Thursday, May 18, 2017

Author Events at Libraries


Since moving to Southern California two years ago, I’ve had the opportunity to do a number of library events including Cerritos Library’s Mystery on the Menu luncheon, an author open house at the El Segundo Library, the re-opening of the Glendale Library, and presentations at the Iacoboni Library in Lakewood, Friends of the Costa Mesa Library and the library at Leisure World.

I will be speaking again at the Iacoboni Library, 4990 Clark Avenue, Lakewood, CA, on Monday, June 5 at 6:30 pm. This will be a book talk about my international thriller,. The Tesla Legacy. In this novel, retired mathematics professor and conspiracy nut, Elmore Kranz, bombards the police with his predictions of disaster until one of them actually happens. Even with the assistance of his one ally, rookie cop Brittney Chase, people start dying around Elmore as attempts are made on his life. Following up on inventions from eccentric genius, Nikola Tesla, Elmore and Brittney team up to solve a hundred year old puzzle while trying to thwart a secret government agency and an Afghani terrorist group who seek to get their hands on a weapon of mass destruction invented by Tesla.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Importance of Libraries


I love libraries. Since I was a kid, I’ve enjoyed going to the library. I recently read a book about Dewey, the library cat in a town in Iowa and how he brought the town together. I’ve been taking my 21-month-old grandson to children’s library programs at two libraries in Lakewood, CA. He listens to stories and songs and plays with toys there. It’s become a fun part of our time together to do this. As a writer, I have participated in a number of programs at libraries including panels and book talks. Libraries are a vital part of our communities and deserve our support.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Right Age to Start Writing


On Monday, I was on an author’s panel at the reopening of the Glendale Library. I also listened to two other panels. Something that struck me about the other authors’ comments—a number of them had started writing at about eight years old.

Thinking back over my own writing career, my path was different. Sure, I guess you could say my first published work was a story in second grade titled, “The Hurt Bird,” that Mrs. Russell printed on a mimeograph sheet, but my serious decision to write began in 2001 and my first published short story, “Never Trust a Poison Dart Frog,” appeared in an anthology called, Who Died in Here? in 2004 and my first novel, Retirement Homes Are Murder, in 2007 when I was sixty-two. By then I had some life experiences to apply to fiction writing.
There is no right or wrong time to start writing. The important thing is to start and keep writing

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Writing at Any Age


I didn’t start writing until I was fifty-six years old. When I lived in Colorado, I mentored a middle school student who was working on his first novel. We all have our individual paths to writing. For me, the timing was right as I approached retirement to dedicate myself to something I could retire into.

This last Saturday at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Morrie Markoff had a booth and signed his book, Keep Breathing. With the hundreds of authors signing at the festival, what set Morrie apart was that he published his first book at the age of 103. He’s an inspiration and a model that we can begin writing at any age.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Presentation for The Tesla Legacy

Whenever I have a book published, I put together a new presentation to give at events and signings. With the recent release of my international thriller, The Tesla Legacy, I have developed a speech about the genius inventor, Nikola Tesla, whose inventions play a key role in the novel. Tesla was a fascinating dichotomy. He was a pacifist who invented weapons, invented things in his mind without a blueprint but held strange ideas about transmissions from Mars and eugenics, was brilliant at inventing but poor at business, was a cleanliness nut but kept pigeons in his hotel room and was on the autism spectrum with his strange quirks, one of which was doing things in multiples of three and staying in hotel rooms that were divisible by three.

I will be presenting and signing The Tesla Legacy at Mystery Ink, 8907 Warner Avenue #135, Huntington  Beach, CA, on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at 3 PM, and at Gatsby Books, 5535 E. Spring Street, Long Beach, CA, on Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 3 PM.

 
Picture a retired mathematics professor and conspiracy nut with a butt-kicking, surrogate-daughter sidekick. Elmore Kranz bombards the police with his predictions of disaster until one of them actually happens, to the point that he’s implicated in the plot. Even with the assistance of his one ally, rookie cop Brittney Chase, people start dying around Elmore as attempts are made on his life. Following up on inventions from eccentric genius, Nikola Tesla, Elmore and Brittney team up to solve a hundred year old puzzle while trying to thwart a secret government agency and an Afghani terrorist group who seek to get their hands on a doomsday weapon.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Grandson Lessons – Inventing Games


As a writer, I’m interested in the creative process. As a grandfather, I enjoy watching my twenty-month-old grandson invent games.

At his young age, he’s constantly trying new things and showing how early the creative process comes into play. Once he masters a new skill, he likes to add a new twist to challenge himself. Here are some examples:

Now that he can walk, he no longer confines himself to a smooth path. Instead, he walks on the curb adjoining the nature trail to see if he can balance on it.

At the playground he has learned to go down the slides. Now he has invented a game where he takes a stick, leaf or toy up the steps with him and sends them down the slide before he slides down.

On the swing at the playground, he enjoys being pushed but now wants to go into the swing holding a ball. He then throws the ball to me while swinging and catches it when I toss it back.

At the playground there are four metal picnic tables, end to end. He has turned this into a race track where he pushed his toy car around on the seats of the picnic tables.

When we play with plastic blocks, instead of carrying them from one place to another in his hand, he uses a long plastic spoon to balance the blocks.

He loves jars and cans. He will fill up a can with pegs and dump the can into another can, and then dump the contents back into the original can.

Each time we get together, I can’t wait to see what he invents.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Reversion of Rights



I have six published books in my Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit Mystery Series. Print rights have reverted to me for five of these books, with one more in December of this year. One of these has already been published as a trade paperback and I will be working with another publisher on getting the others back in print.

This all came about because my previous publisher, Five Star, decided to exit the mystery book publishing business. With rights being reverted, I now can take the necessary steps to keep the books in print.