I AM SOFIE

Published my latest novel this week. I AM SOFIE is my first historical novel, based on the diaries and letters of Hans and Sofie Scholl, two young people who stood against Hitler. These Munich University students along with their circle of friends and their professors formed the Weiss Rose — the White Rose — movement. Together they wrote six leaflets which they distributed across Germany and parts of Europe, calling upon ordinary Germans to rid themselves of their stupor and complacency and resist the Nazi Party and put an end to the atrocities.

I usually don’t publish on Kindle, but this volume is available as an e-Book as well as a trade paperback.

Additionally I am publishing a “special edition” which will contain color maps in an appendix.

Journey In the Mind of A Madman, a review of AS FROM A TALENTED ANIMAL

By J. Bickley on March 21, 2015

How does the mind of a serial killer work? Max Peterson gets a frightening glimpse of it as he interviews notorious killer, Richard Mock, who has renamed himself David Stone.

What I like about As From A Talented Animal is the ambiguity of the “killer.” The book is presented from the perspective of three different people, the journalist Max Peterson, the alleged killer Richard Mock/David Stone, and the prison guard Felix.

As Max interviews and learns more about Mock/Stone, the tale gets more chilling. For one thing, there is much question about whether Stone even committed the crimes. You see, he has confessed to 30 killings over a number of years. He has been convicted of eight of them, and is serving a sentence in a mental institution. The reason he was only convicted of eight of the murders is that his confession didn’t match up well enough with the other 22.

The problem is that he sporadically announces that he never killed anyone. But who is claiming that? Stone or Mock? He claims (along with the psychologist), that Stone is just a pseudonym, made up by Mock. But Max Person swears that he can tell which one he is talking to by “something in the eyes.” At one point, Max is pretty well convinced that Stone is telling the truth when he says that he never killed anyone. As the reader, I’m never quite sure.

The book is a gripping journey through the mind of a madman. Did he kill or not? You’ll have to decide for yourself.

Hard at fun work – the joys of writing

I keep waking in the middle of the night with a thought from my main character. He wakes me to nudge me into the living room where I open my MacBookPro to write whatever it is he wants to say or better yet do!

Another Re-Write of AFTER JEWEL

Just uploaded another re-write of AFTER JEWEL; awaiting proof. I’m excited this novel continues to grow — it appears to get better each time I tackle it. 

AFTER JEWEL is an important work for me in that it is based on my grandmother and on my family — loosely, to say the least. However, the emotion within the book is true.

I hope it will touch you as it touches me.

“Packs a terrific wallop” — A Mini-review of AFTER JEWEL and of the writer

From a fan via email:
 
“After a long hiatus I got back to After Jewel this evening.  I read Chapters 5, 6 and 7.  When I got to the end of 7 I was so deeply moved that I had to put your book aside.  I couldn’t see the pages anyway from the tears in my eyes.  Even now, writing this to you I have to blink them back.
 
All three of those chapters are deeply engaging… (Spoiler omitted)…
 
Your writing is, in many places, exceptional in its ability empathically to engage the reader.  Your dialogue–simple, descriptive, spare, honest–still packs a terrific wallop.”

Double Feedback

Today I received positive feedback on both GANI & SEAN and THE ONLY THING ( Book Two: Gani & Sean ) its sequel. The first reader — a true fan of my novels — wrote an email to me stating that GANI & SEAN is her second favorite of my books — THE EIGHT-FOOT BOY being her favorite. She’s ready to read THE ONLY THING which she will purchase from me tomorrow.

The second person to give feedback just finished THE ONLY THING and has read GANI & SEAN too.

“I think you’ve found your genre,” he said.

Crime.

A Little Story behind the story of THE ONLY THING

We are sitting in Waffle House, perusing an issue of THE ECONOMIST. I spot an article about drug gang violence and murder rates in Mexico and South America. The article mentions a 70 year old woman who hires a hit man to exact revenge on a group of thugs after the gang breaks her grandson’s arm because she refuses to pay protection money to the cartel.

I start a novel that evening, but it comes to nothing. I can’t wrap my mind around ‘the rest of the story.’

Until, that is, I write GANI & SEAN, my novel about assassins.

Once I have my assassin created, the story of the grandmother in Mexico becomes THE ONLY THING: BOOK TWO: GANI & SEAN.