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I was born in 1943. My Dad was in the navy in WW II and my mom and I lived on my grandparents farm for two years until he returned.
There was, of course, no TV or internet or video games, so my Mom and Grandma read to me. I still have my first book which is 65 years old, Bobbie Had A Nickel. They read it to me so many times that by the time I was old enough to talk, I could recite it from memory.
So from an early age,
reading was a part of my life. I went from The Bobbsey Twins to comic books.
Tarzan, Roy Rogers and Gene Autry became my heroes.
My wife, who is an avid reader, after reading my first attempts, assured me that I could.Once I had the first Lady Justice published, I began to get feedback from my readers.In a word, everyone who read it, loved it.
Though the Lady Justice series might be classified as 'mysteries', I will be the first to acknowledge that you don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out the plot. Lady Justice was created to make people laugh.
The world is full of tragedy, heartbreak and sorrow. My goal as an author is to make them forget, if just for a few hours, all the bad stuff and have a good belly laugh.
One reader who had just undergone open heart surgery told me he laughed so hard he almost popped his stitches.
If laughter is indeed the
best medicine, Lady Justice should cure most anything.
After reading all fourteen of her novels that were available at that time, I thought it might be fun to try to write like she did, so I went to my computer, pretended to be Janet Evanovich and using her characters, wrote three chapters of my own in the Stephanie Plum series.
I gave them to my wife and waited breathlessly as she read. When I heard her laugh out loud, I figured I might be on the right track.
She immediately told me that
Janet didn't need any help from me as she was doing quite well on her own
and that I should get my own characters and write my own story.
You can read the three
chapters I wrote on my website:
These were my first words as a novelist.
I have read novels from
authors who have been attorneys or cops and that's what makes their stories
I was just an old retired guy who had led a very full life and done some pretty quirky things, so I decided that that's who my character should be, an old retired guy who decides he wants to be a cop. In a very real sense, Walt Williams is my alter-ego.
While the book is fiction, probably half of Walt's adventures are based on real incidents in my own life.
In Lady Justice And The Lost Tapes, Walt goes undercover as an Elvis impersonator, an elf and dresses in drag.
My wife cringes when I tell
people I have done all those things. Here's proof.
In Lady Justice Gets Lei'd,
Walt and Maggie are married in Hawaii, recreating the Elvis wedding in Blue
The idea of a sixty-five year old retired guy becoming a cop may be a bit far-fetched to some.
As I am writing, I put my sixty-seven year old body in Walt's place. Walt doesn't do anything that I wouldn't or couldn't do myself.
Walt and I live his
I have been given the gift of seeing the funny side of most everything in life.
While others fixate on the gloom and doom, I can usually find something hilarious in just about anything.
A great source of frustration for my wife is when she's telling me something she perceives as awful, and instead of responding with shock or indignation, I sit there with a silly smile on my face.
However sometimes the lighter side comes in retrospect.
In Lady Justice Takes A
C.R.A.P., Walt suffers through the passing of a kidney stone.
But to be honest, as my first effort, it was certainly not my best.
When the manuscript came back from Tate Publishing, the editor's suggested corrections and revisions were highlighted in red and green.
It looked like a Christmas tree had exploded on the page.
The suggested revisions for Lady Justice And The Lost Tapes were about a third of what came back in the first novel and when Lady Justice Gets Lei'd came back, there were hardly any.
I think maybe that means that I'm getting better.
My readers seem to be much
like me; every Lady Justice makes them laugh, but everyone also thinks that
they're getting better every time.
His second grade teacher gave the class an assignment to write a book. My grandson, knowing I was an author was eager to share the experience with me. His little story was about a rainbow, a leprechaun and a pot of gold.After all the hoopla and praise was over, my wife commented, "I'll bet you could write a children's book. After all, you're just a big kid anyway."
With a challenge like that, how could I resist. I picked up on the little two page story of my grandson, and I wrote about an eight-year old boy and his six year-old sister.
They follow a rainbow and discover Rainbow Road which leads them to the home of Lucky Leprechaun.Lucky has a pot of gold coins, but his coins are special as they have the power to give whoever possesses them super powers like X-Ray Vision and Super Strength.
In each of the seven chapter books in the series, Lucky gives one of the kids a new super power and they're off to a new adventure.
The Rainbow Road books were
an instant hit with the kids.
I have three reasons for
writing:First, it gives me great joy and personal satisfaction.
People write to me and say
they are waiting anxiously for Walt's next adventure. There is no greater
reward than that.
I'm almost sixty-eight years old. I hope to have a few good years left, but who knows for sure?At my age, one begins to pay more attention to their mortality.
While I'm quite satisfied with what I have accomplished in my life, I ask myself. "If I dropped dead tomorrow, what would I leave behind?"
I am a died-in-the-wool Elvis fan. He's been dead thirty-four years but his music still brings joy into the hearts of millions of his fans.
It would mean a lot to me if
five years after my ashes were scattered, someone would pick up a Lady
Justice novel and it would put a smile on their face.
If I find an author I like, I will read as many as I can get my hands on.
Most recently, I have read
Up Country, Plum Island and Wild Fire by Nelson DeMille.
I have sent advance copies
of the manuscript to readers of the first three novels and several have said
it is the best yet.
I have spent several months in the marketing phase, but the juices are starting to flow again. I think maybe Lady Justice #5 is not that far away.
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