What inspired you to become an author?
I always was an avid reader. When I was an eighth grader, I searched my school library for something interesting, and couldn’t find anything that excited me. I went home and started writing my own novel on a pad of paper. I think I wrote around a hundred pages. Obviously it wasn’t a masterpiece, but I liked it because I had targeted myself as a reader. It had everything I was looking for in a novel. At that time I decided that I wanted to write real books someday and even have an entire shelf of my own books. I finally have achieved that goal and now have two of my bookshelves filled with my own writing.
Do you write in different genres?
I do love to write in different genres. I’ve written a biography of the novelist Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. and a reader’s guide to the works of mystery writer Michael Connelly. On the technology side, I’ve written lots of books for the general public as well as come college textbooks on computers and telecommunications. As far as fiction goes, Silent Partner is a paranormal mystery. I’ve published an Amazon best selling children’s adventure novel (Journey to a Different Dimension) and a YA adventure (Egypt Rising).
If yes which is your favorite genre to write?
Right now I’m really enjoying writing mysteries, particularly paranormal mysteries. In fact, I’ve already completed the sequel to Silent Partner (tentatively entitled A Bullet for the Ghost Whisperer).
How did you come up with the title for your latest book?
I LOVE the title of this book because it works on two different levels. A silent partner is someone who helps but no one knows about that person. Clearly Andy helps Josh in that way. Also, because Andy just happens to be dead and nobody but Josh can hear she really is a “silent” partner. I guess I thought of this title when I realized how frustrated Josh was when it came to explaining about Andy.
Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?
I wait until I’ve completed the book because I never know if the book will take a different direction than I originally planned.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Gosh, let me put on my old college lit teacher hat for a minute. There are several messages or themes worth considering in the book. I’m even putting a discussion guide up on my website (www.stanschatt.com) for any reading groups that want to consider discussing this book. Here are some off the top of my head:
· Is gender identity destiny?
· What does the book suggest is the purpose of life and what happens after a person dies?
· Is evil simply a force onto itself or do the evil characters in Silent Partner have sufficient motivation to explain their actions?
· Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true-life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?
What books/authors have influenced your life?
Several books and authors have influenced me. The first name that comes to mind is Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. I actually corresponded with him while writing a book about him. He was kind enough to tell me that I was on the right track; that meant a lot to me and gave me confidence.
I tend to re-read Dune every year, in part because it’s the best example I’ve ever read of an author creating an entirely new universe with a history that sounds plausible. Everything in that universe makes sense if you accept the initial assumptions. I find it a much more believable job than the Harry Potter universe as an example. I’m not saying that the writing itself is wonderful in Dune, but it’s certainly a novel of ideas.
Finally I would add Michael Connelly to my list. When I find a novelist I like, I tend to devour all his or her works. In the case of Connelly, I read every novel, every short story, every interview, and even the articles Connelly wrote as a crime reporter. I was fascinated by how Connelly develops his characters such as Harry Bosch over several years and several novels. I actually wrote a book about Connelly’s writing (Michael Connelly: A Reader’s Guide) because I thought it might help readers understand Connelly’s brilliance.
Reading the Harry Bosch novels several times caused me to decide to try to create a female Harry Bosch, a female detective who was driven by many of the same problems that drive Bosch. One reason was the challenge of creating such a character, but another was my fascination with the police procedure mystery format. Could I develop an interesting Bosch-like detective and could I add to the genre by including a paranormal element? That’s what I tried to do in Silent Partner.
What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?
I tend to work on several projects at the same time; I find that by moving from project to project I avoid writer’s block and stay fresh. So, I’ve been working on a revision of the sequel to Silent Partner (tentatively titled A Bullet for the Ghost Whisperer). At the same time, I put the finishing touches on my sequel to the Amazon best selling children’s novel, A Journey to a Different Dimension. I also am co-authoring a YA novel entitled Jane Blond, International Detective. Finally, I’m about a third done with a science fiction novel that centers on a love affair between an ex-SEAL and a very beautiful but very complicated female extraterrestrial. Do you think your relationships are complicated?
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure. Here’s a key scene:
Now Josh was thirty, but he wasn’t sure what great changes he could expect in his life. He limited himself to one drink a night, so he wasn’t afraid of going the way of his father or the other illustrious Harrell men, at least when it came to becoming an alcoholic. Several of his ancestors had been committed to asylums, and one had even been burned as a witch. He sat down in the large leather chair that faced his TV, holding his drink in his right hand while he sipped it and thought about Foster’s story, the one he had started to research.
What did the detective call it? Reading between the lines? Hell, it was like writing a novel. Robinson didn’t care how much of the story was fiction as long as the paper couldn’t be sued. He hadn’t looked at the file yet, but knew the story had something to do with the disappearance of several coeds from Hawthorne State. That probably meant a front-page story. He wondered if he could turn that story into a novel proposal and finally get Larry the Lizard off his back.
Josh raised his glass in mock salute to the blank television.
“Happy birthday,” he said.
Carl had suggested they go out to dinner to celebrate, but he didn’t feel like being with anyone. All he could show for his thirty years on the planet was a novel no one read and two broken marriages.
