Artwork by Micky Mitchell. Music by Steve Fitzner
Need something to do this weekend? Are you Netflixed out? Read a book! Remember when we were kids and we spent hours in our rooms reading our favorite novels and comics? I read everything from Star Wars, to James Bond (by Ian Fleming, the original Bond novels) to whatever science fiction, mystery or spy novels I could get my hands on. I’d read them over and over again, trying to get every detail of the story, find things I may have missed, figure out the characters. The first book I checked out at the public library was “A Wrinkle in Time.” I enjoyed the movie, but there is just something about reading the book. You get so much more. You get a feel for the characters’ thoughts and motivations. You get details that can’t be portrayed on a screen. You get scenes that, for practical or time reasons, didn’t make it into the movie. You get the WHOLE story. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good movie. I’ll watch a good movie over and over. But you invest in a good book, and the payoff is astronomical.
I discovered two things in my teens: Film Noir and novels by writers such as Raymond Chandler. First person accounts by gritty, no nonsense characters who live hard lives and try to make sense of a sleazy, violent world. A character who doesn’t really want to be a hero, but they end sacrificing themselves for the greater good anyway. I have this belief that Han Solo (Star Wars, duh) is the cleaned up science fiction version of this same character. When he shot Greedo under the table at the cantina he was playing the part of the classic film noir anti-hero. Or maybe not, I don’t know. It’s a matter of opinion, I guess. But Han shot first, I don’t care how Lucas tried to revise the story later. But I digress.
When I started writing “The Fuse” I intended for Markus Jackson, Port City Private Eye, to be that guy. He lives in a sleazy world, trying to make sense of things that don’t add up but isn’t shy about punching a problem in the mouth if he runs out of more reasonable options. Or if he just feels like a problem needs a punch in the mouth. He’s a throwback to the film noir troubled protagonist who works in the shadows. The prologue opens like many noir stories: He’s sitting at a bar, telling his story in first person narrative, when a beautiful woman walks in and changes his life forever. He knows it the minute he sees her; when she sits next to him at the bar and asks for a light for her cigarette.
Chapter One cuts to fourteen years later and now Markus Jackson has a teenage daughter who gets bullied at school. The story is no longer in first person narrative as told by Markus Jackson, because the story is no longer about him. It’s about his daughter, Jett. As parenting goes, when you have a kid, your life is about their story, and that’s how Jackson sees it. But Jackson is working on a case where he recognizes some creepy parallels between Jett’s experience with bullies, how the school district (mis)handles the bullying, and the corruption he is uncovering in his missing persons investigation. Are these two plots related? I don’t know. Read the book and find out. The answers are shocking! (Ha ha. Using dramatic words to get your attention).
The sequel, Jett Landry: Urban Legend, will be out soon. Artist Micky Mitchell and I are working on the cover and it’s gonna be awesome. It’s also a good story. A wild ride through Port City and beyond. Read Jett Landry: The Fuse first so you’ll be ready for Jett Landry: Urban Legend.
Read the book, write a review on Amazon, and let me know here, on Twitter or Facebook what you think. If you like the book, recommend it to your friends.
Thank you for reading this blog and thank you for reading my book!
Jett Landry: Urban Legend is coming soon. The original plan was for a late summer release but Hurricane Laura put us behind a little as some of us skipped town, others rode out the storm and lived without electricity for a while. We’re about a month away. I’ve been working to promote this project. I appeared on the Podcast Beaumont Y2Z recently. I did a book signing and discussion at Shabby Shabby Antiques for First Thursdays on Calder here in Beaumont in August.
Urban Legend is the second book in the Jett Landry Saga. It picks up four years after the events of Jett Landry: The Fuse. It’s wild ride. Lots of action, emotion, character development and an introduction to some new characters I think you will enjoy getting to know.
I’ll update everyone again as we get closer to publishing.