moment to register your preference in the upper left sidebar. Oh, you may have noticed that I sometimes write very short chapters. With all that said...

Chapter 3

Porter reached across the desk and took the envelope from Larry Walker's leathery hand. Walker offered a letter opener. Porter declined, slipped a fingernail under the edge of the flap, broke the seal, and opened it. Inside was a single, folded sheet of stationery paper, filled with Alice's handwriting.

July 7

My Dear Porter:

I hope this finds you well and in good spirits, my love, but I figure that's too much to hope for right now. Although I told you many times during the last months, it's important to tell you again, right now, that you were, are, and will always be the love of my life. No matter what happens, please don't ever doubt that. It is the truth, Porter. On this I swear.

You are no doubt confused and wondering why I created a will that you knew nothing about. On this, I can only ask you to trust me. All will be revealed in time. For now, please tell Mr. Walker that you are ready to proceed with the reading.

Forever yours,

Porter slowly laid the letter onto the desk, more confused than ever. What could happen to make him doubt Alice's love for him? It was unthinkable, yet this letter clearly... He looked up at Walker and nodded. "Go ahead."

"You sure? You look a little peaked." Peak-ed. Two syllables. Tennessee style.

Porter nodded, and Walker opened the file folder. Porter leaned forward for a better look, but Walker quickly closed the folder. “Sorry. Strict instructions that you can only see what’s...authorized."

Could this get any weirder? Porter raised his hands in a mini-shrug and leaned back into his chair. Walker reopened the folder, removed a single sheet of paper from a thin stack, and handed it across. Porter would later wish a thousand times that he had not taken it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Next Big Thing!


Many thanks to Patricia Zick ( for tagging me for this blog hop!

What is the working title of your next book?

SEVEN UNHOLY DAYS is the working and final title. Once I get a concept in my head, I find it impossible to really move forward until I've named it.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

After losing power for a couple of weeks in an ice storm, I became acutely aware of just how dependent we are on electric power and wanted to explore that issue in a story. From that seed the story grew into a techno-story peppered with deciphering ancient clues.

What genre does your book fall under?

Thriller, specifically a technothriller.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Matthew McConaughey would be a great Matt Decker (the main character). Jack Nicholson would be the ultimate actor for the villain.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Lunacy plus vast techno-resources make for a REALLY bad week for the world.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I'm going the independent route with this one for now. I've been agented a couple of times and am at a point in my writerly pursuits where I prefer a little more control over the process. I've gotten enough brutally candid feedback over the years to hone my craft to a commercial level, and I'm enjoying this newly viable process.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I worked on the first draft for about a year.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I think readers of Daniel Suarez's titles DAEMON and FREEDOM will find it particularly engaging, along with those who enjoy clue-driven tales like those by Dan Brown.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

There are a lot of authors whose work inspired and influenced but at the end of the day, I wanted to write a story I would love to read myself. I'm a big fan of Grisham's crisp narratives, the clue chases of James Rollins, and the overall power to craft a compelling story of Nelson DeMille.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Based on a lot of feedback from private readers, this is a story that grabs you early and never lets go. James Rollins did me the honor of reading it and told me it kept him up most of the night because he couldn't put it down. It's timely and very contemporary while also revolving around a hunt to find and decipher ancient clues. Give it a look!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Projectionist - Chapter 2

Here's the second installment of my potential serial novel, The Projectionist. The first chapter was posted about a week ago so if you haven't read it, it's probably best to do so now. Also remember that I'd really appreciate your casting a vote in the upper left sidebar as to whether or not you'd like this serial to continue. Thanks!

Chapter 2


The passage of time had done nothing to ease the pain. Porter got out of an empty bed each morning, went to an empty kitchen, made coffee that he drank alone. He worked both shifts at The Magic every day, one of them free of charge, to escape the house whose boards seemed to creak and moan in misery themselves. Other than Teddy, the visitors had stopped coming. They still gave the little consoling smiles when he met them on the street or at work, still administered the occasional squeeze of the shoulder. Worthless.

As bad as the days were, nights were worse. Exhausted, yet unable to sleep more than a few minutes at a time, he spent most of the time staring into the darkness, cursing the God who took his life and wrung the joy from it like water from a rag.

On this day, he decided to go through the stack of mail that had piled up on the old table beside the front door. Not that he cared what was in the stack, but because Alice was nagging him about letting it pile up. Porter was imagining the nagging--he was pretty sure of that--but he had discovered that what's said in the mind and soul often trumps brick-and-mortar reality by a long shot. And every time he had come in or gone out the front door for the past several days, passing the table in the process, he had heard Alice's voice: Porter Hamlin, might be something important in that mail! He ignored it the first few times, but recently he had taken to answering her. Briefly at first, then full-blown discussions on the pros and cons of mail examination. Alice's logic finally won out--nothing unusual there--and he took the stack to the dining room table.

*     *     *

Porter stared at the document in his hands, read it a third time, found it just as hard to believe. Your presence is hereby requested on September 12, at the law offices of H. Lawrence Walker, for the reading of the last will and testament of Alice Hamblin, of Diebold, Tennessee, said will having been executed on July 7. They had done their wills together. Updated them once a year. Together. And Larry Walker wasn't their lawyer.

He put the letter down and made his way to the bedroom closet, where he moved aside a stack of old clothes and pulled out the metal firebox that held a lifetime of important papers. Inside, their three wills--his, hers, joint--rode the top of the stack as they had for years. He opened Alice’s will, looked at the date: May 12. Then back to the letter from Walker: July 7. Two weeks before she died. Porter re-folded the will and put it back in the box. Three days to wait. Three long days to wonder why his dear bride would have kept something so important from him.

*     *     *

"Porter, Porter, do come in!" Larry Walker said, beaming a bleached smile that stretched across his tan, leathery face as he ushered Porter into his office. "So sorry for your loss, Porter. How're you holding up?"

Porter had been endlessly consoled for seven weeks. Every person he met was sorry. Every person he saw couldn't believe poor Alice was gone. Hell, they may as well believe it. He had the empty house, the lonely nights to prove it. He could show them the big, empty, sunken spot in the mattress where Alice had lain. She was gone, and Porter wasn't in the mood for Larry Walker's fake concern.

"Fine, Larry. Let's get to it."

"Of course, of course."

"Why do you say everything twice?" Porter felt like a jerk the moment the words rolled off his lips. It wasn't Larry Walker's fault that Alice was gone. Yeah, he was a pompous little small-town lawyer who loved to put on a big-city shine, but that was no excuse.

Walker's smile was gone, replaced by something Porter thought looked a lot like hurt. "I'm sorry, Larry, that was uncalled for."

"No problem, Porter. No...have a seat."

Porter eased into a tufted leather chair while Walker made his way around his desk and sat. A file labeled Alice Hamblin lay on the desk. A very thick file. Walker picked it up, removed a sealed envelope, and handed it across the desk to Porter.
"She wanted you to read this first."