Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the two hundred and sixty-first, is of mystery novelist and guest blogger Richard Brawer. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/author-spotlights.
After graduating the University of Florida and a six-month basic training tour in the National Guard, Richard started his working life as a salesman for a New York City textile printer catering to the linen and curtain trade. Becoming an author was something that never crossed his mind. However he liked to read. He commuted by train an hour and thirty minutes and read newspapers in the morning and books during the evening commute. His favorite genres were mysteries and historical fiction.
The company he worked for went out of business in 1973. Despite having two daughters aged three and six, he and his wife made a decision to take a gamble and opened a linen and curtain store. With reading ingrained in his daily life, Richard managed to find time to continue.
Always having a vivid imagination Richard would occasionally come across a newspaper article that would cause him to wonder, what would happen if―? Working 60 to 70 hours a week at his new business, he didn’t do anything with his inquisitiveness until he read a horrendous article about a child that was born with a brain impairment and the father refused to take him home from the hospital.
The father thought he could return the child like a “spoiled jar of mayonnaise” he bought in a store. The nurses were outraged and their disgust was quoted in the article. That’s when Richard’s imagination took over and he asked himself, “What if the child was misdiagnosed?”
He took that thought and began making notes. The notes turned into paragraphs and the paragraphs into chapters. Thus his first mystery, The Nurse Wore Black was born.
And now from the author himself…
So now I had a book, but what to do with it? Being a complete novice, I did the usual things most new authors do, I sent out query letters to agents and received a stack of rejection letters.
Lamenting my woes to a friend, I learned of a local micro publisher that specialized in publishing books about nurses. Excited, instead of writing a query letter I dropped into their office. They agreed to look at my manuscript. Two weeks later they said they would publish my book. Wow!
I went on to write two more books with the same detective, Diamonds are for Stealing and Murder on the Links. My first publisher was highly specialized and did not want those books, but I found another micro publisher that specialized in mysteries that did. Those three early books in my career ran their course and I reacquired the rights, put them together in one volume I titled, Murder at the Jersey Shore and posted the three book series on Amazon’s Kindle. (I re-titled The Nurse Wore Black to Secrets can be Deadly. The other two tiles in the three-book volume remain the same.)
As I said, I also liked to read historical fiction. My grandparents had immigrated to Paterson, New Jersey in the 1890s. I was born there, but my family moved to the Jersey Shore when I was twelve. I knew little about Paterson except it was America’s first industrial city and the home of the silk industry in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. When I read an article in the newspaper that The Passaic County Historical Society was giving a lecture on Paterson and tour of the historical district I decided to attend.
As I listened to the lectures I started thinking about a story line, but the lectures only gave me an overall picture of the era. Luckily I had a partner in my store, my understanding wife, and she didn’t mind my sneaking out a day here and there to go to the Paterson library to do research. In 2006 I finished Silk Legacy. Unfortunately I could not find a publisher but I was convinced I had written a great book so I published it myself. You may call it ego, but based on the hugely positive reviews and the continuing sales, I guess I was right to take the gamble and self publish.
In December 2012 L & L Dreamspell also published my latest novel, Keiretsu, another suspense novel.In 2010 I had written my first suspense novel, Beyond Guilty, and found a wonderful mid-sized publisher, L & L Dreamspell that agreed to publish it. The story is about a woman whom is falsely convicted of murder and sentenced to death. She escapes from death row and battles the forces chasing her to find the evidence to prove her innocence.
Toshio Nagoya, the ultra-nationalist CEO of Japan’s largest Keiretsu plots to build nuclear weapons to protect his country from a menacing China. Using his cousin, John Nagoya, a lawyer and second generation Japanese-American, they build a large political action committee to thwart the expected United Sates’ cease-and-desist demands.
That’s the catalyst that draws three families, Toshio’s, John’s and Senator Morrison’s, intertwined by blood and marriage into conflict with each other, and how conspiracy, lust, infidelity, revenge, betrayal and murder destroy those families.
I wasn’t planning to write a political dissertation, rather a conspiracy novel with dynamic characters, but as it turned out, Keiretsu is now not only a novel with great characters, but is, as the cliché says―ripped from the headlines.
A headline in May 2, 2013 “The Wall Street Journal” read
“Japan Nuclear Plan Draws U.S. Ire.”
Quoting from the article: “Japan is preparing to start up a massive nuclear-fuel reprocessing plant over the objections of the administration…The Rokkasho reprocessing facility is capable of producing nine tons of weapons-usable plutonium annually, enough to build 2000 bombs.”
The article goes on to say how the administration objects to this reprocessing. “Allowing Japan to acquire large amounts of plutonium without clear prospects for a plutonium-use plan is a bad example for the rest of the world.”
If you are thinking about becoming an author, I suggest that although books on writing and writing courses are helpful, the most important writing lessons come from reading. If you read books with the idea of becoming a writer, then you will consciously start analyzing why you like or dislike a book.
For me, the biggest reason I like a book is because it has characters in conflict. That is the one thread that runs through all my books. It is the suspense as to how conflicted characters will solve their problems that keeps me turning the pages.
You can find more about Richard and his writing at:
- Amazon link for Keiretsu http://www.amazon.com/Keiretsu-Richard-Brawer/dp/1603184805
If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/submission-information/opportunities-on-this-blog (the spotlights are option (a)) or email me for details.
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