Billy Ray Chitwood's Blog - Posts Tagged "john-dolan"

An Interview With John Dolan - Author of "Everyone Burns"

Posted on November 19, 2012 by billyraychitwood


This is a ‘Don’t Miss’ combo for you: an interview with a quality author and a partial review of his 5-Star book, “Everyone Burns.” If you have not had the pleasure of reading John Dolan you’ve missed a great experience from a writer extraordinaire. JD is truly a wordsmith for his times. He is also the man who introduced me and countless others to the word, ‘Galericulate’ — that’s the name of his website/blog. (See end of interview/review.) He’s the man hidden under the hat and he’s roaming around some continent or another. At last report, he was in Amsterdam. Meet John Dolan.

‘Burning’ John Dolan, writer extraordinaire – An Interview (Sort of!)


(Billy Ray Chitwood=BR) (John Dolan= JD)


BR: Okay, Filbert, take off the blindfold!

JD: Hey, not so rough! You just don’t take ‘no’ for an answer, do you?

BR: Why should I? You can leave us now, Filbert, and take Salome with you.

JD: You kidding me? ‘Salome!’ ‘Filbert!’ They’re ‘junkies…’

BR: Had no money…they grabbed you for the ‘grass.’

JD: Are you mocking me? Are you stealing my interview ideas?

BR: Show me a legal document!


JD: At least my chair is comfortable, and my straps are pure leather, not this cord crap!

BR: You left me no choice, JD, you broke your promise to take my books viral and…

JD: Correction! I said your books were vile and pretentious…

BR: Okay, okay, I understand you’re a bit angry…just some tit for tat, that’s all. I really like your book, “Everyone Burns,” and I’m thinking ‘movie,’ ‘TV series,’ something really big. Can we just relax and talk about the book?

JD: Can you at least put a cushion on this orange crate? You’re not helping my hemmies.

BR: How’s that? Better? Good…Now tell me about “Everyone Burns” and how you came to write it.

JD: Guess I got no choice, but you gotta promise me you’re not going to make a habit of this kind of interview. This is my idea, not yours. Do we have a deal?

BR: Yes, we have a deal…Hell, I thought you would be pleased!

JD: Well, I am, sort of, but this is intellectual property, not something you mess with, BR. Plus I only get one original idea per decade.


BR: Okay, no more kidnaps for interviews! Got it! Can we proceed?

JD: The events in “Everyone Burns” take place over seventeen days while Thailand is still numb from the giant tsunami of December, 2004. Like everyone of sane mind this great catastrophe made my emotions run wild, made me think of life like I had never really thought about it. “Everyone Burns” gave me some escape from the reality all around me.

BR: Really?

JD: No, not really. I wrote it for the money and the groupies.

BR: And how’s that working out?

JD: Probably about as well as it’s working out for you, I’d guess. Well … looking at you, probably slightly better with the groupies.


BR: Here’s a quote from ‘Everyone Burns, just after a bar fracas:

“To summarise, my life is one of split personality. I am in two minds about it myself. Nevertheless, down these narrow streets a man must walk, even if it is in flip-flops. But I am no Philip Marlowe, and Koh Samui is not film-noir USA. There is nothing of Hollywood’s black and white morality on this most colourful of Thailand’s Islands. And long overcoats just make you sweat in the sun. Here The Postman Never Rings Twice, simply because he never rings at all. He has better things to do. Lamai’s and Chaweng’s adventurers generally pack a condom, not a gun.”

You open the book with a broken cue stick inflicting injury to your protagonist and it’s like the excitement and action just never stops after that. I picked this quote because it’s one of my favorites but also because it gives the reader a sample of your splendid writing…Do you have any disagreement with my assessment here, JD?

JD: Take these cords off and I’ll kiss you. The passage is also a favorite of mine. Aside from the style thing in my writing, it is just basically who I am. But I’m NOT David Braddock, by the way. I want to make that clear in case my wife Fiona is reading this! A book of this genre for me has to move at a rapid pace, the action mostly non-stop. A lot of what I write about in “Everyone Burns” has some factual similarities, the people, the places, the time certainly. And, of course, you know my English is rather precise, proper, as it was intended to be! WHY are you smiling and shaking your head?


BR: Never mind, just me being me! It’s a great book, JD. Wish we had more time because I’d like to mention “People With Real Lives Don’t Need Landscapes,” a book of poetry you wrote in 2003. You certainly have a way with words, JD, and I happen to love poetry. As Amazon puts it, “This big bouncy collection of contemporary poetry draws on both popular and high culture. The poems have energy, imagination, humor, and lively speech rhythms. They are light, weighty, topical, intellectual, gory, sad, wild, and tender all at once.”

JD: I didn’t write that.

BR: What?

JD: I didn’t write that collection of poetry. That was a different John Dolan.

BR: Are you sure?

JD: What do you mean, “Am I sure”? I’m not likely to forget a thing like that, am I? Sheesh! It’s scary how your brain can live in such a small space.


BR: That hurts, JD. Well,regardless, I loved your book “Everyone Burns” and can’t wait for the sequel. People should really take a long look at you, my friend…


JD: ‘My friend!’ My butt is sore here, BR!

BR: Filbert and Salome are napping right now. I’ll untie you, but, please, no fracas here. Tit for tat, remember? Be gentle.



Please follow John Dolan on twitter – @JohnDolanAuthor


Visit his website/blog (‘Galericulate’): http://johndolanwriter.blogspot.com/s... (You do not want to miss his posts!)


Also visit JD’s amazon site: http://goo.gl/nElP1 (amazon)


(Really, follow him and read him. He’s ugly mean: it took two junkies and me to get him here for this interview/review!)
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Review of "Everyone Burns" a novel by John Dolan

5.0 out of 5 stars "Everyone Burns" is sublime chaos! The best kind!, November 9, 2012
By Billy Ray Chitwood

This review is from: "Everyone Burns" (Kindle Edition)

Sublime chaos! Action scenes and dialogues are deftly metered by a mind that seems ever reaching for outer limits. It's easy to be absorbed in the mad Thai business at hand, the off-beat protagonist, but it is the exquisitely witty patter and the author's unique penchant for challenging the reader's mind that moves one hungrily through the pages of "Everyone Burns." If you haven't read this 'wild and wonderful' guy, you've got to take the time... You will be glad you did - guaranteed!

Guess I'm biased because I love John Dolan's author interviews --- they are truly addictive, innovative, and must reads! (Just stay away from 'Digby!') I'm also a faithful follower on twitter. You, too, will be when you catch a glimpse of his talent...

Follow John Dolan on Twitter: @JohnDolanAuthor

Go to John Dolan's blogsite; http://goo.gl/wYWnn
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Published on November 22, 2012 12:07 Tags: action, anti-hero, bar-fights, crime, detective, everyone-burns, john-dolan, murder, thailand, thriller, tsunami

"The Candlestick Killer" - A short story by 4 Authors in 4 Parts

As promised last week, here in its entirety are Parts 1-4 of “The Candlestick Killer” by Eden Baylee (@edenbaylee on twitter), John Dolan (@JohnDolanAuthor), Billy Ray Chitwood (@brchitwood on twitter), and Diane Strong (@DianeIStrong on twitter), a short story which is a regular part of Cameron Gaggiepy’s ‘The Story Circle’ blog (@camerongarriepy on twitter). Again, it has been a great pleasure for me to participate in this project and my sincere thanks and good wishes go to my author buddies here. Eden started us off in the story, gave us our title, “The Candlestick Killer,” and passed Part 2 on to John Dolan. John passed Part 3 on to me. I passed the Part 4 finale on to Diane. It is our hope that you will enjoy our little story and perhaps visit us at twitter and our blogs. Those blog sites and amazon sites are listed at the end of the story.

“The Candlestick Killer”

PART ONE (by Eden Baylee)

I gazed into pale blue eyes framed by ruddy, pockmarked skin. His smile revealed a missing front tooth. I wrinkled my nose as an acrid smell drifted toward me. Alcohol mixed with rotting teeth. Wonderful.

“Howdy, Missy. You’re a sight for sore eyes.”

I inhaled through my mouth and sucked in my stomach, afraid bile might force itself up my throat. How many times had he used that line before? “I’m sorry,” I said, “but I can’t say the same for you.” A steely calm draped itself over me, but inside, I was shaking. I pressed my hands against my thighs to steady myself.

His look of shock seemed genuine. For a moment, I thought I had blown it, but then I saw the corners of his eyes wrinkle as he burst into raucous laughter.

“Ooh, you’re a feisty one. I like that!” He snatched a chair from an adjacent table. Twirling it around as if he were a matador fending off a bull, he dropped the chair in front me and sat down with a heavy thud.

I pretended to stave off disdain, but it was actually relief I felt. The plan was working; the next steps would be crucial. He liked women who were hard to get, that much I knew, but it was a fine line between keeping him interested and turning him off. “He’s a charmer,” my boss had said. “We need to figure out what he’s telling these women, how he persuades them to bring him home. We know it’s not his looks.”

No question about that. In person, the bastard looked more disgusting than the few out-of-focus pictures I’d seen of him. The lead we had been waiting for came after his last victim called 9-1-1 just before she died. She only managed to utter two words —“Ugly Motherfucker.” He’d left her in a pool of blood after cracking her skull with a brass candlestick. It took a week to retrace her every step, where she’d been, who she’d come in contact with.
A spree of killings over the past three months had left the women of New York City in a state of panic. Aside from living alone, the victims had little in common with one another. They came from varied economic backgrounds, worked different jobs, and shared no social connections. I received the case after the mayor demanded an arrest be made to allay the growing hysteria. Crimes against women were my specialty, but this reeked of a serial killing—not my specialty. I had little choice in the matter though. We’d caught a break. I sat face to face with the first suspect of the case the press now called “The Candlestick Killer.”

He was an ugly motherfucker, all right. I braced myself to walk the flirtation tightrope with him, wondering how the hell he had convinced eight women to invite him into their homes and ultimately to their deaths.

PART TWO (by John Dolan)



Manfred Bauer took a sip of beer and leaned forward slightly towards the woman sitting opposite him in the bar.He
continued to mouth platitudes while his real attention focused on the emotions she was concealing behind her confident exterior. The tendrils of his consciousness rippled out across the table which divided them and began slowly to insinuate themselves into her mind.



“I haven’t seen you in here before,” he said. “I’m sure I would have remembered. My name is Manfred, by the way.” His extended awareness probed into her raw subconscious, gently caressing the texture of her feelings. Ah! There it was … revulsion. The expected revulsion. But there was something else. Something with an edge to it. It felt like … fear.



“I’m Joy.”



“You certainly are,” he smiled and ordered drinks for them both from a harassed waitress.



Manfred Bauer had a gift. It was a talent which in the hands of a good man could have been turned into something useful. But he was not a good man.



Bauer had been born into a family of poor German immigrants in one of the poorer suburbs of Detroit. He was unplanned and unwanted. Moreover he was ugly, and he was made to feel his ugliness.



At school he was tormented by the other children and became a loner, an outcast. He was not particularly bright and incurred both the indifference of his teachers and the contempt of his peers. Even at the local Catholic Church his family attended he felt unwelcome: the consolations of religion were withheld from him.



Later he drifted in and out of menial jobs; security guard, warehouseman, hotel cleaner. Wherever he went, he never stayed long. People were uncomfortable with him, and supervisors rapidly found excuses to let him go. When he heard the regretful platitudes, he looked into the eyes and he saw the truth: he was hated.



His family had heaved a sigh of relief some years back when he moved from Detroit to New York City.



