Inspiration for Fly Away: The Metamorphosis of Dina Savage

  Back in 2001, I received a jury summons to appear at the Cobb County Superior Court. I ended up serving on a date rape case, a classic he said/she said scenario. Without going into the details, I’ll say that it was an eye-opening experience. Previously, I’d assumed that any prosecutor who brought a matter … Read more

Background for Unfinished Business

Growing up in Quincy, Florida, my earliest memories were of life on a tobacco farm. As a teenager, I decided that one day I would write a novel based on those memories and center it in a fictional North Florida town. Decades would pass before the publication of Unfinished Business, the origin story of Tom … Read more

New Publisher New Look

A few months ago, I signed with a new publisher, Speaking Volumes. They’ve released the first three installments of my Tom Williams saga, Unfinished Business, Fly Away and Pronounced Ponce: The Midtown Murders. They are now available on Amazon and in bookstores. To order, use the links to your left. The final episode, Last Gleaming: Love … Read more

Reimagining Fictional Characters as if You’re Just Meeting them

Of all the elements of good stories, I believe the most important, especially with novels, is character development. Through fiction we get to know people better than we’ll ever know anyone else… including ourselves. We get to peek inside their minds, to see past the deception and discover things they never admit. The greatest impact … Read more

“Picturing” a Novel

In my stories scene description is important, so I deliberately select settings I know (This also makes my research much simpler). In doing so, I recall them from memory when necessary, but when possible I refresh those memories with updated photographs. In doing so, I find that places and business names have changed and some … Read more

Jack Grossman’s “Child of the Forest”

In August 1942 twelve-year-old Shulamit (“Musia”) Perlmutter and her mother escape the ghetto of Horochow in Eastern Poland following the murders of Musia’s father, sister and neighbors by the Germans. Separated from her mother, turned away by the family that had promised to shelter her, hounded by Nazis, Musia manages to survive for two years … Read more

Bull Mountain

Bull Mountain Cover

McFalls County Sheriff Clayton Burroughs has a problem. He’s spent his entire adult life distancing himself from his violent and dysfunctional family on Bull Mountain. Into Clayton’s office walks Federal Agent Simon Holly with an interesting proposition. If Clayton can convince his older brother and last living family member, Halford, to shut down his meth … Read more

Will Ottinger’s “The Last van Gogh”

Chicago gallery owner Adam Barrow stages a gala event that he hopes will save his venture from financial ruin. He invites wealthy patrons from throughout the city. In stumbles an unwanted guest. Adam’s drunken brother, Wes, has found two letters, decades old, one from their now dead father and the other, dated November 1941 from … Read more

Daren Wang’s The Hidden Light of Northern Fires

Every now and then, an historical novel comes along that casts a harsh light into a dark and unfamiliar corner of our past. The Hidden Light of Northern Fires is just such a work. Daren Wang’s story opens in the winter of 1861. Like any compelling story, it introduces us to complicated characters striving against … Read more

Rod Picott’s Out Past the Wires

What makes a well-crafted short story is the writer’s ability to create an identifiable character, distill that character’s experience down to a couple thousand well selected words and convey an underlying theme that teaches us something about life. I met author and singer-songwriter Rod Picott at an independent bookstore a couple of years ago,. I … Read more