Friday, February 18, 2011

Guest Post/Virtual Tour ~ Frank Scully


If I could stack up all the books I have read in my lifetime it would make up a good sized library. Most of them would be mysteries, suspense and thrillers of all kinds but there would be a lot of other books, some read for reasons other than enjoyment. Looking ahead to what I would like to read, the number of books is even greater even though the time is now shorter. But fortunately the pile is no longer large since the books are all digital now.

Some people still prefer the printed page and the feel of a “real” book. I can understand that, but I now prefer my books in digital form and a nice ereader that can contain more books than I could carry in a truck. It isn’t the form - it is the content that I most look forward to in a book. I can lose myself in a story just as easily when it comes from an LCD or e-ink screen or from a paper page.

The publishing industry is in a state of turmoil adjusting to the new media and into that my first book, Resurrection Garden, was just released. It is a wonderful feeling after a long journey to actually know that people are reading my book. But as an author I know that my job isn’t finished yet.

Every author goes through many phases. Let’s follow one. We’ll call him, Ah Thor.

First, is what I call the ‘I could write that’ phase. Ah Thor isn’t actually writing anything but he’s read a lot of books and thinks he could write a book as good as the one he just read. This phase is characterized by bravado, confidence and tremendous ignorance. I really must emphasize the ignorance.

Second is the ‘put up or shut up phase’. Either Ah Thor’s conscience or someone else calls him on his phase one brag to prove it or shut up. Here Ah Thor either sits down and begins to write or regrets it ever after. Or maybe regrets the writing. There can be a lot of regret in this phase.

The third phase starts when Ah Thor has produced his first manuscript. Of course, the world should now stop and admire the masterpiece but for some reason doesn’t. Very disconcerting. Come on, Ah Thor, you have written this wonderful book, now what do you do?

Enter the fourth phase, the push to publication. Millions start this journey and few survive it. Here Ah Thor learns to live with rejection after rejection from agents and publishers. It’s like death from a million paper cuts. Re-write and edits are a way of life to improve his masterpiece. Ah Thor has to avoid countless vanity press scams and crooked agents. More rejections follow. Thor sees some other writers slip through and get published and reads their books and yes, he says, “Mine is better than that.” This phase is also characterized by the ‘almost published’ syndrome. Ah Thor gets a contract and is assigned an editor. Yes! He is on his way. Then the editor leaves and Thor is orphaned and only released from his contract after much harassment. Only the hardy survive and persevere. Darwinism in its most severe form.

Fifth phase is actual publication. True release to the public. Ah Thor’s book has been edited, formatted, cover art prepared and now is up and available. He doesn’t really believe it. Part of this phase involves a bit of the stunned amazement a person might experience after surviving a fall from the top of the Empire State Building. But then Ah Thor realizes everything leading up to this point has been the easy part. OMG!

Unless Ah Thor is a famous celebrity in his other life, every writer at this point is a ‘nobody’ except to his friends and family, all of whom are now badgered relentlessly to buy the book. But how does Ah Thor find the other readers for whom he truly wrote this book. The hunt begins. Not any reader will do. It must be the right kind. Just as there are many book genres, there are many species of readers and they must be properly matched or there will be discontent in the land.

Out into the land, virtual and real, he goes, searching high and low, enticing the readers to come to him. Every reader is a prized jewel and must and will be cherished. They don’t come easy and must be courted, wooed and won.

Thank G-d for every reader and for every author.

About the author ~

Frank Scully was born at the end of World War II and grew up in a small town in North Dakota. He remembers a time when radio provided the entertainment and then along came TV with few channels and an antenna on the roof. While in college getting a Bachelor’s degree in History and a Juris Doctor in Law, TV graduated to color and the first Star Trek series, the Beetles landed on the Ed Sullivan Show, Kennedy was assassinated, and Armstrong walked on the moon. He served in the U.S. Army as a Judge Advocate General Corps officer in the U.S., Vietnam and Thailand before getting his Masters in Business Administration from the Thunderbird School and embarking on a business career. Currently, he is a Contracts Manager for a major aerospace and defense manufacturer.

Resurrection Garden is a part of his Decade Mystery Series. Frank is writing at least one novel set in each decade from the beginning of the 20th century to the current time set in different locales with both continuing and new characters in each one. There is something unique in each decade that marks it as separate from what went before or what follows. Each book explores aspects of what is unique as it is expressed in the locale chosen and how it affects the culture, characters and the tenor of the times and yet also shows the common humanity that never changes. Resurrection Garden is unique among the books in the series in that it is set where Frank’s grandparents settled.

Resurrection Garden (A Decade Series Mystery) a mystery novel, is the first of five books Frank has under contract with MuseitUp Publishing.
Visit Frank's website

The book ~

Resurrection Garden (A Decade Series Mystery)

Jake Turner, a scarred veteran of the charge up San Juan Hill, has been a lone drifter through much of the settling of the west.  Opportunity was growing out of the newly turned sod of the North Dakota prairie in 1904 when he stopped to take a part time job as a Deputy Sheriff, expecting to move on again when the dark parts of his past catch up to him.

An investigation into a murder of a man hated by everyone has threads that lead to his best friend, Isaac.  Jake is ambushed and almost killed, but is nursed back to health by Isaac.  While Jake follows the clues into a labyrinth of hatred, sordid crimes and missing money he becomes attached to an eight year old orphaned boy named Andy and falls in love with Isaac’s sister, Alice.   After being alone for so long with no hope or care for what tomorrow might bring, Jake finds it difficult to accept these new emotional attachments.

Jake believes in Justice, but before he had only his own life on the line.   When Andy is kidnapped and almost killed, Jake knows the killers will do anything to stop him.   In order to protect Alice and Andy, he must break their hearts and leave them and North Dakota behind.

Jake knows he’ll be back.  So do the killers.  Trap and counter trap are laid.  Jake knows there will be graves.  He just doesn’t know who will be in them.

Read an excerpt ~ 

The sheriff joined me in my contemplation of the body. It wasn’t pretty. Thor had never been handsome and the ravages of being frozen under the snow for the winter and having birds and other animals picking away at the skin as the snow thawed and exposed the body made what was left of him downright disgusting.

One thing was evident though. He hadn’t died easy. Freezing to death is relatively painless. Wander out in the cold, get lost, fall asleep and don’t wake up. That wasn’t what happened to Thor.

“What do you think? Shotgun, maybe?” the sheriff opined.

“At least,” I answered. The hole in his chest was big enough to put a fist through. “But why? He musta been dead already when he was shot.”

“Yeah, first someone beat him to a bloody pulp, then gutted him and slashed his throat. And then shot him. Ain’t that what you said, Doc.”

“Looks that way to me,” Doc answered. “Can’t tell you much more until he thaws out all the way.”
“Somebody wanted him deader than dead,” the sheriff shook his head.

“Takes some hate to do all that,” Doc commented. “Got any suspects?”

Doc and the sheriff both turned to face me.

I let out a deep sigh. “I suppose you want me to find out what happened to him.”

 Upcoming Books ~ 

Dead Man's Gambit ~ due out June 2011
Empty Time ~ due out October 2011 
Blood Sins ~ due out December 2011
Gravedigger's Open House ~ due March 2012

Visit Frank on the rest of his tour ~

Monday, February 21
Interviewed at American Chronicle
Tuesday, February 22
Book reviewed and author interviewed at Marilyn’s Musings
Wednesday, February 23
Book reviewed at Broken Teepee
Thursday, February 24
Book reviewed at The Book Connection
Friday, February 25
Interviewed at As the Pages Turn