But it was in that metropolis of isolated souls that he had discovered his gift.



Bauer’s only contact with women was through prostitutes. He felt even their contempt, but gradually he began to
realise – social misfit that he was – that he had an ability that others did not have. Perhaps his upbringing and isolation had honed his senses; perhaps he was just a biological freak. But whatever the explanation, he discovered that he could know what others were feeling.



Their actual thoughts remained hidden to him, but he could delineate the shapes of their emotions, he could mark out the maps of their current motivations.

With practice he became a cartographer of others’ desires. If he concentrated he found he could lay bare the restless emotions that lurked behind the quotidian mask. He could do this with only one person at a time, but it was a singular discovery.



However, the skill did not bring him joy. It brought him an even deeper sense of loneliness. Denied to him were the white lies and petty hypocrisies that make daily life bearable.



When he lay down with a whore, he could no longer even pretend the experience was pleasurable. It was fake, it was simulated. For both of them.



Bauer’s bitterness and sense of injustice intensified, until one day he discovered his talent had reached a new level. He could not only detect the emotions of others: he could influence them.



The ability was fragmentary and only worked for a short time, but it was powerful. Exactly how it worked he had no idea, but he began to use it in small ways for sexual conquest. At first, it gave him pleasure, but later it merely deepened his contempt for women. His deep-seated misogyny for the sex that had most tormented him in his youth burst forth into full bloom.



And a new thought formed: Why fuck them when I can kill them?



Bauer sat back in his chair and studied Joy’s face. The usual signs of puzzlement were present in her eyes as her feelings were silently manipulated. Her body language was beginning to soften towards him. She started playing with her hair, and her lips parted in a smile as the mental metamorphosis continued.



“Another drink, Joy?”



“I’d love one, Manfred.”



Bauer looked at the hint of cleavage showing through her blouse and imagined the incipient wetness between her thighs. He wondered how long ago it was since he’d last had sex.



Perhaps for old times’ sake he’d have this one before he killed her. He deserved a little treat.

PART THREE (by Billy Ray Chitwood)

None were visibly present in this lower Manhattan bar of zombie-like misbegottens but a swarm of flies or cockroaches would have been right at home. The scarred table in the corner of the large square room had a wall light that flickered and gave an eerie cast to the already dimly-lit room. The sordid place reminded me of dark and shadowy scenes from a Robert Rodriguez film. At this late hour there were still a few resident zombies on bar stools and at other worn tables. At the bar Manfred waited, smiling, watching me, while the bald slob of a bartender mixed my vodka tonic and poured a generous serving of well Scotch into a highball glass for my newly acquired boyfriend… The harassed waitress who had taken our drink order was no where in sight. These few moments gave me time to consider a new line of work and a long soap-sudsy bath.


When Manfred Bauer (God! this genteel name, this man!) placed the drinks on the table and sat, his eye and confident smile never left me. “I’m sorry, Joy, to make you wait. It appears our waitress has suddenly left the premises. Baldy the bar man says it happens frequently.” His smile still in place, he paused, drank, gave me a curious look with those blue eyes that were somehow conflicting pools, an odd magnetic mix of charm, evil, and sadness. “Tell me, Joy, you dress like a girl of the streets, sexy and slut-like, but I have the distinct feeling you don’t belong here… where do you belong?”

“Stop undressing me with your eyes, Manfred. Everyone has to be somewhere. Tonight, I’m here, and I belong wherever the hell I wish to present myself.” I took a sip of my vodka tonic, measured its taste, decided there was no alien blend, and took a larger swig. He couldn’t possible read my inside trembling, but his eyes touched a nerve within me and made my focus more difficult.

“Aah, a lady confident within herself! I’m not easily fooled, Joy. Why, indeed, are you sitting here with me at this hour in time?”

“There’s something about your brutish style and ugly looks that intrigue me, Manfred. What is it that you do for a living here in the lower east side?” I tried to hold it but involuntarily did a dry swallow before the drink glass reached my lips. I hoped my inceptive fear was not showing. Those eyes! Those damned eyes!

What a snake-charming creep, this perp! His orbs took me to an unwholesome place that frightened me more than I thought it possible. There was something else in those remarkably pale blue eyes that I could not define, an aura of malevolence that sought to bring me to it. My mind was being tested big time. Could I handle this? Could all my
training get me through these last moments? I could only hope that the ‘wire button’ was doing its job, that my comrades at NYPD were ready to join the party when the time came, when we were sure this person was the
candlestick killer. In my mind there was no doubt. In some exclusive way, as I sat across from this obnoxious and odorous man, there came a certainty that he was the killer. Further, another certainty came loud and clear: he
wanted not only to have me sexually in the most awful ways but he wanted to kill me. All this I felt in those light-flickering moments.

“I do whatever I want, pure Joy! There is enough money, enough sex, and enough activity within the underbelly of the lower east side that keeps me active and alive … for a while longer.” His last three words fell softly like an afterthought not to be clearly heard. As he spoke he arranged his chair and guided his left hand under the table to gently rest upon my thigh. His devilish eyes betrayed him for a moment, and, without my protest, he removed his hand. I caught something in his pitted face, just not sure what the hell it was.

“‘For a while longer,’ you said? Is there a special meaning to that statement, Manfred?”

“Why not? Why not tell you? It doesn’t matter to me and it won’t matter to you. I’m to die shortly, pure Joy. A rare and fatal disease, I’m told. What you need to know is that I accept and embrace that knowledge. It is not knowledge that will upset our little world and I’m simply living out some final dreams and illusions. What say we get out of here, my lovely and sexy pure Joy.”

“Stop calling me, ‘pure Joy,’ and leave off with the ‘my,’ Manfred. You’re dying?” His smile was locked into place and his eyes were doing a Hallmark number on me.

“Everyone dies at some point, Joy… You notice I’ve honored your request. Now, can we get out of here? Where do you live?” He pushed back his chair, stood, and put on his bulky winter coat.

“Whoa, el tigre, not so fast! Let me finish my vodka tonic.” I gulped down my drink. “What? We’ve known each other, twenty-thirty minutes?”

“Time is a relative thing, Joy. For me, it’s now or never.” His eyes did their last combo of devilry and wistfulness. “Where do you live?”

“Uptown!” I said.

I rose. I knew what it was that had brought me to this bar and part one of the mission was successful. There were the final dreaded and hoped-for moments ahead, but I had gotten the first part of the job done. Now, there was within me an odd deja vu feeling, a medley of sensations that played to my cop-side and to my woman-side. Not only was some of that mix beguiling, it was also a betrayal of self.

As he awaited my coat donning, he said: “So, you were just slumming, pure Joy?”

“Yes, occasionally I get the hankering to see multiple sides of the Big Apple. We’re all animals, you know?” I walked alongside Manfred out the bar door.

“Oh, indeed, I do. Are you driving or cabbing?”

“I’m parked a few cars up the curb.”

He was quiet as I started the car’s engine and pulled away from the curb.

He played ‘rub the thigh’ during the ride and kept his smile esoterically baffling. I tried slapping his paw away, but he kept up his game. Actually, the gentleness of his touch and the sensate stir it caused surprised, titillated, and annoyed me. I managed to check the rear view mirror occasionally but could not be sure that the few trailing cars far behind me included my unmarked back-up. There was not a lot of traffic, and we chatted, strangely like a romantic couple on their way for a sexual encounter. What bothered me was that I could feel the anticipatory urges. What the hell was up with that?

“What motivates you, Joy?” he asked, feigning perhaps an honest and sincere question. Damn, the question had a mysterious sadness to it. He removed his hand from my thigh and stroked my black smooth tresses.

“I motivate me, Manfred. I participate in life, in living, and, for the most part, I enjoy people and sharing…”

He abruptly removed his hand from my hair as though surprised by his own fondling action.

“Is this all just an animal instinct for you, Joy?” He asked in a surprisingly weak voice.

He caught me off guard with this near normal conversation. I needed to keep it real! I had to keep my focus. “What the hell else could it be, Manfred? You have your moments but you’re not the most appealing of the ape class! You do have an odd animal attraction. That, I can’t deny… What? You for sure can’t be expecting more than that after this rapid romance? I mean, hey, I’m sad, sorry you’re dying, and I feel like helping you realize some of those sexual illusions, but that’s it, pal.”

I glanced over at him. His face still held that unnerving smile on the lips. The lights of neon night produced a shiny side-view watery glaze to his eyes. For brief seconds, I damned near felt sorry for Manfred Bauer. He didn’t drug me, but what the hell was this wacko using on me? Was he using some weird mojo, voodoo black magic stuff on me? There was a lot going on in this new tech savvy world of ours, and I was not privy to all of it. Damn, maybe he did put some tasteless something in my vodka tonic…

“It was just a trick question, pure Joy. That’s ‘for sure’ all that it was.” His voice had regained its edge of hardness. He stared straight ahead with the pasted smile. It was as though he had reached a final determination on the outcome of this night. There was a sense that he knew all the steps that were to follow our drive to uptown Manhattan.

Despite all my investigative training, all the years of experience and heightened awareness in tough undercover situations, there was something palpable and very scary happening inside of me. A degree of fear always
accompanied these operations, but the frenzied feeling that came to me now was beyond any I had ever known. Manfred Bauer had done a job on my emotional wiring, and I felt myself losing control.

We arrived at the recently rented NYPD apartment twenty minutes later.

Part 4 – Finale by Diane Strong

Manfred Bauer leaned his tanned body back in the reclining chair with a sigh and pushed his manicured feet deep into the warm sand. It felt comforting. The sun sat just above the horizon casting an orange light over the vast beach and colorful bungalows. He breathed in the warm salty air, basking in the solitude. His thoughts drifted back to nine months ago, to memories he tried to keep out of his head but usually failed.

It had been so close.

Had he not changed his mind at the last minute and forced Joy to drive away from her apartment his pathetic but rhythmic life would have been doomed. The investigators would have captured him in her apartment, guilty. Evidence of his plans to kill her would have been obvious, had they reached him before the act which they most likely would have since he planned to have his way with her first…stretching out the night.

He would be on death row right now.

They wouldn’t have needed to drag a confession out of him, it would have spilled out. But then he wouldn’t have cared if they’d sentenced him to death. He had prepared for death anyway, and he certainly wouldn’t have made a difference if it come at the hands of the state or his own hands. He had wanted to die either way. He’d had no desire to remain in a world so appalled, so disgusted by him.

His gift hadn’t been enough. Sure he could influence the feelings of women, make them think they wanted him briefly, just long enough for him to have his way with them. But the manipulation always proved temporary and counterfeit. It had been like stretching a rubber band, you could pull it taut but as soon as you let go, it snapped back to its original shape, unchanged.

The sudden change of plans had saved him. There hadn’t been a chase, Joy’s back-up investigators weren’t close enough to understand what had happened until it was too late. He had ripped the wires from her body and tossed her cell phone into the back of a truck heading in the opposite direction. By the time the investigators realized they were following the wrong vehicle and got an APB out on the car, he had ditched it over an embankment.

Before making good his escape in his own car, Manfred had made a quick stop at his home which fortunately for him was not yet under surveillance.

As he scooped out the contents of his safe, he had recalled the phone call a year ago notifying him of his mother’s death. In spite the coldness between them his heart had sunk. His father’s death the year prior had hardly phased him, only creating a glimmer of sympathy toward his mother, now alone in his childhood home. His spirits had lifted, however, when in the same conversation he was informed that his mother, in good Catholic form, had left the entire estate to her one and only child, despite her never wanting him. Or perhaps because of it.

