Sunday, February 20, 2011

Welcome Mystery Author Wade J. McMahan As He Discusses His Newest Novel "Naughty or Nice? A Richard Dick Mystery"

Independent short-fiction author, Wade J. McMahan, crosses the boundaries of numerous genres.  His latest work “Naughty or Nice? A Richard Dick Mystery”  is available in virtually all  eBook formats from Untreed Reads Publishing or globally through eBook outlets including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, OmniLit, and Waterstones (UK). 

What is the name of your latest book? 

Naughty or Nice? A Richard Dick Mystery.

And how did you come up with the title? 

This became the third story published in my humorous Richard Dick Mystery series after  Jay Hartman, the Publisher at Untreed Reads Publishing, asked challenged me to write a Christmas/Hanukkah cross-over  story.   The question then arose, what would a private dick investigate prior to Christmas?  Well, he would assist Santa in the development of his annual list of “Naughty or Nice” children—of course!  

What is this book about? 

Bringing Santa Claus into a Christmas story is obvious enough, but what has that got to do with Hanukkah?  The plot thickens.  During the course of his investigation, private detective Richard Dick discovers that Santa is not Saint Nicholas after all, but is in truth, Jewish—the greatly misunderstood Rabbi Silverstein.

Beyond Dick’s usual tomfoolery, the story actually takes a serious turn with the introduction of two young brothers.   Insert here, one tragic fire and a boy dying of cancer and then hold on for a trip around the globe on Santa’s sleigh and a life lesson worth learning.

And what genre is this book in? 

How could a story about Santa Claus not be a fantasy?  
Who is/are the main character(s)? 

Richard Dick (please just call him Dick), Santa Clause (aka Rabbi Silverstein), and two young brothers, Lamarcus and Randy Johnson.

And why did you choose them? 

Christmas stories oftentypically gravitate towards Santa Claus and children.   Dick was the catalyst that brought all the characters together.

What is the coolest or best part about your book? 

The ending.  Santa coaches young Lamarcus through a tragic life lesson that even an adult would find difficult to grasp.

Do you have a favorite character in the book? 

Dick is my favorite in all of his stories, but I really came to like Santa in this one.

Why him? 

In many ways, Santa Claus became a tragic figure in this story.  Beyond the many popular misunderstandings about his true persona, Santa is far more than “a jolly old elf.”  Most importantly, in “Naughty or Nice?” I wanted to express that he cares very deeply about children, especially those in trouble.     

Is this book part of a series? 

As already mentioned, yes it is.  The series began with “Bite This!  A Richard Dick Mystery,” a story of shape-shifters that hit the Top 10 Bestseller List at OmniLit and is selling like hotcakes at Waterstones (UK).   Following that successful launch, I wrote “Witches Witch?” and now “Naughty or Nice?”

If so?   What can we expect in future books?

Wow, where to begin?  Hmm, Untreed Reads Publishing will soon release “The Lincoln Park Horror” where our hero Dick has a client who is a ghost.   I’m also working on “Fanged” where Dick will encounter a vampire.   Beyond that, I have partial storylines involving aliens and cavemen.  Dick opens a lot of doors.

If  you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? 

I don’t think so—I was quite satisfied with it.  If the great fantastic review I received from “The Pagan and the Pen” is any indication of its merit,  then I believe readers will find  it”Naughty or Nice?” worth their time.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Aside from the knowledge that Santa Claus is Jewish?  Let me think…  Oh yes, it re-inforced that I am capable of writing stories that contain more than pure humor.   I intend to take that knowledge in an altogether new direction and to a new level.

Do you have a publisher? 

Yes.  I am currently closely allied with Untreed Reads Publishing who publishes my Richard Dick series, and also published my humorous fantasy, “Flying Solo.”   I have also been published in The Ampersand Review, The df_Underground, Pine Tree Mysteries, and The Crow’s Nest Magazine. 

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? 

Mark Twain.  Yeah sure, I know that sounds trite, but the truth is—damn that man could pack a lot into a short story in his own unique amazing way!  I want to be Mark Twain when I grow up.

What books are you reading now? 

Non-fiction.  Research for my in-progress novel and for my career as a forester.  I know—boring stuff, but necessary.

What are the current writing projects that you are working on? 

I’ve already metioned the on-going works in my Richard Dick series.  Beyond that, I’m terribly excited about a full-length, fantasy novel I’m writing in company with Irish poet, Mike Mitchell.  The working title is “Above All Else.  An Irish Ballad,” although we fully expect it to change numerous times before it’s the book completed.  It’s a lyrical work based upon an ancient Irish legend, and introduces conflicts between traditional Druid beliefs and the introduction march of Christianity into Ireland.  We hope to bring the novel out by the end of the year.

Do you write full time? 

No, no, no.  I am a forester by profession and enjoy my time outdoors too much to sit at a desk all day.  

If not, do you hope to do so one day?

Someday maybe.   Meanwhile, I own my own business which offers many personal rewards as well as an income.  

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

No.  I suppose it kind of grew on me.  

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? 

You mean other than “normal people” thinking I’m some kind of a nut?  I find everything about writing challenging.  Writing well—writing to the high standards demanded by publishers is hard, damn it!  My best friends on my keyboard are “Highlight>Delete.”

Do you have any advice for other writers seeking to get published for the first time?

Think of writing as a business because that’s precisely what it is.  Read what’s already out there.  See what the competition looks like.  Can you do as well or better?  If so, you shouldn’t be reading this, you should be writing!!

Becoming published is a demanding process, so don’t start down this road unless you are  committed to seeing it through to the end.  Write well, better than you ever thought you could, and stay on task.   If you write a piece of crap, and all of us have, put it in your rear view mirror and move on.  Find people whose judgement you value to review your work, but remain true to your own instincts.   You will need a thick skin because rejections will flood your inbox.   Don’t flinch.   Get over it, learn from your mistakes and keep your eyes on the prize!

Thank you Wade for Dropping By!  

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