Josh glanced at his Worthington Master watch, the only souvenir besides his sidearm and bum leg that he had brought back from his Ranger days. The watch weighed more than a pound and had been featured in some spy movie, except the movie version had a built-in laser. Still, every time he looked at it, Josh thought about his unit, the men he had saved as well as those he had failed to save. Maybe that’s why he still had nightmares. He noted the time, remembered his time of birth that Jasmine had insisted he give her, and realized that now he was officially thirty.
Josh closed his eyes for a minute. When he opened them, he saw a young woman standing beside him, and she was a knockout. He blinked, but she didn’t go away. The tight strapless black cocktail dress revealed all of her curves. She wore her wavy brown hair up in a way that called attention to her gray eyes and small upturned nose.
“You’re not real. I’ve finally started losing my mind.”
Who designed the cover of your latest book?
My publisher Pen-L designed the cover for Silent Partner. I find it very clever since the cover displays a detective’s desk that includes a tabloid on top along with some file folders. Since Detective Frankie Ryan teams up with tabloid reporter Josh Harrell, I think the cover helps reveal the relationship. Since Frankie receives a lot of criticism from the press because she hasn’t solved the crimes yet, the tabloid’s headlines reflect that criticism.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
It’s funny because so often writers offer the same advice for new writers; it’s almost like they’re reading from a script. You know what I’m talking about. Published novelists always new writers not to be discouraged and to keep at it. Blogs are filled with all kinds of advice when it comes to leveraging the power of social media. Here’s my advice for what it’s worth:
· Read in the genre that you plan to write in. If you want to write mysteries, read some of the best mystery writers. If you want to write science fiction, read great science fiction novels. By doing so you’ll learn the rules that govern different genres.
· Keep good records. When it comes to pursuing agents and publishers, keep a spreadsheet updated; similarly, use the spreadsheet to keep track of bloggers you’ve approached when asking for reviews.
· Write quickly and then revise slowly. It’s important to get something down on paper and not obsess with getting every word perfect. Once you have a draft, then take the time to revise several times before even thinking of submitting your manuscript.
· If you get writer’s block, move to a new project and then return to the old one when you feel momentum building. Don’t just stop writing.
· Back up everything. If you want to back-up off premises and don’t want to pay for a service, send yourself emails with drafts attached.
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Publisher: Pen-L Publishing
Number of pages: 239
Word Count: 60,000
Cover Artist: Kelsey Rice
Book Trailer: None
Detective “Frankie” Ryan tracks a sadistic killer while the press attacks her as a feminist vigilante who takes the law into her own hands. The only one who can help her is a tabloid reporter who can’t decide if he’s a psychic who sees ghosts or is just going insane.
As they search for the killer in a sunny seacoast city’s seamy S&M underside, they begin to question everything they know about sexual identity. How can they find the killer before he strikes again when he defies any description?
Silent Partner is a paranormal mystery, a police procedure novel with a female detective that will remind you of Harry Bosch, a ghost story that suggests what lies beyond death, and a comic look at a tabloid where the “truth” is whatever sells.
Frankie glared at Landry. His neck turned red, but he didn’t say anything. “How could I live without her? I was addicted to her. Once you had her in your system, you never wanted her to leave. When I was away from her, I thought of her constantly. It wasn’t just the sex. She was the smartest, wittiest woman I’ve ever known. She was the most interesting and exciting woman I’ve ever met. She was also the most manipulative woman I’ve ever met. I hated myself for not throwing her out, but I just couldn’t. Love is a horrible thing, and not the wonderful things
“Did she leave a note?” Frankie was trying to develop a timeline.
“I came home around five-thirty, and she didn’t leave a note. I never believed her notes anyway. You have to understand something about Lorna. She never admitted she was wrong about anything, and she never apologized. She could convince herself in a minute that anything she said was true. Lorna once left me a note that she was going shopping with a girl friend. That friend called later and didn’t know anything about the shopping. I told my wife I knew she lied to me, and she became furious that I didn’t believe her. I’m sure she totally believed that she was right and I was wrong. I think the shrinks call someone like that a sociopath.” “We’ll need your statement. Does your wife have any enemies?”
Marco looked up. His eyes glistened from his tears. “It’s probably a long list. As I told you, Detective, she didn’t play by the same rules as everyone else.”
“Let’s start with the names of people you know had reason to dislike her,” Frankie said.
About the Author:
Stan Schatt grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and now resides in Carlsbad, California. He has written thirty-five books on a wide variety of subjects ranging from fiction to technology. He is co-author of Journey to a Different Dimension, an Amazon bestseller. He also authored Egypt Rising, a YA novel focusing on a teen’s experience in Egypt at the time of the Egyptian revolution of 2011. This novel contains paranormal elements including a secret buried under the Sphinx. The paranormal mystery Silent Partner is Schatt’s latest novel.
He has led several careers including futurist and executive for many of the world’s leading technology market research firms, police department administrator, autopsy assistant, software trainer, Telecommunications Department Chairman, and English professor. He taught at Tokyo University as a Fulbright exchange professor. His non-fiction includes books on such diverse topics as strategies for changing careers for a green industry job, studies of Michael Connelly and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., network and data communications technology, telecommunications, computer programming.