He wasn’t rich by American standards, but as he emptied the safe knew he could live quite comfortably in Mexico for the rest of his life. Moreover, he was struck by the realization that for the first time in his life, he actually wanted to live.

Manfred reached for his frosty pina colada and took a long pull from the large glass. He ran his tongue slowly over his upper lip collecting the salt from the exfoliated skin. His pale blue eyes stared into his drink, an unfamiliar image reflected back at him. The person staring back still felt so foreign with his clean shaven chin, plucked and trimmed eyebrows. Who could have known that a fresh hair style, a little dental work, daily hygiene and clean fashionable clothes could make a semi-handsome man out of him?

Of course, his new found love of running on the beach had helped tremendously. For the first time ever he had abdominal muscles and a tight ass that even he wanted to grab. The endurance he had acquired had worked for him two fold, he could run farther than most but even more importantly, he had become something of an athlete in the bedroom too.

This new life… how different it was from the one he had left behind. That creature he had been back in New York wouldn’t recognize the confident, loved man relaxing on this beach as the sun set across the ocean horizon. The Chinos, the Birkenstock’s and the soft organic cotton shirt draped over his muscular chest would all have been alien to him. Only maybe one thing would not…

“Joy, dear?” Manfred twisted his body and called out to the small bungalow behind him. A slender woman appeared carrying a tray of fresh fruit in her long tanned arms. A candle stick poked from the pocket of her long white cotton smock. Sleek, black tendrils of hair cascaded down her back, swaying as she walked carefully over the warm beach sand.

“Manfred, oh what an evening. It’s just to die for…”

“Yes, Joy. Pure Joy.”

EDEN BAYLEE: http://edenbaylee.com - http://about.me/eden.baylee - http://bit.ly/ebAmazon

JOHN DOLAN: http://johndolanwriter.blogspot.com - http://on.fb.me/TEKHds - #ASMSG (twitter)

BILLY RAY CHITWOOD: http://goo.gl/TeQpP - http://about.me/brchitwood - http://goo.gl/KtPJy (amazon) goo.gl/klczd (UK)

DIANE STRONG: http://dianestrong.wordpress.com - http://facebook.com/RunningAuthor - http://amzn.to/Ouedkh
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"The Candlestick Killer" - A short story by 4 Authors in 4 Parts

As promised last week, here in its entirety are Parts 1-4 of “The Candlestick Killer” by Eden Baylee (@edenbaylee on twitter), John Dolan (@JohnDolanAuthor), Billy Ray Chitwood (@brchitwood on twitter), and Diane Strong (@DianeIStrong on twitter), a short story which is a regular part of Cameron Gaggiepy’s ‘The Story Circle’ blog (@camerongarriepy on twitter). Again, it has been a great pleasure for me to participate in this project and my sincere thanks and good wishes go to my author buddies here. Eden started us off in the story, gave us our title, “The Candlestick Killer,” and passed Part 2 on to John Dolan. John passed Part 3 on to me. I passed the Part 4 finale on to Diane. It is our hope that you will enjoy our little story and perhaps visit us at twitter and our blogs. Those blog sites and amazon sites are listed at the end of the story.

“The Candlestick Killer”

PART ONE (by Eden Baylee)

I gazed into pale blue eyes framed by ruddy, pockmarked skin. His smile revealed a missing front tooth. I wrinkled my nose as an acrid smell drifted toward me. Alcohol mixed with rotting teeth. Wonderful.

“Howdy, Missy. You’re a sight for sore eyes.”

I inhaled through my mouth and sucked in my stomach, afraid bile might force itself up my throat. How many times had he used that line before? “I’m sorry,” I said, “but I can’t say the same for you.” A steely calm draped itself over me, but inside, I was shaking. I pressed my hands against my thighs to steady myself.

His look of shock seemed genuine. For a moment, I thought I had blown it, but then I saw the corners of his eyes wrinkle as he burst into raucous laughter.

“Ooh, you’re a feisty one. I like that!” He snatched a chair from an adjacent table. Twirling it around as if he were a matador fending off a bull, he dropped the chair in front me and sat down with a heavy thud.

I pretended to stave off disdain, but it was actually relief I felt. The plan was working; the next steps would be crucial. He liked women who were hard to get, that much I knew, but it was a fine line between keeping him interested and turning him off. “He’s a charmer,” my boss had said. “We need to figure out what he’s telling these women, how he persuades them to bring him home. We know it’s not his looks.”

No question about that. In person, the bastard looked more disgusting than the few out-of-focus pictures I’d seen of him. The lead we had been waiting for came after his last victim called 9-1-1 just before she died. She only managed to utter two words —“Ugly Motherfucker.” He’d left her in a pool of blood after cracking her skull with a brass candlestick. It took a week to retrace her every step, where she’d been, who she’d come in contact with.
A spree of killings over the past three months had left the women of New York City in a state of panic. Aside from living alone, the victims had little in common with one another. They came from varied economic backgrounds, worked different jobs, and shared no social connections. I received the case after the mayor demanded an arrest be made to allay the growing hysteria. Crimes against women were my specialty, but this reeked of a serial killing—not my specialty. I had little choice in the matter though. We’d caught a break. I sat face to face with the first suspect of the case the press now called “The Candlestick Killer.”

He was an ugly motherfucker, all right. I braced myself to walk the flirtation tightrope with him, wondering how the hell he had convinced eight women to invite him into their homes and ultimately to their deaths.

PART TWO (by John Dolan)



Manfred Bauer took a sip of beer and leaned forward slightly towards the woman sitting opposite him in the bar.He
continued to mouth platitudes while his real attention focused on the emotions she was concealing behind her confident exterior. The tendrils of his consciousness rippled out across the table which divided them and began slowly to insinuate themselves into her mind.



“I haven’t seen you in here before,” he said. “I’m sure I would have remembered. My name is Manfred, by the way.” His extended awareness probed into her raw subconscious, gently caressing the texture of her feelings. Ah! There it was … revulsion. The expected revulsion. But there was something else. Something with an edge to it. It felt like … fear.



“I’m Joy.”



“You certainly are,” he smiled and ordered drinks for them both from a harassed waitress.



Manfred Bauer had a gift. It was a talent which in the hands of a good man could have been turned into something useful. But he was not a good man.



Bauer had been born into a family of poor German immigrants in one of the poorer suburbs of Detroit. He was unplanned and unwanted. Moreover he was ugly, and he was made to feel his ugliness.



At school he was tormented by the other children and became a loner, an outcast. He was not particularly bright and incurred both the indifference of his teachers and the contempt of his peers. Even at the local Catholic Church his family attended he felt unwelcome: the consolations of religion were withheld from him.



Later he drifted in and out of menial jobs; security guard, warehouseman, hotel cleaner. Wherever he went, he never stayed long. People were uncomfortable with him, and supervisors rapidly found excuses to let him go. When he heard the regretful platitudes, he looked into the eyes and he saw the truth: he was hated.



His family had heaved a sigh of relief some years back when he moved from Detroit to New York City.



But it was in that metropolis of isolated souls that he had discovered his gift.



Bauer’s only contact with women was through prostitutes. He felt even their contempt, but gradually he began to
realise – social misfit that he was – that he had an ability that others did not have. Perhaps his upbringing and isolation had honed his senses; perhaps he was just a biological freak. But whatever the explanation, he discovered that he could know what others were feeling.



Their actual thoughts remained hidden to him, but he could delineate the shapes of their emotions, he could mark out the maps of their current motivations.

With practice he became a cartographer of others’ desires. If he concentrated he found he could lay bare the restless emotions that lurked behind the quotidian mask. He could do this with only one person at a time, but it was a singular discovery.



However, the skill did not bring him joy. It brought him an even deeper sense of loneliness. Denied to him were the white lies and petty hypocrisies that make daily life bearable.



When he lay down with a whore, he could no longer even pretend the experience was pleasurable. It was fake, it was simulated. For both of them.



Bauer’s bitterness and sense of injustice intensified, until one day he discovered his talent had reached a new level. He could not only detect the emotions of others: he could influence them.



The ability was fragmentary and only worked for a short time, but it was powerful. Exactly how it worked he had no idea, but he began to use it in small ways for sexual conquest. At first, it gave him pleasure, but later it merely deepened his contempt for women. His deep-seated misogyny for the sex that had most tormented him in his youth burst forth into full bloom.



And a new thought formed: Why fuck them when I can kill them?



Bauer sat back in his chair and studied Joy’s face. The usual signs of puzzlement were present in her eyes as her feelings were silently manipulated. Her body language was beginning to soften towards him. She started playing with her hair, and her lips parted in a smile as the mental metamorphosis continued.



“Another drink, Joy?”



“I’d love one, Manfred.”



Bauer looked at the hint of cleavage showing through her blouse and imagined the incipient wetness between her thighs. He wondered how long ago it was since he’d last had sex.



Perhaps for old times’ sake he’d have this one before he killed her. He deserved a little treat.

PART THREE (by Billy Ray Chitwood)

None were visibly present in this lower Manhattan bar of zombie-like misbegottens but a swarm of flies or cockroaches would have been right at home. The scarred table in the corner of the large square room had a wall light that flickered and gave an eerie cast to the already dimly-lit room. The sordid place reminded me of dark and shadowy scenes from a Robert Rodriguez film. At this late hour there were still a few resident zombies on bar stools and at other worn tables. At the bar Manfred waited, smiling, watching me, while the bald slob of a bartender mixed my vodka tonic and poured a generous serving of well Scotch into a highball glass for my newly acquired boyfriend… The harassed waitress who had taken our drink order was no where in sight. These few moments gave me time to consider a new line of work and a long soap-sudsy bath.


When Manfred Bauer (God! this genteel name, this man!) placed the drinks on the table and sat, his eye and confident smile never left me. “I’m sorry, Joy, to make you wait. It appears our waitress has suddenly left the premises. Baldy the bar man says it happens frequently.” His smile still in place, he paused, drank, gave me a curious look with those blue eyes that were somehow conflicting pools, an odd magnetic mix of charm, evil, and sadness. “Tell me, Joy, you dress like a girl of the streets, sexy and slut-like, but I have the distinct feeling you don’t belong here… where do you belong?”

“Stop undressing me with your eyes, Manfred. Everyone has to be somewhere. Tonight, I’m here, and I belong wherever the hell I wish to present myself.” I took a sip of my vodka tonic, measured its taste, decided there was no alien blend, and took a larger swig. He couldn’t possible read my inside trembling, but his eyes touched a nerve within me and made my focus more difficult.

“Aah, a lady confident within herself! I’m not easily fooled, Joy. Why, indeed, are you sitting here with me at this hour in time?”

“There’s something about your brutish style and ugly looks that intrigue me, Manfred. What is it that you do for a living here in the lower east side?” I tried to hold it but involuntarily did a dry swallow before the drink glass reached my lips. I hoped my inceptive fear was not showing. Those eyes! Those damned eyes!

What a snake-charming creep, this perp! His orbs took me to an unwholesome place that frightened me more than I thought it possible. There was something else in those remarkably pale blue eyes that I could not define, an aura of malevolence that sought to bring me to it. My mind was being tested big time. Could I handle this? Could all my
training get me through these last moments? I could only hope that the ‘wire button’ was doing its job, that my comrades at NYPD were ready to join the party when the time came, when we were sure this person was the
candlestick killer. In my mind there was no doubt. In some exclusive way, as I sat across from this obnoxious and odorous man, there came a certainty that he was the killer. Further, another certainty came loud and clear: he
wanted not only to have me sexually in the most awful ways but he wanted to kill me. All this I felt in those light-flickering moments.

