The Surreal Killer

The Surreal Killer
Machu Picchu. Peru

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Next Big Thing

My friend Pat Bertram invited me to participate in this blog chain. 

The idea of this ongoing blog chain, called "The Next Big Thing," is to answer 10 questions about my current Work In Progress, and in turn "tag" 5 other writers who will write posts on their blogs. I thought this might be a good excuse to tell you about the next novel featuring Roger and Suzanne; this time they'll be investigating crimes closer to home rather than in South America.  The fun part for me in this work in progress is trying to integrate my love of mysteries with my (and my wife's) love of German Shorthaired Pointers.  I'm also toying with the idea of a future trivia question on this blog asking how many references readers can find to German Shorthaired Pointer dogs in the previous books in the Roger and Suzanne series.  I can think of several.

What is your working title of your book?  "The Deadly Dog Show"

Where did the idea come from for the book?   My wife, who has been urging me for at least a year to get Roger and Suzanne to buy a dog, to go to dog shows, and to solve the killing of an unloved dog show judge.  The suggestion was recently reinforced by a reader of a short story I wrote about a P.I. and a dog who asked me on Facebook to write a Roger and Suzanne novel with a dog-based theme.

What genre does your book fall under?   Hard-boiled mystery

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?  I think I see
Kristanna Loken as Suzanne---a tall, blond, and athletic woman of 30-ish.  If you are asking WHO at this point, look her up on Google or The IMDB (try the name or the SyFy Channel series, "Painkiller Jane").  Roger---how about Aaron Eckhart?  They'd make a nice couple.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?   It's too soon to know, but let's try this one:  Roger and Suzanne
acquire Juliet, the show dog Suzanne always wanted, which brings our detectives to the California dog show circuit and their usual quota of dead bodies. 

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  Self-published, on Amazon.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?  I don't know yet.  It's a work in progress.  I've been working on it for several months already.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  I think the Roger and Suzanne mystery series of books has elements of Dashiell Hammett's "The Thin Man" in them, with the wealthy couple solving some nasty murders.  Roger is better adjusted and drinks a lot less than many California Private Eyes, perhaps because he's had fewer concussions than most.  His martial arts skills have protected him from the inevitable blows on the head with a blackjack thus far.  For this particular story, the Sherlock Holmes stories like "A Scandal in Bohemia" might have some interesting similarities if "The Deadly Dog Show" goes in the directions I'm currently thinking of.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?  My wife and several of her dog show friends.  And I wanted to bring Roger and Suzanne back to California where they can get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.  They've been eating too much beef in Uruguay and their serum cholesterol levels are creeping up. 

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?  The plot, the setting, the whodunit theme, and revisiting with
characters from a series, or meeting Roger and Suzanne for the first time.  This will be the fifth novel and the seventh or eighth book in the series (depending on my rate of progress on another book in the series also in the works).  Throw in a visit to the world of dog shows with a totally authentic background, and how can you not have your interest piqued?  For the record, I actually showed (or at least tried to) one of our dogs in a large Sacramento Kennel Club Show when Elaine was too pregnant to do the honors, so I know whereof I write in this context.

Thank you,

I was invited to this blog chain by Pat Bertram, who you can meet at her blog:


I'd also like you to meet some of my friends who I have tagged at their blogs:

Laurie Hanan at

Kim Chamberlain at

Uvi Poznansky at

Roe Cohen Pope at

John Tucker at!/hutt1234

Please visit them next week, between 12/3 and 12/9

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