Thursday, July 18, 2013

Author Inverview: San Francisco Secrets by Greg Messel

Describe your book in five words or less.
Mystery in 1958 San Francisco

How did the ideas for your books come to you?
I spend a lot of time thinking about plots and stories. The idea for the Sam Slater Mystery series came to me when I was walking around San Francisco a couple of summers ago. I was at AT&T Park where the Giants play baseball. There were lots of displays about San Francisco baseball history. I began remembering the old Pacific Coast League team, the San Francisco Seals. I remember as a boy going to Seals Stadium with my dad. That triggered a whole avalanche of memories and this mystery series was born.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I have a theme throughout all of my books about the healing power of love in our lives. Sam Slater has had some real tragedy in his life but when he meets and falls in love with Amelia, it completely changes his outlook and his life.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?
The easiest part is when I’m starting to get it all written and the story is out of my head and on the page. What happens then is that the story can take unexpected turns and twists. I love that part. The hardest part is the final stage of that process when you read and re-read everything to make sure it’s consistent and flows properly. That’s especially important in a mystery to ensure that it all makes sense yet builds interest and suspense.
What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?
I’m working on my next novel--Fog City Strangler--which is the next book in the series of mysteries. I’ve written about 200 pages of the first draft. I’m excited about it and think it is really shaping up. I will finish it some time this winter.

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?
I just write the books and don’t specifically target a genre. I wanted to write a series with the same characters and setting. I decided it would be really fun to make them detective stories full of mystery and suspense set in San Francisco in the 1950s.

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?
It’s very exciting. The characters are gaining popularity with readers. It’s very gratifying to hear readers talking about Sam and Amelia as if they are real people and wondering what will happen to them next. Now the trick is to not disappoint readers and meet or exceed their expectations with the next novel.

What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
How much am I like Sam Slater? He’s tall, very handsome, mid-thirties and popular with the ladies. Sam’s also pretty tough. He’s a war hero and a professional baseball player. He’s all the things I would like to be but mostly I’m not. I wouldn’t mind having a girlfriend like Amelia either.

What was your road to publications like?
I self published. I’ve been self publishing for about four years. It is remarkable how the book world has evolved in that period of time. The focus has definitely moved from the tradition bookstores to the internet, social media and ebooks. It’s an exciting world.

About the Book
Noted novelist and newspaper editor Edgar Watson Howe once said, "A man who can keep a secret may be wise but he is not half as wise as a man with no secrets to keep"
As the spring of 1958 arrives in San Francisco, it seems that baseball player turned private eye, Sam Slater and his fiancée, TWA stewardess Amelia Ryan, are surrounded by people who have secrets.

A prominent doctor, John O'Dell is being blackmailed by someone who has discovered a dark secret from his past. When the private investigator trying to catch the blackmailer is murdered, Dr. O'Dell hires Sam Slater to try to pick up the pieces. Someone is playing for keeps and will do anything to protect their own secrets.

Meanwhile, Amelia begins her new job as an international stewardess which takes her on adventures to New York City, London, Paris and Rome. In hot pursuit is a womanizing older pilot who has his sights set on Amelia.

Their lives get even more complicated when a mysterious woman from Sam's past returns.

Sam and Amelia's relationship will be tested as they work together to solve the mystery on the foggy streets of San Francisco.

Purchase your copy of San Franscisco Secrets:

About Greg Messel:

Greg Messel grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and now lives in Edmonds, Washington on the Puget Sound with his wife, Carol. San Francisco Secrets is his sixth novel and is the third in a new series of Sam Slater mystery novels. Greg has lived in Oregon, Washington, California, Wyoming and Utah and has always loved writing, including stints as a reporter, columnist and news editor for a daily newspaper.

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