“I do whatever I want, pure Joy! There is enough money, enough sex, and enough activity within the underbelly of the lower east side that keeps me active and alive … for a while longer.” His last three words fell softly like an afterthought not to be clearly heard. As he spoke he arranged his chair and guided his left hand under the table to gently rest upon my thigh. His devilish eyes betrayed him for a moment, and, without my protest, he removed his hand. I caught something in his pitted face, just not sure what the hell it was.

“‘For a while longer,’ you said? Is there a special meaning to that statement, Manfred?”

“Why not? Why not tell you? It doesn’t matter to me and it won’t matter to you. I’m to die shortly, pure Joy. A rare and fatal disease, I’m told. What you need to know is that I accept and embrace that knowledge. It is not knowledge that will upset our little world and I’m simply living out some final dreams and illusions. What say we get out of here, my lovely and sexy pure Joy.”

“Stop calling me, ‘pure Joy,’ and leave off with the ‘my,’ Manfred. You’re dying?” His smile was locked into place and his eyes were doing a Hallmark number on me.

“Everyone dies at some point, Joy… You notice I’ve honored your request. Now, can we get out of here? Where do you live?” He pushed back his chair, stood, and put on his bulky winter coat.

“Whoa, el tigre, not so fast! Let me finish my vodka tonic.” I gulped down my drink. “What? We’ve known each other, twenty-thirty minutes?”

“Time is a relative thing, Joy. For me, it’s now or never.” His eyes did their last combo of devilry and wistfulness. “Where do you live?”

“Uptown!” I said.

I rose. I knew what it was that had brought me to this bar and part one of the mission was successful. There were the final dreaded and hoped-for moments ahead, but I had gotten the first part of the job done. Now, there was within me an odd deja vu feeling, a medley of sensations that played to my cop-side and to my woman-side. Not only was some of that mix beguiling, it was also a betrayal of self.

As he awaited my coat donning, he said: “So, you were just slumming, pure Joy?”

“Yes, occasionally I get the hankering to see multiple sides of the Big Apple. We’re all animals, you know?” I walked alongside Manfred out the bar door.

“Oh, indeed, I do. Are you driving or cabbing?”

“I’m parked a few cars up the curb.”

He was quiet as I started the car’s engine and pulled away from the curb.

He played ‘rub the thigh’ during the ride and kept his smile esoterically baffling. I tried slapping his paw away, but he kept up his game. Actually, the gentleness of his touch and the sensate stir it caused surprised, titillated, and annoyed me. I managed to check the rear view mirror occasionally but could not be sure that the few trailing cars far behind me included my unmarked back-up. There was not a lot of traffic, and we chatted, strangely like a romantic couple on their way for a sexual encounter. What bothered me was that I could feel the anticipatory urges. What the hell was up with that?

“What motivates you, Joy?” he asked, feigning perhaps an honest and sincere question. Damn, the question had a mysterious sadness to it. He removed his hand from my thigh and stroked my black smooth tresses.

“I motivate me, Manfred. I participate in life, in living, and, for the most part, I enjoy people and sharing…”

He abruptly removed his hand from my hair as though surprised by his own fondling action.

“Is this all just an animal instinct for you, Joy?” He asked in a surprisingly weak voice.

He caught me off guard with this near normal conversation. I needed to keep it real! I had to keep my focus. “What the hell else could it be, Manfred? You have your moments but you’re not the most appealing of the ape class! You do have an odd animal attraction. That, I can’t deny… What? You for sure can’t be expecting more than that after this rapid romance? I mean, hey, I’m sad, sorry you’re dying, and I feel like helping you realize some of those sexual illusions, but that’s it, pal.”

I glanced over at him. His face still held that unnerving smile on the lips. The lights of neon night produced a shiny side-view watery glaze to his eyes. For brief seconds, I damned near felt sorry for Manfred Bauer. He didn’t drug me, but what the hell was this wacko using on me? Was he using some weird mojo, voodoo black magic stuff on me? There was a lot going on in this new tech savvy world of ours, and I was not privy to all of it. Damn, maybe he did put some tasteless something in my vodka tonic…

“It was just a trick question, pure Joy. That’s ‘for sure’ all that it was.” His voice had regained its edge of hardness. He stared straight ahead with the pasted smile. It was as though he had reached a final determination on the outcome of this night. There was a sense that he knew all the steps that were to follow our drive to uptown Manhattan.

Despite all my investigative training, all the years of experience and heightened awareness in tough undercover situations, there was something palpable and very scary happening inside of me. A degree of fear always
accompanied these operations, but the frenzied feeling that came to me now was beyond any I had ever known. Manfred Bauer had done a job on my emotional wiring, and I felt myself losing control.

We arrived at the recently rented NYPD apartment twenty minutes later.

Part 4 – Finale by Diane Strong

Manfred Bauer leaned his tanned body back in the reclining chair with a sigh and pushed his manicured feet deep into the warm sand. It felt comforting. The sun sat just above the horizon casting an orange light over the vast beach and colorful bungalows. He breathed in the warm salty air, basking in the solitude. His thoughts drifted back to nine months ago, to memories he tried to keep out of his head but usually failed.

It had been so close.

Had he not changed his mind at the last minute and forced Joy to drive away from her apartment his pathetic but rhythmic life would have been doomed. The investigators would have captured him in her apartment, guilty. Evidence of his plans to kill her would have been obvious, had they reached him before the act which they most likely would have since he planned to have his way with her first…stretching out the night.

He would be on death row right now.

They wouldn’t have needed to drag a confession out of him, it would have spilled out. But then he wouldn’t have cared if they’d sentenced him to death. He had prepared for death anyway, and he certainly wouldn’t have made a difference if it come at the hands of the state or his own hands. He had wanted to die either way. He’d had no desire to remain in a world so appalled, so disgusted by him.

His gift hadn’t been enough. Sure he could influence the feelings of women, make them think they wanted him briefly, just long enough for him to have his way with them. But the manipulation always proved temporary and counterfeit. It had been like stretching a rubber band, you could pull it taut but as soon as you let go, it snapped back to its original shape, unchanged.

The sudden change of plans had saved him. There hadn’t been a chase, Joy’s back-up investigators weren’t close enough to understand what had happened until it was too late. He had ripped the wires from her body and tossed her cell phone into the back of a truck heading in the opposite direction. By the time the investigators realized they were following the wrong vehicle and got an APB out on the car, he had ditched it over an embankment.

Before making good his escape in his own car, Manfred had made a quick stop at his home which fortunately for him was not yet under surveillance.

As he scooped out the contents of his safe, he had recalled the phone call a year ago notifying him of his mother’s death. In spite the coldness between them his heart had sunk. His father’s death the year prior had hardly phased him, only creating a glimmer of sympathy toward his mother, now alone in his childhood home. His spirits had lifted, however, when in the same conversation he was informed that his mother, in good Catholic form, had left the entire estate to her one and only child, despite her never wanting him. Or perhaps because of it.

He wasn’t rich by American standards, but as he emptied the safe knew he could live quite comfortably in Mexico for the rest of his life. Moreover, he was struck by the realization that for the first time in his life, he actually wanted to live.

Manfred reached for his frosty pina colada and took a long pull from the large glass. He ran his tongue slowly over his upper lip collecting the salt from the exfoliated skin. His pale blue eyes stared into his drink, an unfamiliar image reflected back at him. The person staring back still felt so foreign with his clean shaven chin, plucked and trimmed eyebrows. Who could have known that a fresh hair style, a little dental work, daily hygiene and clean fashionable clothes could make a semi-handsome man out of him?

Of course, his new found love of running on the beach had helped tremendously. For the first time ever he had abdominal muscles and a tight ass that even he wanted to grab. The endurance he had acquired had worked for him two fold, he could run farther than most but even more importantly, he had become something of an athlete in the bedroom too.

This new life… how different it was from the one he had left behind. That creature he had been back in New York wouldn’t recognize the confident, loved man relaxing on this beach as the sun set across the ocean horizon. The Chinos, the Birkenstock’s and the soft organic cotton shirt draped over his muscular chest would all have been alien to him. Only maybe one thing would not…

“Joy, dear?” Manfred twisted his body and called out to the small bungalow behind him. A slender woman appeared carrying a tray of fresh fruit in her long tanned arms. A candle stick poked from the pocket of her long white cotton smock. Sleek, black tendrils of hair cascaded down her back, swaying as she walked carefully over the warm beach sand.

“Manfred, oh what an evening. It’s just to die for…”

“Yes, Joy. Pure Joy.”

EDEN BAYLEE: http://edenbaylee.com - http://about.me/eden.baylee - http://bit.ly/ebAmazon

JOHN DOLAN: http://johndolanwriter.blogspot.com - http://on.fb.me/TEKHds - #ASMSG (twitter)

BILLY RAY CHITWOOD: http://goo.gl/TeQpP - http://about.me/brchitwood - http://goo.gl/KtPJy (amazon) goo.gl/klczd (UK)

DIANE STRONG: http://dianestrong.wordpress.com - http://facebook.com/RunningAuthor - http://amzn.to/Ouedkh
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Twitter icon

TAG

Before I proceed to my ‘TAG” business, I would like to pay my special respect and say a big ‘Thank You’ to A. K. Andrew (@artyyah on Twitter) for nominating me for the “Beautiful Blogger Award.’ This delightful person put no responsibility to the nomination. Readers are invited to visit A.K. at http://akandrew.com and view her lovely art work ‘Tuscany,’ oil on canvas. Also preview her WIP “Under The Bed” while at the site.

***

You know the game of ‘Tag?’

Well, leave it to the fertile minds of writers to create amusing new venues for a game kids still play. My new Twitter buddy, Paul Anthony just tagged me after he was tagged by Clive Eaton (@CliveEaton on Twitter). Of course you know what this means! Another ‘chain event’ is now underway. I’ve been tagged and it is now my honor to do likewise. Here are the rules of our TAG game…

Give credit (including URL/link) to the person or Blog that caught you and who made you “IT.” As my Brit pal puts it, “I was tagged fair and square whilst running away.” No running for me – too lazy! too old! Paul caught me napping with his tag and left me in a slightly bewildered state.

While in this dubious mindset let me quickly give credit to the culprit, umm, the British bloke who TAGGED me in this little game called, ‘TAG.’ In actuality it is a fun way to do some networking, to spread ourselves out to hopefully a wider and global audience. To repeat, the scoundrel’s name is Paul Anthony, better known on Twitter as @paulanthonyspen, and his URL/link is: http://paulanthonys.blogspot.co.uk/20...... Thank you, Paul, I THINK!

The rules are: 1) You must give credit to the person who tagged you with her/his URL/link (this, I have done in the preceding paragraph); 2) you must answer ten questions relative to your WIP (Work In Progress); 3) you must name five other authors and their URL/links who can merrily jump through these same hoops…and who will likely never wish to hear anymore from you or about you. Yes, they, too, will be chased down and a similar TAG will be put on them. (Does all of this sound vaguely familiar? If it does, don’t expect an award necessarily – just ‘blog exposure.’)

Before the alienation of my once five twitter friends are revealed, here are the ten questions which I will answer, then pass on to ‘the fabulous five.’

Question One: What is the title (or, working title) of your next book?

My Answer: “The Reluctant Savage”

Question Two: What genre(s) does/do your book fall under? (Or, land really near!)

My Answer: Fiction – Mystery – Crime – Murder (There’s even ‘Love.’)

Question Three: What actors would you choose to play the characters in the film version of your book? (Really! This could ever happen?)

