Monday, February 24, 2014

Happy Anniversary, Baby...Got You On My Mind

Happy Anniversary To Me!

Five years ago, in 2009, I published my first novel.  The title was If You Could Read My Mind – A Nicholas Turner Novel.  It was the story of a young police detective that loses his wife and unborn child at almost the same time.  When he drifts down into a dark abyss, he loses his job and his feelings of personal worth.  His redemption comes to him ten years later, when he investigates the kidnapping of a widow’s young daughter…with a little supernatural help.  Nicholas realizes that what he thinks he lost all those years ago never really left him, and he has a second chance for happiness.

For years, I worked on and off as a radio announcer.  I prided myself in practicing different voices, and used them often in my radio programs and in recording commercials (I can do a really mean Daffy Duck…and Sylvester…and even Bugs Bunny).  For years, I thought that my personal destiny would utilize those vocal talents.

But, I always enjoyed writing.  I didn’t do much of it, because I just wrote silly little plays and essays over the years for various school grades, or to make friends smile ("I’ll get the funnel...").

In all the years of working in radio, I kept ideas in my mind that were suggested to me by various songs that I happened to play while doing a radio show.  I thought it would be cool to establish a series of books based on what ran through my mind as I heard these lyrics and titles.

Then, one day when I wasn’t working radio, I had taken a horrible job with a contractor for a major company.  This company’s focus wasn’t on doing a great job for the major company, but was on dodging responsibility for mistakes and quickly looking for scapegoats to blame for their own short-sightedness.  After my working there for almost four years, this contractor had a layoff in 2008.

One of many ideas had been running loose in my head for some time, and I had to get some of them down "on paper", or I was going to go insane!  I utilized this time off to write If You Could Read My Mind.  Well, I say I wrote it…but, the story actually wrote itself, and took off in directions that I had never expected.  I’ve said previously that the finished product bears very little resemblance to the story I set out to write.

I published that first book, intending to create a series featuring Nicholas Turner…and I still believe that the series exists within my mind.

But, I came up with a series about a not-quite-by-the-book security company named Justice Security…and it rapidly took off in my mind, quickly overshadowing Nicholas Turner’s debut novel, with three novels, four short stories, and one volume containing all three novels, The Best Of Justice Security Volume 1.  Madeline, one of the characters from If You Could Read My Mind, has made cameo appearances in two of the Justice Security stories, Jackie Blue and The Little Drummer Boy.

Was If You Read My Mind a masterpiece?  No.  But, it was a good story…with good characters.

A follow-up proved to be difficult, with my attentions on Justice Security, and now, Sardis County.  But, the first sequel to that premier novel starring Nicholas Turner is actually going to be a team-up between Nicholas and Justice Security.  The title is Hell’s Bells, and features a darkly intense turning point for the characters.  Some of the main characters from both series will not survive…but, the book will also offer a new direction for them.

Because of this, Hell’s Bells is taking some time to complete.  I hope that it’s well accepted by fans of both Nicholas and Justice Security, and will whet your appetites for what is to follow.

In the meantime, I’ve had fun with the new series that features a place – Sardis County.  The first story in the series is now available at in both Kindle and paperback editions.  The audiobook is under negotiation now…I should be able to tell you who will be narrating it later this week.  Coming soon is the second story in the Sardis County series – Junior’s Farm.  It will introduce you to a few more people that live in Sardis County, mainly Katie Montgomery and her daughter, Carol Grace.  Margo Sardis also makes a return appearance, with a huge surprise for Katie.  I hope you, as the reader, will enjoy it!

Oh, and just so you don’t think that I only played rock or Top 40 music in my announcer years, there is a smattering of country songs that have inspired stories in my mind:  (Ghost) Riders In The Sky, Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground, Boot Scootin’ Boogie, The Thunder Rolls, Ghost In This House, and Friends In Low Places are only a few, and will be coming eventually!

Thank you for five years of this roller-coaster ride…I’m having the time of my life!

Keep reading!

Michael  (T. M.)

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