Foul Shot – a New P.I. Novel by Mystery Writer D.L. Coleman @DanLColeman1

I welcome mystery writer D.L. “Dan” Coleman to my blog today. Dan is a literary and mystery writer from Virginia living in North Carolina. His writing, other than the recently-published Foul Shot, a Wray Larrick Mystery (Create Space/Amazon), includes unpublished novels, finished and in-progress, a few short stories and short plays that won minor prizes and range from humorous to deadly serious, but in which his characters are profoundly changed in ways, not always positively.

Has your muse always known what genre you would write and be published in?

No. I was writing only humor and literary until I was in my early forties and discovered mystery and crime fiction, having been involved briefly with researching actual unsolved crimes.
What is your favorite part of writing? Finishing and promoting. I love to work at it, to do the internet searches for markets, getting out on the road and meeting people, whatever it takes. I’m very energetic anyway, so it’s fun. Least favorite part? The constant editing. I like to think I’m a perfectionist, but I never seem to achieve it, always a typo overlooked.

Can you tell us about your road to publication?

Yes. It was arduous, sporadic, and didn’t pay. Still doesn’t. After decades of chasing agents and editors who wouldn’t give me the time of day, I gave up on them and took advantage of the new technology and did it myself, like so many others.

What is the strangest thing you have done in the name of research?

Round up a large bunch of books and information, reams of papers, put it all in a pile, then just stare at it while drinking a bottle of wine. Because I already knew the subject—like I do all things I write about—and didn’t need it.

Were you “born to write” or did you discover the passion for it later in life?

I came about it bass awkward and began writing before I’d ever read a book. As a boy, I loved drawing and painting, figured I’d be an artist some day, maybe work for Walt Disney. Sure, that’s all Disney needed. At puberty I gave it up for sports and girls. One night after football practice, when I was sixteen, I lay across my bed and with a notebook and pencil and wrote two sentences of my first novel, then took off the next ten years to think of a third one. So the creative drive was there, just not sure it’s a birth thing, or a gift. You have to work at it.

Tell us about your hero. Give us one of his strengths and one of his weaknesses.

Wray Larrick is a decent, loyal man who is driven by a need to solve every difficult crime that falls in the realm of his interests, because the one he ‘s never solved—and the most important one to him– happened on his watch when he was a young boy, and he carries the guilt everywhere he goes, and it can be disastrous in his personal life. His weakness is his inability, or misfortune, whichever, to have lasting relationships with the women in his life who either leave him or die on him.

What do you read? Do you read different genres when writing versus not writing?

I don’t read anything when I’m writing but a daily newspaper. Sometimes I’ll start reading a book and by the second or third sentence the writing urge hits and I’m writing. I think maybe there’s a subconscious thing occurring wherein I don’t want the book’s author to get ahead of me, like If you can do it, so can I. Otherwise, I read anything insight, including wallpaper, because of an inherent curiosity.

If you could have one skill you don’t currently have, what would it be?

Computer literacy. I’m the dumbest guy in the world with this stuff. Well, I heard there was a guy over in B.F., Egypt, dumber than me, but I wouldn’t count on it.

What might we be surprised to know about you?

That I’m 74, talk like I’m 30, sound 18, have the energy and good health of a 6-year-old, and likely will still be around and moving when most of the people reading this are dead and gone. It’s what I expect from life; longevity, many experiences, and great things to write about and share with others.
For more about Dan, visit his Facebook page (Dan Coleman, Always Something), and on Twitter @DanLColeman1

P.I. Wray Larrick gets screwed more ways than one when he finds himself in a sinister world of rich, powerful women, among others, when on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina, in summer, to help his old flame, a beautiful cable TV news correspondent, investigate the inexplicable and recent murder of the beloved superstar athlete and centerpiece of a new women’s pro basketball league. On a mission that takes him from the beach to the bayous of south Louisiana to Philadelphia and back again, Wray follows the trail to his suspect’s door in a case of subterfuge and double-dealing that should have been as routine as a game of checkers but evolves as complicated as a Rubik’s Cube or the meaning of life.
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