My Answer: This would require my knowing the names of the current stars of the silver screen. Coming to mind are: Matt Damon, Robert Downey, Jr., Jennifer Lawrence, Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bullock, Leonardo DiCaprio, Emma Stone, Christian Bale, Liam Neesen — Hey, what can I tell you! It’s an epic!

Question Four: What is the main outline of your book? (Call it a ‘pitch’ as a synopsis includes ‘spoilers.’)

My Answer: An outline? Are you serious? I’ve got a general idea of where the book is going, but the characters do all the moving of the plot and sub-plots: two high school kids, a timid football hero and a lovely vivacious cheerleader fall in love, get separated after graduation by military service, meet again years later, and get mixed up with a lot of nasty business. The ending will be colossal…That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. (Na-ni-na-ni-na-ni!)

Question Five: Will your book be Indie published, self-published, or represented by an agency and sold to a traditional publisher?

My Answer: It will most likely be published by ‘Create Space’ (Amazon) as have my other nine books. But, let the record show that I’m easily ‘for sale to the highest bidder, low bid starting at $500,000!’ (Okay, I’ll stop with the attempts at humor!)

Question Six: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

My Answer: Hey, these questions need some editing! From where are all these terms coming from: outline? manuscript? draft? I’m between one hundred and two hundred pages into my first laptop boogie with this book. Some months from now, assuming I finish, I’ll go back in, read, re-write, edit, re-edit, on and on for another few months until I’m so sick of the damned book, I push ‘publish’ on Create Space, mistakes and all… (Have I been doing something wrong here?) (Okay, still trying for a ‘yuck, yuck.’)

Question Seven: What other books in this genre (or genres) would you compare yours to?

My Answer: First off, I remember some sweet gray-haired English Teacher telling me never to end a sentence with a preposition! (Sound of me clearing my throat!) Actually, “The Reluctant Savage” is told in the narrative form while my five ‘Bailey Crane Mysteries’ are written in the first person. With that said, “TRS” is entirely fictional, not inspired by an actual crime, and perhaps would be compared generally with the third book in the ‘Bailey Crane Mystery Series’ entitled “The Brutus Gate – A Bailey Crane Mystery,” a book that has drugs, murder, political corruption, rape, and love. However, I’m going to be working toward an ending that will equal the endings of ‘Bailey Crane’ books one, two, four, and five…

Question Eight: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My answer: The constant sun and the beautiful Sea of Cortez inspired me. I was sitting on my deck, watching the boats, jet skis, people on the beach, and began thinking about my school days, the shyness that I carried in those days. This character, Billy Campbell, came to me. Then I thought about the pretty cheerleaders we had back in those days and decided to take a couple of those kids on a novel ride through this book that I was already calling “The Reluctant Savage.” While thinking, a few lines came to me along with a wide-angle view of a story, and I went inside and started typing on my laptop… To repeat myself, I’m between one and two hundred pages…

Question Nine: What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

My Answer: The excellent and gritty descriptive sections of the book, of course, and the incredible, stupendous ending.

Question Ten: Teaser! There is no question ten…

My Answer: This is where I get to say, ‘Thank Goodness.” That’s how the aforementioned British brute put question ten. I shall simply echo his ‘Thank Goodness’ and use the question ten space to insert a few links relative to me and my book titles. If you really want to know a bio-bit about me, go to: http://www.about.me/brchitwood . If you want to preview my nine books, please go to my main website, http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com , read more about my Appalachian roots, and scroll further down the home page and preview my books. There is also a blog button on the home page that will take you to current and archived posts. My books are also on the ‘Independent Author Network’ at http://www.goo.gl/fuxUA . JUST ONE MORE PLUG! I repeat my blog posts on http://thefinalcurtain1.wordpress.com , on Goodreads, and on the IAN social network. (Okay, I’m finished!)

It’s time to name the five other authors to be chased down, my fabulous five. Whatever the readers’ moods of this post, do not miss the great entertainment value these five wonderful people have to offer… Please, follow them on Twitter, tweet them regularly, buy their great books, and I promise you will not be sorry. With these TAGS, I’ve very likely put myself on their ‘WNH?’ lists (WHN? =’Who Needs Him?’). You can consider this a ‘BEG’ that goes with the ‘TAG.”

Here are my Tagees:

http://johndolanwriter.blogspot.com (@JohnDolanAuthor on Twitter)

http://seumasgallacher.wordpress.com (@seumasgallacher on Twitter)

http://camerondgarriepy.com (@camerongarriepy on Twitter)

http://edenbaylee.com (@edenbaylee on Twitter)

http://dianestrong.wordpress.com (@DianeIStrong on Twitter)

TO THE TAGEES: Play by the rules — try for no cursing, no ranting, no raving, and no tantrums. PLEASE DO NOT take this diversion out on your loved ones. You can cry, kick empty space, spit, and even say a rhyming word that fits with spit. You must also post the rules, in your own inimitable styles. As stated earlier, there are no awards handed out here, but you will know that the tagger holds you in the highest esteem. Oh, what the heck! Here is my own personal award: “Billy Ray’s Fab Five” — feel free to create your own individual designs for this award, submit them to me for approval, and, please, NO VULGAR ICONs in the designs…

You must answer those ten (10) questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress), no matter the genre, because the world might possibly like to know ‘you all’ a little better. (To be honest there are only nine questions because the 10th question was put in because it is an even number — my tagger, Paul Anthony, has a thing for even numbers! What can I say?) Use the tenth question slot for your own shameless book promotions!

Again, list five (5) other authors or Bloggers (Tagees) with their hiding places (URL/Links) so that they can be chased down and made “IT” so we can all go home and be amused and enlightened by their sassy comments and answers. now we’ve finished playing.

Here again are the ten questions the tagged ones need to answer (in case you haven’t been paying attention):

Q 1) What is the title (or working title) of your next book?

Q 2) What genre(s) does your book fall under? (or land near really!)

Q 3) What actors would you choose to play the characters in the film version of your book? (should you ever, ever get that honour really)

Q 4) What is the main outline for your book? (Call it a pitch as a synopsis includes spoilers)

Q 5) Will your book be Indie published, self published or represented by an agency and sold to a traditional publisher?

Q 6) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Q 7) What other books in this genre would you compare yours to?

Q 8) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Q 9) What else about the book might pique the readers’ attention?

Q 10) Thank goodness!!

Much thanks to my five victims, friends, for their good calmness and patience. In all seriousness, these people are some of the most talented authors/writers on the planet. It is my sincere hope that the readers of this blog will explore their works – if you have not already.

Best wishes to all.
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Twitter icon

TAG

Before I proceed to my ‘TAG” business, I would like to pay my special respect and say a big ‘Thank You’ to A. K. Andrew (@artyyah on Twitter) for nominating me for the “Beautiful Blogger Award.’ This delightful person put no responsibility to the nomination. Readers are invited to visit A.K. at http://akandrew.com and view her lovely art work ‘Tuscany,’ oil on canvas. Also preview her WIP “Under The Bed” while at the site.

***

You know the game of ‘Tag?’

Well, leave it to the fertile minds of writers to create amusing new venues for a game kids still play. My new Twitter buddy, Paul Anthony just tagged me after he was tagged by Clive Eaton (@CliveEaton on Twitter). Of course you know what this means! Another ‘chain event’ is now underway. I’ve been tagged and it is now my honor to do likewise. Here are the rules of our TAG game…

Give credit (including URL/link) to the person or Blog that caught you and who made you “IT.” As my Brit pal puts it, “I was tagged fair and square whilst running away.” No running for me – too lazy! too old! Paul caught me napping with his tag and left me in a slightly bewildered state.

While in this dubious mindset let me quickly give credit to the culprit, umm, the British bloke who TAGGED me in this little game called, ‘TAG.’ In actuality it is a fun way to do some networking, to spread ourselves out to hopefully a wider and global audience. To repeat, the scoundrel’s name is Paul Anthony, better known on Twitter as @paulanthonyspen, and his URL/link is: http://paulanthonys.blogspot.co.uk/20...... Thank you, Paul, I THINK!

The rules are: 1) You must give credit to the person who tagged you with her/his URL/link (this, I have done in the preceding paragraph); 2) you must answer ten questions relative to your WIP (Work In Progress); 3) you must name five other authors and their URL/links who can merrily jump through these same hoops…and who will likely never wish to hear anymore from you or about you. Yes, they, too, will be chased down and a similar TAG will be put on them. (Does all of this sound vaguely familiar? If it does, don’t expect an award necessarily – just ‘blog exposure.’)

Before the alienation of my once five twitter friends are revealed, here are the ten questions which I will answer, then pass on to ‘the fabulous five.’

Question One: What is the title (or, working title) of your next book?

My Answer: “The Reluctant Savage”

Question Two: What genre(s) does/do your book fall under? (Or, land really near!)

My Answer: Fiction – Mystery – Crime – Murder (There’s even ‘Love.’)

Question Three: What actors would you choose to play the characters in the film version of your book? (Really! This could ever happen?)

My Answer: This would require my knowing the names of the current stars of the silver screen. Coming to mind are: Matt Damon, Robert Downey, Jr., Jennifer Lawrence, Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bullock, Leonardo DiCaprio, Emma Stone, Christian Bale, Liam Neesen — Hey, what can I tell you! It’s an epic!

Question Four: What is the main outline of your book? (Call it a ‘pitch’ as a synopsis includes ‘spoilers.’)

My Answer: An outline? Are you serious? I’ve got a general idea of where the book is going, but the characters do all the moving of the plot and sub-plots: two high school kids, a timid football hero and a lovely vivacious cheerleader fall in love, get separated after graduation by military service, meet again years later, and get mixed up with a lot of nasty business. The ending will be colossal…That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. (Na-ni-na-ni-na-ni!)

Question Five: Will your book be Indie published, self-published, or represented by an agency and sold to a traditional publisher?

My Answer: It will most likely be published by ‘Create Space’ (Amazon) as have my other nine books. But, let the record show that I’m easily ‘for sale to the highest bidder, low bid starting at $500,000!’ (Okay, I’ll stop with the attempts at humor!)

Question Six: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

My Answer: Hey, these questions need some editing! From where are all these terms coming from: outline? manuscript? draft? I’m between one hundred and two hundred pages into my first laptop boogie with this book. Some months from now, assuming I finish, I’ll go back in, read, re-write, edit, re-edit, on and on for another few months until I’m so sick of the damned book, I push ‘publish’ on Create Space, mistakes and all… (Have I been doing something wrong here?) (Okay, still trying for a ‘yuck, yuck.’)

Question Seven: What other books in this genre (or genres) would you compare yours to?

My Answer: First off, I remember some sweet gray-haired English Teacher telling me never to end a sentence with a preposition! (Sound of me clearing my throat!) Actually, “The Reluctant Savage” is told in the narrative form while my five ‘Bailey Crane Mysteries’ are written in the first person. With that said, “TRS” is entirely fictional, not inspired by an actual crime, and perhaps would be compared generally with the third book in the ‘Bailey Crane Mystery Series’ entitled “The Brutus Gate – A Bailey Crane Mystery,” a book that has drugs, murder, political corruption, rape, and love. However, I’m going to be working toward an ending that will equal the endings of ‘Bailey Crane’ books one, two, four, and five…

Question Eight: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My answer: The constant sun and the beautiful Sea of Cortez inspired me. I was sitting on my deck, watching the boats, jet skis, people on the beach, and began thinking about my school days, the shyness that I carried in those days. This character, Billy Campbell, came to me. Then I thought about the pretty cheerleaders we had back in those days and decided to take a couple of those kids on a novel ride through this book that I was already calling “The Reluctant Savage.” While thinking, a few lines came to me along with a wide-angle view of a story, and I went inside and started typing on my laptop… To repeat myself, I’m between one and two hundred pages…

Question Nine: What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

My Answer: The excellent and gritty descriptive sections of the book, of course, and the incredible, stupendous ending.

