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Crime Beat Confidential TV Show back

 

PI Dana Bowman on Crime Beat Confidential

My Crime Beat Confidential TV show on thatchannel.com got a late start this year. We usually get things rolling by April. However, this year because of dealing with all the ramifications, difficulties, including lockdowns from COVIE-19, the show was postponed.

However, PI Dana Bowman, the main character in my Beyond mystery series along with me are back, with our first guest, author David Albertyn, whose first mystery-thriller Undercard is getting a lot of fanfare since its publication late in 2019. And that is with all the COVID-19 thou shall nots. His book, published by The House of Anansi in Canada is now available in the US (as well as France, etc. via the usual online sources such as Amazon. And available in print and e-copy. More info on David’s website.

David also has something else going, which is of interest to other published authors and readers. A way for the two to connect. He and another author Ann Y.K. Choi, started The Authors Book Club online earlier this year. This is a way for Canadian readers and authors to connect. Of course, now, mainly online. Check it out here.

Taping this episode was not the usual with  Dana and I going into the thatchannel studio in downtown Toronto, thanks to COVID-19. The show was taped remotely from my home and from David’s home. Dana was fascinated by it all, especially as she got to sit at my laptop in my office. She couldn’t do her usual rant and then guest intro at the beginning because not being in the studio, I wasn’t in the office with the show’s producer. So she could say her piece and not have me hear it, she locked me in the bathroom. In my own home. Sheesh!. But I got out. And I went after her.

Once that little episode was over, I got down to the business of interviewing David. And he had some interesting things to say. See the show here.

Cheers.

Sharon A, Crawford

Author of the Beyond mystery series.

The two Beyond novels so far

More info on my Amazon profile at the link below.

https://tinyurl.com/yc7xvcjf

 

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Get a Room – Sharon blogs about unique author-reader experience

Sharon A. Crawford's latest in the Beyond series

Sharon A. Crawford’s latest in the Beyond series

This week I did a guest blog post on Shannon A. Thompson’s very busy blog. Shannon’s blog focuses on the author-reader connection and that happened to me and three other Crime Writers of Canada authors when we recently did a presentation at the Beaches library branch in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I’ll put the first few paragraphs of my post here. Then I’m connecting you over to Shannon’s blog. (I know; I know; lazy-way out but it gives you a chance to check out another writer’s blog.).

Get a Room – the Ultimate Author and Reader Connection

Readers and writers like to connect on Goodreads, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and blogs. Videos on YouTube give the reader some idea of the author’s persona. But they are not connecting physically. As the title of a song made famous by the late Peggy Lee (back in pre-online days) asks, “Is that all there is?”

But get an author in a “bricks and mortars” room with a group of readers and more can happen. Call it creative magic, call it real connection – whatever you wish, but it is like the icing on the cake.

Why else do authors still do readings and interviews in libraries, cafes, pubs, at book clubs, writing festivals and conferences? Sure, we authors want to sell books, but we want to meet our readers in the flesh. And when you do like me, partner up with authors from a writing organization, the atmosphere can escalate into a literary, or in my case, criminal high. No drugs needed.

As the crime fiction author of the Beyond mystery series (Beyond the Tripping Point, 2012 and Beyond Blood, 2014, Blue Denim Press) and a member of Crime Writers of Canada, I often “appear” with other crime writers to do readings and author interviews. A recent appearance at the Beaches Library Branch in Toronto, Canada, turned into an incredible evening.

***

And now over to Shannon, who introduces me first and then posts my blog post.

http://shannonathompson.com/2015/03/09/author-and-reader-connection/

Happy reading and maybe I’ll see you at a future gig. I post my reading and presentation gigs on the Beyond Blood page of my website www.samcraw.com. There are more I have to post but I’m getting to them. Keep checking back.

 

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

 

Author of the Beyond book series. See http://www.samcraw.com and http://www.bluedenimpress.com for more info. Book at top of this post links to my Amazon author profile.

To watch my interview on Liquid Lunch on thatchannel.com go to Go to http://youtu.be/i2bBaePIWgY and enjoy.

 

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Sharon A. Crawford presents Rene Natan and The Woman in Black

Romance/suspense author Rene Natan

Romance/suspense author Rene Natan

As promised, here is a look at suspense/romance novelist Rene Natan and her writing, including my review of The Woman in Black

 

How do you come up with your novel ideas, particularly with The Woman in Black?

 

From events in my life, the life of a person close to me or from the news. When my house got destroyed, I felt a deep sense of disruption, almost of abandon. I tried to portray this feeling in my first novel, Mountains of Dawn. What triggered me to write The Woman in Black was the difficulty a police officer encounters when she had to impersonate a call girl

 

What is your process for writing a novel? Do you do an outline first? Rewriting and editing as well?

