Writing Crime Fiction

November 16, 2018

I find writing crime fiction easy but the editing process is hard as I am slightly dyslexic.  I am also lazy which is why my stories take a long time to write.  I began my newly released novel, Magic Bullets, a ridiculously long time ago in the 1970s.

My first draft is always bad and contains all kinds of spelling, grammar and continuity errors because I am a story teller and not a literary writer.  I write ideas down as they come into my head while I sit at a computer.  I do think about the story as I go about my daily life, planning plot lines and sometimes endings.  But the story really evolves into something I feel worthwhile publishing during the editing.  The advantage of this style is that I do not recall getting writer’s block.  I subscribe to the Raymond Chandler view, “When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand”.  I don’t take this literary but I do like to throw in something to put my protagonist reader, and occasionally even myself off guard.

I self publish and therefore have to be extra vigilant with my editing.  Online and offline spelling and grammar checkers are invaluable.  Oh, if only I had these when I grew up in the years BC (Before Computers) when dyslexia was unheard of.  But even these tools are not good enough.  I get computer text-to-voice software to read my writing back to me and at least three people, whose views I respect, to read through what I consider to be my final draft.  In reality it never is.  Even after all these checks a few mistakes creep through.  But the beauty of self-publishing and publishing-on-demand means that I do not produce more than ten or twenty copies at a time.  This means that by the time my work gets to the reader the mistakes are gone and, who knows, some of the early error filled copies may eventually be worth a lot of money as collectors’ items.

Keith Jahans

http://peatmore.com/magicbullets.htm

 

 

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Book Review – JESSE GARON: A Phil Allman P.I. Novel by Brett Wallach

March 17, 2017

Phil Allman is a gumshoe in the Raymond Chandler tradition.  He is contracted to find the missing twin brother of Elvis Presley who was mistakenly believed to have been stillborn when the legendary King of Rock and Roll was born in 1933.

At first I thought the plot implausible, but Presley did in fact have a twin named Jesse Garon Presley who did not survive when their mother gave birth so it is conceivable as he was born into an impoverished family he could have been given away at birth.

The story starts slowly with the detective narrator explaining that he was an Elvis fan and why the star’s twin was adopted and registered as stillborn.  Then as the tale progresses the characters take over and it becomes more interesting.  Private Investigator, narrator and protagonist, Phil Allman, is well rounded, likable and struggling to come to terms with the separation from his wife and to maintain contact with his eleven year old daughter while at the same time unravelling the mystery surrounding Elvis’s twin.  Characters are expertly introduced and neatly described with amusing asides from Allman.  His search for Jesse Garon is intriguing and is complicated by some murders he encounters along the way.

The novel is well crafted and absorbing and, because of my concern for the wellbeing of the central character, I was compelled to read on to the end.  The author is a talented storyteller.  His skill in this genre is clearly evident and he should be congratulated.  I can thoroughly recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a good mystery.

Keith Jahans


Jesse Garon is published by SynergEbooks and available as a pdf for $4.88