Question Ten: Teaser! There is no question ten…

My Answer: This is where I get to say, ‘Thank Goodness.” That’s how the aforementioned British brute put question ten. I shall simply echo his ‘Thank Goodness’ and use the question ten space to insert a few links relative to me and my book titles. If you really want to know a bio-bit about me, go to: http://www.about.me/brchitwood . If you want to preview my nine books, please go to my main website, http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com , read more about my Appalachian roots, and scroll further down the home page and preview my books. There is also a blog button on the home page that will take you to current and archived posts. My books are also on the ‘Independent Author Network’ at http://www.goo.gl/fuxUA . JUST ONE MORE PLUG! I repeat my blog posts on http://thefinalcurtain1.wordpress.com , on Goodreads, and on the IAN social network. (Okay, I’m finished!)

It’s time to name the five other authors to be chased down, my fabulous five. Whatever the readers’ moods of this post, do not miss the great entertainment value these five wonderful people have to offer… Please, follow them on Twitter, tweet them regularly, buy their great books, and I promise you will not be sorry. With these TAGS, I’ve very likely put myself on their ‘WNH?’ lists (WHN? =’Who Needs Him?’). You can consider this a ‘BEG’ that goes with the ‘TAG.”

Here are my Tagees:

http://johndolanwriter.blogspot.com (@JohnDolanAuthor on Twitter)

http://seumasgallacher.wordpress.com (@seumasgallacher on Twitter)

http://camerondgarriepy.com (@camerongarriepy on Twitter)

http://edenbaylee.com (@edenbaylee on Twitter)

http://dianestrong.wordpress.com (@DianeIStrong on Twitter)

TO THE TAGEES: Play by the rules — try for no cursing, no ranting, no raving, and no tantrums. PLEASE DO NOT take this diversion out on your loved ones. You can cry, kick empty space, spit, and even say a rhyming word that fits with spit. You must also post the rules, in your own inimitable styles. As stated earlier, there are no awards handed out here, but you will know that the tagger holds you in the highest esteem. Oh, what the heck! Here is my own personal award: “Billy Ray’s Fab Five” — feel free to create your own individual designs for this award, submit them to me for approval, and, please, NO VULGAR ICONs in the designs…

You must answer those ten (10) questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress), no matter the genre, because the world might possibly like to know ‘you all’ a little better. (To be honest there are only nine questions because the 10th question was put in because it is an even number — my tagger, Paul Anthony, has a thing for even numbers! What can I say?) Use the tenth question slot for your own shameless book promotions!

Again, list five (5) other authors or Bloggers (Tagees) with their hiding places (URL/Links) so that they can be chased down and made “IT” so we can all go home and be amused and enlightened by their sassy comments and answers. now we’ve finished playing.

Here again are the ten questions the tagged ones need to answer (in case you haven’t been paying attention):

Q 1) What is the title (or working title) of your next book?

Q 2) What genre(s) does your book fall under? (or land near really!)

Q 3) What actors would you choose to play the characters in the film version of your book? (should you ever, ever get that honour really)

Q 4) What is the main outline for your book? (Call it a pitch as a synopsis includes spoilers)

Q 5) Will your book be Indie published, self published or represented by an agency and sold to a traditional publisher?

Q 6) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Q 7) What other books in this genre would you compare yours to?

Q 8) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Q 9) What else about the book might pique the readers’ attention?

Q 10) Thank goodness!!

Much thanks to my five victims, friends, for their good calmness and patience. In all seriousness, these people are some of the most talented authors/writers on the planet. It is my sincere hope that the readers of this blog will explore their works – if you have not already.

Best wishes to all.
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Fifteen Great Bloggers

I’ve been honored with a nomination for the ‘Very Inspiring Blogger Award’ by Mr. Francis Baraan IV (@MrFrancisBaraan on Twitter) for which I would like to most sincerely thank him. it’s always a pleasure to receive these award nominees but it’s also a bit tedious and time-consuming in fulfilling the requirements that are attached to them. I have been honored with a few of these awards, and, while it takes some time away from my writing and/or maintenance chores of the social networks, it is always gratifying. An ‘Award’ nomination makes one feel validated in some sense for her/his blog observations, for her/his writing in general, makes one feel that there is in her/his possession some talent that is recognized by others. In fact, it might come to a person that this nomination may be the only recognition they will ever get in their writing. If I appear somewhat ‘tongue in cheek,’ forgive me, for it truly is an honor to receive such an award.

Mr. Francis Baraan has a truly lovely blog site and he was also awarded the ‘Very Inspiring Blogger Award.’ It’s my hope that you will visit http://mrfrancisbaraanivblog.wordpres.... (Please note that the lovely library room in the background of this site is already spoken for by me.) There is a most noble title to this post: THE BIBLIOPHILE CHRONICLES: MOSTLY A LITERARY BLOG — FRANCIS BARAAN ON BOOKS, READING, WRITING, WRITERS, AUTHORS, AND LA DOLCE VITA. Please visit this most worthy wordpress blog and prepare to be impressed. That was my experience, and I’m sure it will be yours.

As with most awards there are some mechanics that go with with acceptance of the nomination. The nominee is to acknowledge the nominator in the most kindest of words, momentarily forgetting the possible disdain he or she is feeling at having to navigate through the laundry list of chores. The nominee is to enumerate seven facts about herself/himself heretofore not necessarily known by the social network community, perhaps even the world. The nominee is also to nominate fifteen other people for the award — again, understanding that any friendships developed with those nominees over the preceding years are likely to go through some sort of purgatorial-like status before amity can return.

I would like to state that my dear friend, Jhobell Kristyl, also nominated me sometime back for this and two other awards, ‘The Reality Blog Award’ and “One Lovely Blog Award.” So, I hope I’m not stepping on the protocols but I’ll handle these generous and wonderful awards together. Please let this be okay with my friends, Francis and JK. I sincerely thank them both for the Award(s).

Also, relative to protocols, I’m changing my nominees format. Since I’m doing the nominating, it seems only proper that I set the requirements. HERE ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR MY FIFTEEN NOMINEES: 1) You may or may not acknowledge and thank me for the nomination; 2) You do need in accepting to show the award on your blog; 3) You must reveal seven things about yourselves that heretofore have not seen daylight; 4) THAT’S IT! You may if you wish nominate others for the award (in any number) but it is not mandatory. To recap, thank me if you like, show the Award on your blogs, and reveal in a specific post seven things about yourselves that have not heretofore been known. Simple enough?

Here are the seven revelations about myself, some shameful, some which never should have been revealed:

1) I’m an emotional cripple…not necessarily big news to the people who know me: I cry at heart-rending, death-disease-pending, and maltreated animal books and movies; ergo, I try to stay away from these books and movies. What makes this confession rather ridiculous is that, in some of the books I write (nay, all the books that I write), there are sections where I cried while writing them – and I cry when I re-read them. Guess it stands to reason that an emotional cripple will cry when he’s writing emotional scenes. Know what? That’s not embarrassing to me. In fact, I’m thankful for it. And, instead of blaming my age, I can say that it has always been that way for me.

2) In some ways I’m a Jekyl/Hyde kind of guy – particularly when it comes to the internet and the functions I must perform on it. First of all, an anachronism like me perhaps should not be on the internet. There are so many things I do not know, that HTML stuff, all the widgets, settings, and interneteze. I’m basically a humble guy with a tender heart (as you already know) but there are times when I rage, rant, rave, and come fairly close at times to throwing this laptop into my beautiful Canterra fireplace in front of which I sit posing as a author… Mostly, though, you can rely on my being a sweet, decent, law-abiding human being. (My wife is now looking over my shoulder and laughing full-throttle – at a safe distance, of course!).

3) I love ‘thin’ milkshakes, not the thick stuff that you need a spoon to drink it (make that, eat it!). However, the milkshake has to have a slow-moving texture, thick enough to know there is ice cream within the ice. What kind, you ask? Thin, Chocolate milkshakes I crave most earnestly in the hot months particularly – made with vanilla ice cream (home-made if possible) and Hershey syrup. (At this point, as she reads these words, I’m giving Julie, my wife, that over my shoulder boyish smile with flickering eye countenance, and she’s not looking too pleased as she goes to the kitchen to pull the blender from the cupboard.)

4) Okay, Julie is not looking over the shoulder at the moment, so I can write this (Oh, sure, I’ll get her ire later!), but here’s the thing: even here in Twilight, a pretty lady, bursting out all over in that itsy bitsy teeny weeny polka dot bikini can still get the old motor running. Now, it’s of course a totally different kind of experience from the ‘young buck’ days – if you get my drift… Naturally, I love to pieces this lovely wife of mine, but, gee whiz, some of the damsels out there in the world today! Whooee! Please understand that this is only a thought process!

5) I’m basically a shy guy but get me around a group of fun-oriented people and I sorta have to show off! It might take a heavily laced drink to get me started (one is about all I can handle these days), but look out, I just might put on a one-man show: sing a few songs I’ve written, dramatize a few moments from the pages of my books… It’s all okay. I might overdo it once in a while, but, usually, the performance is in front of friends who know anyway that I’m going to make an ass out of myself. You see, it’s just me crying for attention! And, I get the attention, but the next day brings some remorse… The way I figure it, like, if I’m lying on the soiled and overused leather sofa of the shrink, I’m getting rid of some junk piled up there in this ego of mine… No real harm done, I’m thinking.

6) I was once a woman-chaser of the worst kind… You will find all of this if you read my memoirs. It’s all rather shameful, I suppose, but I’ve made it this far and just might as well lay it all out so people can decide to hate me, love me, maybe, at least, read me – that is, read my books. Hell, that’s why I wrote them, trying to find pieces of myself that could make some sense of me. The truth is the truth and it’s not going to set me free, but it helps me live a lot better within myself. Women-chasing is frowned upon, but I gotta tell you, I had me some times back in the day… (Oops! Julie’s back with my chocolate milkshake and I gotta get it from her before she pours it all over this graying head of mine!) Love that woman, and I didn’t spill a drop! She loves me. That’s the most warming thought this old mind and body needs to have.

7) This one is not so pretty but might as well put it out there. My mortality is something that lingers a spell now and then. It’s not so much I fear death. Hell, there are times when I would almost welcome it, particularly when this or that body part is not working or at some point has needed to be replaced. It’s the ‘legacy’ thing more than anything. I would like the people I’ve loved, my Mom, my wife, my kids, grand kids, greats, grandparents, my good friends, even my Dad and including some of those women I chased once upon a time, that they really were loved and they meant a lot to me. There was no cheapness in my love affairs. They all had worth. There were mountains I could have, should have, climbed and did not. There was so much more I could have given the world. There was much too much selfishness in my living, not enough giving of myself, not enough accomplishments that would match whatever talents I was supposed to have… So there it is. It all did not get done. BUT, there are nine books, a tenth being written (very slowly, he says), and maybe they will count for something. Maybe someone can benefit from them. MAYBE I have been able to see me better with the books I’ve written. SO, mortality, death, does not scare me… I just wish that I could have given the world more and maybe not taken so much from it… It was likely all ordained, so it is is what it is! I continue to enjoy life. I’ve got family who love me, friends who care about me. GUESS when I think about it, I have a pretty good legacy as it is… AND,a big plus! I have my faith! It has undergone some altering since my Appalachian days of youth, but it is there. Yes, God, it is there! After all these orbits, You await…

Okay, that’s over!

