As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been on a hardboiled noir detective kick the past few years – primarily stuff from the 60s and 70s. They most often contain dark characters doings bad things. Though some of them have quirky detectives in funny situations and exude humor.
I’ve read so many of these, from Lawrence Block and Donald Westlake to John D. MacDonald, that I thought I’d try my hand at writing one. Ended up I wrote three. They’re shorter, not full length 100,000-word novels you have to pour over for weeks. Each of these you can knock off in two or three nights.
They’re fast moving, somewhat quirky, set in South Dakota, as I like to do.
What I originally aimed for though was dark, nasty and gritty. It’s not entirely what I ended up with. Try as I might I just can’t get into that dark place needed to churn out some true noir. I think you’ll find the main character, Bags Morton, to be of very loose morals, but with his own set of principles he won’t stray from. The newly-retired cop is sarcastic and smart-alecky. He’s chasing bad guys in bad places, bars and strip joints. There are criminals and ex-cons and bar flies.
So the biggest thing that really separates this from most stuff I’ve written is these characters tend to talk like you might expect people like that to talk. There are more F bombs than I’m usually comfortable using. There’s plenty of promiscuity and sexual behavior (which is mostly left to your imagination.) So what I’m saying is don’t think you’re getting into a Bobby Trane, priest out wandering around kind of novel. It’s rated PG, but nothing like you don't see in your fave Netflix series. Don’t blame me if, after you reading all three, you are swearing like a sailor by the end of the summer. You were warned.
The plan is to release the first novel, Bags of Bodies, tomorrow. Look for some kickoff specials, though if you have Amazon Unlimited it's free.
In a nutshell, Bags Morton is enjoying retirement with his beautiful girlfriend. She would like to get married (and have sex with him) but not until Bags decides to quit messing around with other women. Bags, loves her too (and aches to have sex with her) but already has 3 or 4 marriages under his belt and has lost all faith in the institution. While they are sorting this out, people start dropping dead around Bags. First his mechanic is killed, then his barber, then his dog’s veterinarian. Bags decides to step in and use some of his previous contacts/convicts to figure out what is going on. And to kill the person doing it.
In July I’ll drop the second book, Bags of Rock.
In BOR, Bags gets called in by his old friend and former boss, The Governor, because the Gov is being blackmailed over nude pictures of his daughter, who is lead singer of an up-and-coming rock band. Things go sideways quickly when Bags shoots the Lieutenant Governor’s son during a robbery attempt; and a biker gang seeks revenge on Bags and the governor’s daughter.
Then in August, I’ll let loose the third book, tentatively titled Bags of Stone. See what we’re doing here? “Spend a summer with Bags.” Rather than dragging these out, let’s just “boom, boom, boom” get ‘em out there.
BOS introduces you to Bags’ friend Jonathon B. Stone, a homeless dude known to most others as Johnny B. Stoned. As homeless people are getting murdered in the downtown area, Johnny seeks Bags’ help. Bags goes undercover as a homeless person and prowls the streets trying to protect his friend and find the murderer. But nothing can ever be simple for him.
It seems I have trouble moving on to other projects while I have these sitting here begging me to go back and edit and rewrite. So I'm getting them out. Hope you enjoy a little break from the real world.