 

Normally I write an outline to start with. However this first outline changes as I go along, mostly around the first half of the novel. After that, the personas almost write their own story.

 

Why do you write suspense romance novels?

 

Love is the main force in life, being parental love, conjugal love, or forbidden love. I wouldn’t dare to write anything without SOME kind of love. Suspense is needed to keep the reader turning one page after the other. Will the two lovers get together? Would the abducted child be rescued? Would the police capture the sadistic killer? The writer is the deus ex machina; he can forge the characters to his liking and take the reader along, in a journey of emotional “high,” fun and anticipation.

 

Rene Natan Bio:

 

Rene Natan was first attracted by the myriad possibilities offered by computers and pursued a career in information technology. The desire of being a storyteller, however, never left her since plots kept taking shape in her mind. After following a number of online courses on fiction writing, she started to jot down her stories. The Blackpox Threat won the first prize in the 2012 Five Star Dragonfly Award and was one on the four finalists in the 2011 Indie Excellence Award competition.

 

Book Review:

Cover of The Woman in Black by Rene Natan

Cover of The Woman in Black by Rene Natan

The Woman in Black by Rene Nathan is a romantic suspense novel set in the fictitious town of Varlee, Ontario the end of 2000 and beginning of 2001.

Chief Detective Conrad Tormez has a lot on his mind. His mentally challenged teenage daughter has been missing for two years and he needs to nail the criminal gang causing havoc in Varlee. The latter requires going to the head of the gang. To find the gang’s leader, he takes advantage of something this criminal doesn’t know – his girlfriend Clara Moffat has just died in a vehicle accident. So he hires a former police officer and friend, Savina Thompson, to impersonate Clara and set up the next wealthy victim. Using a newly-designed voice emulation system and another friend, wealthy businessman Denis Tailllard, to play this victim, Tormez hopes to rid Varlee of the thieving gang. Despite Tormez’s various plans for possible scenarios, he cannot foresee everything.

For nothing is simple and anything that can go haywire does.

As the story unfolds, the characters, plot and subplot become connected. Natan uses a multi-layered approach that peels like the proverbial onion to constantly reveal something else unexpected. Just when you wonder why a piece of plot or another character appears, it soon becomes relevant and adds to the suspense. The events leading up to and including the climax will keep the reader on the edge. Warning: be careful if reading The Woman in Black on public transit or while walking down the street – you might miss your stop or bump into someone or something.

The complicated plot and many characters, at times can get a little overwhelming. But Natan‘s listing of characters and short chapters help keep the reader oriented.

If you like intrigue, The Woman in Black is for you. However, it might be wise to block some time to read it. As this reviewer discovered, reading it in chunks may not work as you will want to continue reading to see what happens next.

Reviewed by Sharon A. Crawford author of the Beyond mystery books – Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012) and Beyond Blood (Blue Denim Press, 2014). See www.samcraw.com for info about Sharon’s books and social media links.

 

Partial list of Rene Natan’s published novels:

 

The Woman in Black, ebook, 2014, $2.95 US, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QQZ08QE

The Loves and Tribulations of Detective Stephen Carlton, ebook, 2014, $2.99 US, https://smashwords.com/books/view/471255

Fleeting Visions, ebook, 2013, $3.75 US, http://www.amazon.com/Fleeting-Visions-Rene-Natan-ebook/dp/B00HNG53LU

The Bricklayer, ebook, 2012, $2.64 US, www.amazon.com/dp/B007PKCHBI

The Blackpox Threat, 2010, $4.27US, www.Oldlinepublishing.com, http://www.amazon.com

 

http://www.vermeil.biz

http://www.facebook.com/rene.natan.7

https://mobile.twitter.com/redmanor

http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4891285-rene-natan

E-books can be purchased on Amazon.com (Kindle). The Bricklayer and The Blackpox Threat are also available as print on Amazon.com

Cheers and Happy New Year

Sharon A. Crawford

P.S. Rene Natan turns the tables on me when she interviews me at http://www.scribd.com/doc/251460632/Interview-with-Sharon-Crawford

 

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Dana Bowman interviews author Sharon A Crawford

Cover of Beyond Blood by Sharon A. Crawford, published by Blue Denim Press

Cover of Beyond Blood by Sharon A. Crawford, published by Blue Denim Press

I suppose all fictional characters, especially in adventure or heroic fiction, at the end of the day are our dreams about ourselves. And sometimes they can be really revealing.

  • Alan Moore

Dana Bowman sits before me, sketch pad and charcoal in hand. She is going to give me the third-degree interview.

Dana: I understand you and my brother Bast share a career background.

Me: Journalistic, yes. I am a former journalist for 30 years, so a bit longer than your twin. I did write a few crime-related articles but my beats were the arts, health, seniors, and profiles of all kinds of people.