Here are my fifteen nominees for ‘The Very Inspiring Blogger Award.’ You are all beautiful in your blogs and deserve this award. I’m just hopeful you won’t send me ‘hate mail’ and become too unruly over all of this. Actually, it’s good to network… You just might find a viral track for a book or two. Although it is not incumbent on you to list fifteen people for the Award (you can list any number, or, none at all), I am listing here fifteen deserving people, and, again, all they need to do is display the Award on their blogs and reveal seven things about themselves in a post — acknowledge me in your post if you like. Just remember, I’m an emotional ‘dude’ and would appreciate your mention of me.

1) John Dolan - @JohnDolanAuthor (Twitter) – http://johndolanwriter.blogspot.com

2) James McCallister - @jumeirajames (Twitter) – http://i-nation.me

3) Linda Howard Urbach - @LindaUrbach (Twitter) – http://www.madamebovarysdaugher.com

4) Eden Baylee - @edenbaylee (Twitter) – edenbaylee.com

5) Diane Strong - @DianeIStrong (Twitter) – http://dianestrong.wordpress.com

6) Cameron Garriepy - @camerongarriepy (Twitter) – http://camerondgarriepy.com

7) Dianne Gray - @Zigotide (Twitter) – http://diannegray.au.com

8) Mary Meddlemore - @MaryMeddlemore (Twitter) – marymeddlemore1.wordpress.com

9) Rick Mallery - @RickMallery (Twitter) – rickmallery.wordpress.com

10) Sheris Bessi (Eternally Me) – @sherisbessi (Twitter) – theothersideofugly.com

11) Seumas Gallacher - @seumasgallacher (Twitter) – seumasgallacher.wordpress.com

12) Dianne Harman - @DianneDHarman (Twitter) – http://www.DianneHarmon.com

13) Katherine L. Logan - @KathyLLogan (Twitter) – http://www.katherinellogan.com

14) Virginia Lee - @dagonsblood (Twitter) – https//dagonsblood.wordpress.com

15) Arthur Crandon - @arthurcrandon (Twitter) – http://www.bit.ly/TfzLl2

If you would like to know more about me,
here are some links:

http://www.about.mr/brchitwood

http://www.billyraychitwood.weebly.com

http://www.goo.gl/fuxUA

http://www.thefinalcurtain1.wordpress...

http://www.facebook.com/billyray.chit...

http://www.amazon.com (billy ray chitwood)

http://www.amazon.co.uk (billy ray chitwood)
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Meet John Dolan

Meet John Dolan
Posted on August 18, 2013 by billyraychitwood1

Image (shows picture of man in broad-brim hat - can't see on Goodreads). This trademark picture of John Dolan might lead one’s imagination to suspect that this is a man of daring, perhaps out on safari facing the giants of the animal kingdom, a man of mystery and intrigue. One could look at this image and consider the man under the hat either very timid, or, suspiciously avoiding recognition… I had some other scary thoughts about this man when he interviewed me some months back at his ‘Dubai Dungeon’ with an odd. hulking gray-skinned Cyclop assistant named Digby — hmm! wonder whatever became of Digby (haven’t heard of him in months). Anyway, the Dubai Dungeon was a bit like the hat – deceiving. Actually, John’s blog is called ‘Galericulate’ (defined as ‘covered, as with a hat.’) You can always visit him at Galericulate at http://johndolanwriter.blogspot.com. The interview of me was indeed original, witty, and also very informative, showing the different shades of John Dolan. (I shall include that interview at the end of this post – for your pleasure, I hope!)

The man under the hat is British, living now in Thailand with his lovely wife, Fiona, and family. He is one of the best authors I’ve ever read. Hence, the reason for this post. John Dolan wrote “Everyone Burns,” book one of his trilogy, ‘Time, Blood, and Karma mystery series,’ and it is a superb, thrilling read about a worn down detective, David Braddock, fighting not only himself but the underbelly crowd of Thailand. Some charred remains of Europeans are discovered on the Thai island of Samui, and this starts the non-stop action…and Braddock’s efforts are definitely not helped by his having an affair with the Police Chief’s wife… But I will say no more here about “Everyone Burns” except that it has a multitude of 5-Star reviews and is one of my all-time favorite books.

What I really want to write about here are two things: 1) Book Two of the trilogy, “Hungry Ghosts” and 2) The man under the hat.

1) “Hungry Ghosts” – Unfortunately, I can’t say a lot about book two in the ‘Time, Blood, and Karma Series’ except that it is COMING OUT VERY SOON, and I shall be one of the first to buy when available. “Hungry Ghosts” has been written, has gone through most of the final editing phase, and I’m guessing it will be out within the next few weeks. One thing I know, having had the titillating experience of reading Book One, “Everyone Burns,” I’m like the proverbial kid in the candy store… Yes, John Dolan will do that to you! Please be on the lookout for “Hungry Ghosts” – it will be my personal promise to you that your reading appetite will be craving more from this man.

2) The man under the hat is not only my friend but he is a man of profound wisdom and wit. He is also an excellent poet, in the mold of the great English Romantics who gave me impetus to become a wordsmith, to play in the sand pile of words, to create stories that were uniquely my own, to turn phrases that could either bring me to a smile or bring a tear to my eye, to make me more aware of who I really am. The writing process does that for me and I make no pretense at greatness for my books, but I like them. John Dolan, I’m reasonably sure, feels much the same way about his writing as I do of my own. The difference between our writings? My tales tend to be gritty and simple tales, some inspired by true events. John’s writing brings an extra dimension which causes me some envy – he has the capacity to maintain a scholarly tint to his prose, to make a metaphor seem golden, to entertain a reader in a masterful display of diction and delirious fun. John Dolan is a master wordsmith who can be a Mickey Spillane, a John Grisham, a Nelson DeMille, a John LeCarre… Guess what I’m trying to say is that John Dolan is literary and he is one hundred percent real (the masses will love him as will the literary folks.)

You can follow John Dolan on twitter (@JohnDolanAuthor) and on Facebook.

You can preview “Everyone Burns” at http://www.goo.gl/vvXdh

You can find ‘Galericulate’ at http://johndolanwriter.blogspot.com (watch for his announcement of Book two, “Hungry Ghosts”)

Now, that interview I promised follows…

Talk to the Hat: Billy Ray Chitwood (from John Dolan’s archives at http://johndolanwriter.blogspot.com

JD My guest today in the Dubai Dungeon is Billy Ray Chitwood, author of several books, the most recent of which is ‘What Happens Next? A Life’s True Tale’. Welcome!

BR Where am I? How did I get here?

JD You’re in Dubai, BR. You’re here through a process that’s known as ‘Rendition’, I believe. It involves the use of secrecy, incapacitating drugs and a private aircraft.

BR Why am I hung up by chains in a damn Arabic basement?

JD Technically this is not a basement, it’s a dungeon. Anyway, I’m working on a budget. The electric chair has broken down so this is the best I can do at short notice. Ha! That was a pun. “Short”.

BR Yeah, yeah, very funny.

JD Digby, get the cattle prod.

(Sounds of electricity arcing)

BR Holy crap.

JD Nice to see something still works in this damn place. OK, BR, I want to talk to you about your life. Particularly as there may not necessarily be much of it left. But first I’m going to read you some of my poems.

BR Couldn’t I just have the cattle prod instead?

(Sounds of electricity arcing)

BR Thank you.

JD According to my secret dossier you’re from the Appalachians, East Tennessee. Which makes you another damn American. What’s that place like? They got indoor toilets and shoes there yet?

BR Well, yeah, now they do! When I was In Oswego Bottom, we had an old unpainted clapboard house, kerosene lamps and an outhouse … sure hated to make the ‘number two’ trip in the dark of night. The Sears catalog pages were not too functional … Must have had shoes but damned if I can remember them. Went barefoot a lot on the old country roads and cut my toes on discarded fruit jars – the old timers used fruit jars for their moonshine, or ‘white lightning.’

JD Sounds ghastly. I’ve always thought the difference between Tennessee and yoghurt is that yoghurt is a living culture. But, hey, what do I know? I’m only an educated Englishman after all.

BR Can I disagree with that last statement?

JD Of course.

(Sounds of electricity arcing)

JD I’m interested to know how you started off in life with no shoes and ended up as a writer.

BR I never said I had no shoes as a kid! Just don’t remember them …

JD Shut up. I’m trying to make you sound interesting here. Tell Dr John about your life.

BR Lots of mobility, divorced parents who fought a lot, literally. Lived for a time with my paternal grandparents (Oswego Bottom – AKA Wooldridge). Lived for a time in state-run institutions – we were poor and Mom had a rough time keeping my sister and me with her. Life became somewhat normal for me during junior and senior high school. Mom worked as a boarding house cook for some time but her real love was the Bell Telephone company, where she retired. The Southern Baptist influence was heavy. There was a ton of emotional stuff to get through. At Seventeen, I joined the US Navy to get away from it all. That’s when a misdirected kid came ‘not very well’ of age. The adult world collided with my emotions and I sort of went crazy: married too soon, had kids, divorced, hit the gin mills and met some very pretty ladies. Managed somehow to get a college degree, worked with some major textbook publishers, owned a business, and was even able to do some acting on stage, film, and television … To sum it up for you: I ate some emotional soup in my youth and I’ve spent a lifetime trying to digest it. Shall I sing a chorus from “All The Girls I’ve Loved?”

JD Not unless you want Digby to use the prod again. OK. Tell me about your Bailey Crane mystery books. And don’t be boring about it.

BR Five books in the series, three inspired by actually crimes. The first book, “An Arizona Tragedy – A Bailey Crane Mystery,” is about the brutal murder of a young actress and mother. In real life this lovely lady happened to be a friend of mine, actually got me into acting, was also a secretary to a couple of my attorney friends in Phoenix … Sorry, I’m rambling, trying to get my mind off these infernal chains …

JD It’s alright. I’m only half-listening anyway.

BR Anyway, Bailey Crane is a transplanted southern fellow and mirrors a bit of my own life. Bailey tells the stories with his simple plot lines, fuses and muses about his own life experiences. Book 2, “Satan’s Song -ABCM”, deals with a decapitation murder in Phoenix, again inspired by a true crime. (Put the prod down! I’m getting boring.) Suffice, the five books deal with Bailey Crane’s life as he chases the bad guys. The books can be read independently of each other, but each book does show the natural progression through the years of Bailey Crane. Book 4 in the series, “Murder In Pueblo Del Mar – ABCM”, was inspired by an actual murder of a mother in Mexico while on family holiday. The story involves the husband/father and his relationship with a transsexual lover. The book is a fictional account but with some truth and author embellishment. Books 3 and 5 in the Bailey Crane Series (“The Brutus Gate – ABCM” and “A Soul Defiled – ABCM” respectively) have no basis in true crime, but good reads if I do say so. Sorry to be so boring –

JD As well you should be. (Yawns, and thinks about electricity)

BR - but the Bailey Crane books gave me the chance to explore some dimensions of myself. I call my writing therapy for the soul.

JD I want to talk about “Mama’s Madness”, a book of yours I read and reviewed recently. But this is serious talk, so I don’t want you dangling from chains. Digby! Lower Mr Chitwood down and sit him on a crate.

BR Thank you. You can be a really difficult person to ‘hang around’.

