Saturday, April 9, 2011

About Lawyers, Guns and Money 

Andy Cole is a criminal lawyer in a small town who figures he's got life pretty well knocked. Oh, sure, he's got two ex-wives to support, and maybe he's a little too fond of good bourbon, but he's got a successful practice and considers himself one of the insiders, the movers and shakers. He knows and keeps all the town's secrets...or so he thinks. But when the local crime boss hires Andy to defend his brother on a murder charge, Andy begins to discover there's a lot he doesn't know about the town he grew up in. Discovering what he doesn't know might kill not only him, but the woman he loves.

I'm a lawyer in a small town in North Carolina. There the resemblance to Andy ends. Mostly. I've also been a TV cameraman, radio announcer, media ad salesman, waiter, club DJ, and newspaper columnist.

What will readers like about your book?
The characters, the dialogue, and the pacing. I like books that really move quickly. .

Why did you self publish?
Joe Konrath has been a friend since I first published "traditionally" in 2005, and he's been urging me to do this since he started doing so well at it. What really pushed me to take the leap was seeing another friend, Lee Goldberg, who'd traditionally been very critical of self-publishing, put some of his work up for Kindle, then become a convert. I like the immediacy and the flexibility of this kind of publishing.

What is your writing process?
Place rear end in chair. Write. Have a drink. Write more. Repeat.

Some books I outline, some I don't. If I do outline, I find that the finished product often bears no resemblance to the outline. So what I do most often is outline the next few chapters, then write till I run out of outline, then think a bit, then outline some more.

How long does it take you to write your first draft?

Again, it varies. six to ten months is the usual range.

What inspired you to write this particular story?
I'm a lawyer, so since I started publishing, people have been asking me "when are you going to write a legal thriller like John Grisham's?" Problem is, most legal thrillers make me want to throw them across the room, because actual practice is nothing like that. I also wanted to write a "hard-boiled" detective novel, and this was a way of combining the two.


He was tipped back in one of my client chairs, head thrown back, his leather cowboy hat pulled down over his eyes. His long gray ponytail hung straight down, almost reaching the floor. A battered leather satchel sat next to the chair. He had his Tony Lama boots propped up on the desk and his hands folded on his chest. He looked like he was asleep.
“Voit,” I said, raising my voice slightly, “I ever come in your place and put my feet up on your bar?”
Slowly, he raised the hat and looked at me for a long moment. “Don’t recall that, no,” he said.
“Then why don’t you do me the same damn courtesy?” I knocked his feet off my desk with my free hand. He wobbled for a moment in the chair before it tipped forward and brought him upright with a thump. He sat straight up and glared at me.
A lot of people would have called me crazy for laying a hand on Voit Fairgreen. He’d shot men for less, or so the legend held. He’d never been charged with anything above a class G felony, and thanks to me, he’d mostly avoided jail time for those. Mostly. But people who’d made him angry or crossed him in his diversified businesses—drugs, gambling, non-tax-paid cigarettes and alcohol--had a habit of dropping suddenly out of sight and not coming back. All that said, with some clients you have to take a stand damned quickly, or they’ll make your life miserable. Voit Fairgreen definitely fell into that category. Plus, he obviously needed me, or he wouldn’t be here this early, so I figured I was fairly safe.
I sat down in my chair. “So what can I do for you?” I asked pleasantly.
His eyes were still narrowed, but his voice was calm as he said, “I come to talk about Danny.”
“Ah,” I said. “And how is the white sheep of the Fairgreen clan?” Of the five brothers and three sisters that Amos and Paulette Fairgreen had inflicted on an unsuspecting world, Danny, the baby of the family, was good-looking, a gifted athlete, and the only one who showed any promise of being worth a damn.
“You ain’t heard, then?”
I shook my head.
“He’s in the jailhouse.”
“Huh. What’s he charged with? DWI? Possession?”
Fairgreen’s shoulders sagged. “They say he kilt somebody.”
I put my coffee cup down. “Hold on just a second.” I picked up the phone and hit a button. “Chuck,” I said, “I’m going to need you to cover the calendar call for me this morning. Max has the files. Continue what you can, handle what you can’t.” I hung up the phone, cutting off Chuck’s questions. He’d figure out what to do. He’d passed the Bar only three weeks ago, but being tossed into the deep end without water wings is the lot of the young associate.
“Now,” I said. “Who’s he charged with killing?”



  1. Thanks, Nadine! And BTW, the Amazon link is

    Wishing you and the blog much success!

  2. Thanks JD. The 'Buy From Amazon' link will allow visitors to buy your book there :)