Dana: How and why did you switch from journalism to mystery fiction?

Me: That’s really two questions. First, the journalism one – it wasn’t really a switch. I just got tired of all the work for newspaper and magazine stories for little pay. Guess I ran out of steam but I am still interested in people and writing their stories, so profiles aren’t off the table completely.

Dana: But why mystery fiction?

Me: Because that’s what I like to read and watch on TV. I grew up with Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and from age 12, Agatha Christie. And my late mom and I used to watch the Perry Mason TV series – the original one in black and white. From all that I got hooked on the puzzle – why people do what they do, why it brings them to murder and who the heck is the guilty party. I also have a sense of justice – people who do the crime should do the time – in one way or another. That doesn’t seem to be happening anymore in real life, even back in your days in the late 1990s.

Dana: As Bast would say, let the record show, that Sharon is referring to the timelines in Beyond Blood and Beyond the Tripping Point. So, Sharon, can you tell us how you, well created Bast and I? Are you and I similar in any way?

Me: That’s two questions again. I see that’s how you operate.

Dana: You started it all.

Me: Right.

Dana: How are we similar? Especially with our height.

Me: Yes, you and I are shorties, but I have a couple of inches on you.

Dana: Why did you make me 4’11”? Couldn’t you have brought me up to 5 feet at least?

Me: Too close to me. Actually the idea of both yours and Bast’s height came from an aunt and uncle on my dad’s side. Aunt Marguerite was 4’ll” and Uncle Miles was 6’2” But I did give Bast an inch. But I gave you some qualities and traits I don’t have. You own and drive a car. I couldn’t drive a car to save my life.

Dana: Would you want to?

Me: Very occasionally but seldom. I know I would be guilty of roadkill, so it’s safer if I’m never behind the wheel of a car. Also you have a cell phone and I don’t. Sure, it would come in handy in emergencies but cell phone technology is a whole lot more complicated in 2014 than in the late 1990s. And I gave you the gift of being able to draw because I can’t draw a straight line even with a ruler.

Dana: A little jealousy here?

Me. Maybe, but I wanted you different than I. And you and your brother evolved over 15 or 16 years of on and off writing, now definitely in the on stage.

Dana: And Bast? Why did you make him gay?

Me: Because when I first started writing Beyond Blood back in the late 1990s, gay people were just coming out more. The annual Pride parade was just starting up in Toronto. And I wanted a character that was different than what was being published. I know there are now gay (male and female) mystery characters, but how many of them are a fraternal twin?

Dana: True. What about my son David? Where did he come from?

Me: Well, I do have a son, who is now in his mid-thirties and I too was a single parent, so I suppose some of that originated there. And I had issues with being a working mom and wanted to bring that out in the stories.

Dana: Okay. Now, moving along. You mentioned that you want justice done in this world. Is there anything in your background, particularly when growing up, that made you feel this way?

Me: Several things. I was bullied as a child by both one of my best friends and also by a nun in grade school. Never beaten up – it was more verbal. Also I read a lot in the newspapers about 11 and 12-year-old girls getting murdered and that really upset me. I was the same age then. You have to remember this was around 1960 when things were supposedly stricter. Well, they were at school and church – I grew up a Catholic and so there was this belief in the bad being punished for their bad deeds, even an eye for an eye. So, if you killed someone, you deserved to die. But Canadian justice seemed to be getting too liberal. Many convicted murderers were getting their executions (hanging in Canada back then) stayed. I remember in grade 11 at high school class discussion on capital punishment – it was around the time that the government was considering dropping the hanging sentence. I was one of the few in the class who wanted Canada to keep the death penalty. We all know that didn’t happen and a lot of the criminal law got too much in favour of the criminals since then. Sure, some harsh sentences remain, but the convicted killers get jail credit for time spent in prison leading up to and during the trial. The bottom line is I don’t think justice for the victim is being given. But in a mystery novel you can have this happen – one way or the other – even with any lenient laws.

Dana: Wow. That sounds familiar. That’s me; that’s how I feel. And now understand better why I do what I do.

Me: Well, remember I may have created you, but you go out on your own in my stories.

Dana: Oh, so you give me enough rope to hang…. sorry, bad choice of words.

Me: Right. We don’t want you getting killed. It would kill the stories.

Dana: Of course. And I thought it was because you like me.

Me: I do.

Dana: Okay, that’s it for this time. Bast wants to interview you next week.

Meantime click on my book cover above – it will lead you to my publisher Blue Denim Press’s website. Scroll down and you can see where Beyond Blood is currently available, including at www.bluedenimpress.com.

And check my website www.samcraw.com – click on Beyond Blood. I constantly update the gigs etc. on that page.

 

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

 

 

 

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