JD You’re welcome. I feel a little more dignity and decorum is required at this point. Oh, and Digby bring the bucket of maggots for Mr Chitwood’s feet.

BR Is that necessary?

JD My lawyers insist.

BR Ugh. They’re warm. They’re alive!

JD Of course they are. You think I’d use dead maggots? What sort of a host do you think I am?

BR A psychotic one, actually. No wonder you liked “Mama’s Madness”.


JD Great book! And a brave one for an Indie writer. Tough and unsentimental. Well, more ‘mental’ than ‘sentimental’. For those who haven’t read it, it’s a tale of southern lowlifes, and a central character Tamatha Preen who is basically a no-holds-barred psychopath that tortures and murders her own children.

BR Your type of woman, I’d guess.

JD I’m going to let that one go. It’s based on some real-life events which I believe happened in Northern California?

BR Yes, “Mama’s Madness” deals with an evil mother’s hold on her children. It deals with dark closet punishments, beatings, forced prostitution, unbelievable acts, and three murders. It was a book difficult to write because most of us are unwilling to accept the fact that people like Tamatha Preen (a fictional name), that this kind of evil does indeed exist. Although “Mama’s Madness” has its sordid disbelief it is one of my favorite writing accomplishments.

JD Tell me, BR, what is your favourite book of all time?

BR That would likely be, “You Can’t Go Home Again” by Thomas Wolfe.

(JD nods at Digby. Sounds of electricity arcing)

BR “The General’s Daughter” by Nelson DeMille.

(JD nods at Digby. Sounds of electricity arcing)

BR OUCH! Okay, okay, my true favorite is, “Everyone Burns” by John Dolan?

JD Now you’re getting it. Tell me about your latest book. And be quick about it, I’m getting hungry.

BR “What Happens Next? A Life’s True Tale” is non-fiction, about me, about my memories of east Tennessee, about my wanderlust, about a marriage that happened too fast, about the kids I cherish, about some of the loves of my life, about the neon lights and gin mills of California and Arizona, piano bars, pretty ladies, and about my faith. The book is an honest look at my mistakes, about my joys and triumphs, and about the remarkable wife, Julie Anne, with whom I get to spend the rest of my life. This non-fiction book is a ‘brother’ to my first book, “The Cracked Mirror – Reflections of an Appalachian Son”, a fictional memoir which is ninety per cent true and covers some of the same ground. I even explore a family murder and a family suicide.

JD Had enough of the maggots yet?

BR I sure have.

JD Good, because I think they’ve had enough of you.

END OF INTERVIEW.

Follow Billy Ray on: http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com

On: http://www.goo.gl/fuxUA

On: http://www.about.me/brchitwood

On: amazon.com and amazon.co.uk

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'Hereeee's Johnny'

‘HEREEEE’S JOHNNY’

Posted on May 8, 2014 by billyraychitwood

'Hereeee’s Johnny'

Okay, many of you here in the US and across the pond won’t remember a late night talk show host named Johnny Carson who was one of the best and most enduring comedians/entertainers of my era. Johnny’s co-host, the inimitable Ed McMahon, always introduced his boss at the beginning of the show in this vibrant-drawnout fashion.

Because Johnny Carson was one of my favorite entertainers, the ‘Johnny’ I’m introducing here in my blog is one of my favorite authors – and he is also super-entertaining and sometimes comedic in his way. I say, ‘in his way’, because he is quite British but not so ‘stiff upper lip’! :-) He is also my friend.

The hat? Look up the word ‘Galericulate’ and you will find its meaning, ‘covered as with a hat’. This is John Dolan’s trademark, and I prefer to think the meaning of ‘galericulate’ can be extended to ‘what’s under the hat’. It is indeed ‘what’s under the hat’ that makes John Dolan an outstanding and unique author. There is a lyrical and poetic quality to his writing that is reminiscent of the great English poets and writers down through the ages. With his serious narrative he blends humorous break points and some philosophical thought. Mostly, his talent as a wordsmith keeps the reader glued to his pages. Despite his other interests it seems clear to me that writing is John’s raison d’etre.

John Dolan’s new book, A Poison Tree, just out this merry month of May, 2014, is the third book in his ‘Time, Blood, and Karma Series’. A Poison Tree is rich in word magic, telling the story of our anti-hero, Englishman David Braddock, and how it came to be that he would travel to Thailand and begin an uncertain life in a strange new country. A Poison Tree is a wonderful story of fascinating characters, sketched so vividly that we the readers know them, love them, and perhaps hate them. It is a story of England’s Midlands, the mores, and the sorrowful and ugly events that will tarnish a noble man and cause a maelstrom of emotions. A Poison Tree is a most compelling read where the first chapter grabs you and leads you to a conclusion that will have you gasping for air.

BUY SITES for A Poison Tree:

Amazon US – http://www. goo.gl/A6t512

Amazon UK – http://www. goo.gl/1NK3ok

A Poison Tree is a prequel to John’s first book, Everyone Burns, and his second book, Hungry Ghosts. These two books will take the reader on some thrilling rides on the Thai island of Samui and Bangkok. Mayhem, murder, and John’s absorbing and riveting style will again keep you glued to the pages.

BUY SITE for "Everyone Burns":

Amazon US – http://www.goo.gl/Xdh

Amazon UK – http://www. goo.gl/nnuhwO

BUY SITE for "Hungry Ghosts":

Amazon US – http://www. goo.gl/dyunVU

Amazon UK – http://www. goo.gl/gpzxXU

You can follow John on:

http://www.twitter.com – @JohnDolanAuthor

https://www.facebook.com/JohnDolanAuthor

http://johndolanwriter.blogspot.com (His Galericulate blog)

Each of John’s books stands alone but tracks the wanderings, musings, and actions of David Braddock in the seven-book ‘Time, Blood, and Karma Series’. You can read my 5-Star reviews, along with many other 5-Star reviews, on amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, and on Goodreads. Book 4 of the series, Running on Emptiness, will be out in 2015.

Here is my 5-Star review of A Poison Tree:

John Dolan’s literary genius is constantly evident in “A Poison Tree,” his third installment of the ‘Time, Blood, and Karma Series’. Ultimately, there are to be seven books in the series, each book standing alone but tracking our anti-hero, Englishman David Braddock, and his amusing, dangerous, and sad adventures. If you have read “Everyone Burns”, Book 1, and “Hungry Ghosts”, Book 2, you will have experienced the delightful and masterful way Mr. Dolan handles his craft…my bet is you will be a fan for life.

Books 1 and 2 take place primarily on the Thai island of Samui and Bangkok and deal most absorbingly with murder and mayhem, as David Braddock rather stoically attends to the business at hand. In Book 3, “A Poison Tree,” we will come to know how and why David left England for Thailand. Mr. Dolan’s magical penning begins most compellingly and dramatically in Chapter 1, and continues through forty-odd chapters weaving his captivating prose with colorful, unforgettable characters, English mores, and some of life’s devastating events which ultimately betray Braddock’s sane and sensible nobility. No spoilers here, but I can say without fear of contradiction that the ending will have you gasping for air. “A Poison Tree” is truly a 5-Star read.

If you are a first-time John Dolan reader, welcome to his fresh and beautiful world of words, at times humorous, at times poetic in the penning, at times emotional and somber, and always deliciously entertaining. When one speaks of writing purity, that person must surely have Mr. Dolan in mind.

In 2015 his fans will be treated to Book 4 in the ‘Time, Blood and Karma Series’ – “Running On Emptiness.”

I’m first in line…

A final word about John Dolan… He is a man of honor, humility, wisdom, and wit. It is my humble opinion that he will become one of England’s premier authors and poets. Like most of us who build our heroes and demons in the books we write I’m guessing that John includes his own persona in many of his characters, particularly David Braddock. With each book of John Dolan that I read there is an emerging portrait of a man who is noble and good, a man who writes most eloquently the thoughts of us all.

Any friend of John wishing to re-blog this post has my permission to do so.

Billy Ray Chitwood

http://www.about.me/brchitwood

http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com

http://twitter.com/brchitwood (@brchitwood)

Comments are welcome.

(NOTE: the custom is to display one’s blog awards in posts… On this occasion, I am not posting my nine blog awards.)
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NEW BOOK INTRODUCTION: "Chaos is Come Again"

NEW BOOK INTRODUCTION! “Chaos is Come Again”

Posted on November 11, 2014 by billyraychitwood1

Chaos is Come Again

Chaos Is Come Again by John Dolan

by John Dolan and Fiona Quinn

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BUY SITES:

Amazon US – goo.gl/eTp0UC

Amazon UK – goo.gl/ISsHAl

Following momentarily is my 5-Star Review of Chaos is Come Again which appears on Amazon. The book is an extraordinary collaboration of two top-level writers who give us their dramatic moments and their wonderful bounty of wit, all playing out with a cast of memorable disparate characters. Other than to say that these two talented authors, having never personally met and separated by the ‘pond’ we call the Atlantic Ocean, have pulled off the difficult task of writing one hilariously irreverent and colossal book, my review says it all.

5.0 out of 5 stars
Fabulous Writing Duo
November 1, 2014
By
Billy Ray Chitwood (Spencer, TN USA) – See all my reviews

This review is from: Chaos Is Come Again (Kindle Edition)
The duet novel put together by the extraordinarily talented John Dolan and Fiona Quinn is called “Chaos is Come Again” – Shakespeare devotees will recognize the title from Othello. Even the most lofty of the elite Shakespeare ‘club members’ should regale this offering from Dolan and Quinn as one of the best fictional novels of the year. In my humble opinion, here is what makes it so…

Dolan and Quinn give us characters that live with us long after we turn the last page… Avery, a literary agent who spends much of her time as many of us do – working, worrying, finding warm spots of happiness and love… Jerry, a boss we all love to hate… Travis, a truly tortured artist… Sean, who finds it difficult to expel from his life the naughty Teagen… Teagen, a woman we virulent males all wish to meet, well, at least once in our lives… Other great characters are here, some loony, some adorably crass and lovely, and there is some ugly business to sort out. But the truly amazing gift of this book is the writing itself, the purity of the words and phrases that pull the reader easily into the story, the literary wit that amuses us, the wonderful author craft that is constantly on display. It is an absorbing page-turner book no reader will want to put down.

Congratulations to John Dolan and Fiona Quinn, a fabulous writing duo… Were I allowed more stars, they would be given.

My review cannot end without this lovely nugget from “Chaos is Come Again:”

There are hours

There are nights

There are days

That cover us in shadow

There are times

In our lives

We feel lost

And alone and afraid

When the mantel clock

Ticks flat and slow

And branches scratch

At the window panes

When the dark things come

But not all is lost

For this is but

A transient dream…

The review ends and the BUY SITES are available for Chaos is Come Again, so buy this marvelous book and enjoy the uniquely disparate characters, their chaos, clutter, and hope – through the excellent writing of two powerful authors, John Dolan and Fiona Quinn.

You can follow these authors at twitter.com - @JohnDolanAuthor and @FionaQuinnBooks.

John Dolan’s blog site: http://johndolanwriter.blogspot.com under the unlikely name of Galericulate.

Fiona Quinn’s website: http://FionaQuinnBooks.com and her blog: http://THRILLWRITING.blogspot.com There are many writing tips from which the beginning and/or seasoned writer can benefit.

***

Of course, I can be found on my website and other sites:

http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com (My bio and books)

http://thefinalcurtain1.wordpress.com (My blog)

http://www.about.me/brchitwood (Short bio with links to facebook, goodreads, linkedin, et al)
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