So you can read my books

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


As you went about your life, you may have heard it in the shadows. You heard it just at the edge of consciousness like a fear rising from the fog of a waking dream. It was loudest when you witnessed people caught in the crosshairs of life. Sometimes it was as soft as a child's whimper. Other times it was as loud as a gun fired in anger.

Mankind shares a soundtrack. It is the music of the collective unconscious. Anthropologists, evolutionary biologists, neurosurgeons, and psychologists attest to it. Music is the breath of humanity as a species.

In Sanskrit breath is called prana, the very breath of life. And that breath is filled with vibrations : the cry of a lost child, the wail of a bereaved mother, the shattering of a store window. So many sounds in a single night of terror, creating a haunting melody ... a French Quarter nocturne for a mortally wounded city. Its name?


I was one of its notes.

Though I have a Master's degree in Psychology and a Bachelor's degree in English education, I, like so many others, survived as best I could. And so I found myself working as a blood courier to New Orleans in order to support myself. I used that experience to aid me in writing the speculative Noir thriller, FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE.

Against the backdrop of Katrina's aftermath, an agnostic jazz club owner and his best friend, a haunted priest, engage enemies in the shadows that challenge both their belief systems. But there are two things not in doubt : their deep friendship for one another and the dark threat given license to kill by the absence of the police.

Samuel McCord is the owner of the jazz club Meilori's, a place in which almost anything is likely to happen and in which almost everything has. He tries to live with the loss of his beloved wife while struggling against political incompetence and intrusions by the Russian Mob, European revenants, and an old enemy seeking final revenge. Father Renfield tries to maintain his doubt-ridden faith under the twin barrage of his friend's questions and the overwhelming needs of Katrina's survivors.

McCord's world is internally consistent, his problems are diverse, and his obstacles offer opportunities not only to ride along on a great adventure but to watch from the inside as he confronts internal battles that resonate with real life. FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE offers a three-dimensional world, augmented as it is by various paranormal elements. Since the paranormal facets are subject to limits and rules, the existence of "revenants" and "linked dimensions" doesn't so much produce a deus ex machina as produce a new class of problems by which Sam can be outclassed -- and more rules against which poor Renfield can run afoul.

I believe that the audience base for such a series of adventures is large as attested to by the sales of the works of Jim Butcher, Neil Gaiman {American Gods}, Patricia Briggs, and Charlaine Harris. And like those authors, I toss jokes and inferences that resonate against what the readers know from the rest of their cultural lives.

Also on June 18, 2010, a supernatural western set in New Orleans is scheduled to be released. Jonah Hex stars Josh Brolin and Megan Fox. Its release will spark renewed interest in the legends surrounding New Orleans.

When my Noir thriller is published {I am the original little train that could,} you may find the glimpses of the architecture of New Orleans, along with the little-known facts of its archeological history, interesting. {There was an actual Baroness Pontalba, and the tragic story of her missing fingers is a true one.} The true glimpses of political incompetence and callousness are absorbing in a "train wreck" sort of way.

I have finished FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE as well as the first three chapters of its sequel, NEW ORLEANS ARABESQUE. All that is missing is the agent who loves a shivering supernatural tale of love, death, and what, if anything, lies beyond.

Wish me luck. I'd knock on wood, but my head is sore from me constantly doing it.

Currently, I'm listening to "Icarus Wind" by Thea Gilmore, a British singer/songwriter born to Irish parents in Oxford. Her duet with Joan Baez, "The Lower Road," is haunting. Her website is Check it out. You might like some of her music.

Here's a musical view of the heartbreak I saw with my own eyes and felt within my own soul :

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