As promised, I am sharing some great writers, and friends, with you. Not all write cozy mystery, but that’s okay. Lets broaden our minds. Each author was given a list of questions that they could choose from. Some of the answers are very interesting. I’m enjoying finding out about these authors and I hope you will too.
About Thomas’s Books…
Michael writes in the genre of Mystery, and all his books are available on Amazon and Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program.
Natalie McMasters is a detective for the new millennium.
If you’re a mystery lover, you’ve read all the classic detectives. Sherlock Holmes. Sam Spade. Phillip Marlowe. Kinsey Millhone. What do all these sleuths have in common? Each one was a product of their era and their culture. So too is Natalie McMasters.
Nattie is a pre-law student at State University, a mega-college in an unnamed capital city in a southern state. As the series opens, she’s renting a house in the student ghetto with her roommates Kwaneshia and Fields. To help make ends meet, she works for her Uncle Amos Murdoch, the proprietor of the 3M Detective Agency, which is based in a nearby small town because the frugal Amos won’t pay the high rents in the capital. Most of his business comes from catching insurance scofflaws who say they’re hurt but aren’t. Nattie spends most of her working hours on stakeout, waiting for a subject to do something they’re not supposed to be able to so she can get a picture. It’s a great job for a student — she can study during all those long hours in the car. Amos even got her a private detective trainee’s license from the state, of which she’s prouder than she likes to let on. But one day, she sees something that she’s not supposed to. That’s the premise of the first Natalie McMasters story, Stakeout!
Stripper! is the first Natalie McMasters novel. The action occurs immediately after that in Stakeout! Nattie enters the seamy world of web cams and strip clubs to hunt a killer. Her investigation forces her to reassess many of the ideas that she’s lived by her whole life and do things she’s never considered before – strip on a stage, question her sexuality, and rediscover the meaning of love itself.
Revenge! is the sequel to Stripper! A scandalous video of Nattie from her web cam days is posted on the State campus CCTV system for all to see and is just the first in a series of vicious attacks on Nattie, her family and her friends. What could she have possibly done to someone in her short life to deserve the callous revenge her unseen tormentor is so brutally exacting?
The third volume is entitled Trafficked! in which Nattie takes Manhattan, searching for her wife, Lupe, who is fleeing deportation by ICE. As one reviewer says, you’ll find “blood, whipping, love making, sewer stench, a tour of Manhattan and Kosher food, honor, despair, and a healthy dollop of deceit and mystery solving” in it.
Venom! is the latest installment. It’s a contemporary take on an English country house mystery, as Nattie, Lupe and Danny try to meld themselves into a polyamorous family at a relationship retreat in the mountains of rural Georgia, without letting a series of gruesome murders get in the way.
It’s important to point out that, while the Natalie McMasters Mysteries are chronological, enough background is given in each book so they can be enjoyed as standalone works.
The Natalie McMasters series is notable for its sexy, intricate plots, its breakneck pacing and gritty, dark atmosphere. These are definitely not cozy mysteries! Keep on reading the series and you’ll experience the transformation of an innocent college coed into a hard-boiled PI for the 21st century.
Now lets ask Michael some questions…
When did you start writing? I have written fiction as a hobby all of my life, starting in marble-backed copybooks in grade school. I built a career as a technical writer, science writer and editor for nearly thirty years in industry and government. Now that I’m truly on my own as a freelance science writer and editor, I’m excited to publish my own mystery series as well.
How do you research for your books? For big topics that will be an important element of a book, I’ll spend days on the Internet, taking notes and cataloging relevant websites. I also research constantly as I’m writing, going back and forth from the manuscript to the web when I have questions about certain details, like the cost of meal in New York City, or facts about a particular place.
On a typical day, how much time do you spend writing? It depends. Many writers get fixated on hours and word count. Of course, if you’re going to write a novel, sooner or later, you’re going to have to sit down and bang it out, but other things are important too. Sometimes I’ll spend days doing research, or just reading the work of others. As I do this, I find that important elements of my stories are forming unconsciously, so that when I do concentrate on writing, the story flows much better.
What do you hope your readers take away from your books? In addition to writing a thrilling, sexy mystery, I try to consider some important social issues in each Natalie McMasters mystery. For example, Stripper! explores the treatment of sex workers by society, and touches on immigration issues. Immigration is also a big part of Revenge!, as is the effect of religion on relationships. The treatment of the homeless and of veterans, and the realities of sex trafficking are touched upon in Trafficked!, and Venom! looks at society’s reactions to alternative lifestyles and transgender issues. I try to portray multiple viewpoints in my books, not just my own. My objective is to get my readers to think about these issues, to examine their beliefs and understand why they believe as they do.
Favorite quote (doesn’t matter the source) (Man) is free to make the wrong choice, but not free to succeed with it. He is free to evade reality, he is free to unfocus his mind and stumble blindly down any road he pleases, but not free to avoid the abyss he refuses to see. Knowledge, for any conscious organism, is the means of survival; to a living consciousness, every “is” implies an “ought.” Man is free to choose not to be conscious, but not free to escape the penalty of unconsciousness: destruction. Ayn Rand
Author Links ↓
Those sound like exciting books, and I hope you’ll visit Thomas’s links (above) to find out more. Thanks for a great interview!