Thank you, James, for another opportunity to write a guest post on your terrific blog.
The other day I spoke to a writer pal about the change in subject matter I have been going through the last year, as in turning away from the hard-boiled noir writing I started out with (with books such as Justified Sins and Bullet for One) and switching to more light-hearted adventure fare. My friend, a terrific hard-boiled writer himself, does not understand why I have decided to change gears. Hard-boiled is alive and vibrant and more important than ever, he says. We have the opportunity to write the history of our time the same way the hard-boiled pioneers wrote about theirs using subject matter they were unwilling or unable to use.
Of course he is right. I wouldn't argue with him. But we have been going through one hell of a rough patch in this country and the last thing I want after a day of bad news is to read or write a grim crime novel full of more bad stuff. As an antidote to the bad news I am writing stories that are thrilling and exciting but also contain elements of humor. If you are looking for an escape, you can read this book and not be reminded of what just frightened you on the news. And if you are reminded, you’re being guided through the story by characters who will reassure you that everything is going to be okay in the end.
Which brings me to my just-released title, The Rogue Gentleman. The story features Steve Dane, the Rogue Gentleman, an international adventurer who rights wrongs wherever he finds them. Dane is a mix of James Bond, The Saint, and Nick Charles, shaken and stirred with hard boiled and humorous elements that make for a great piece of escapism.
In the book, Dane fails to prevent a young woman's kidnapping, and the girl's father hires him to get her back. Dane soon discovers the decades-old vendetta behind the kidnapping and peels back the layers of a plan that goes beyond a desire for vengeance. Assisted by his lover, the luscious Nina Talikova, Dane dives head first into a conspiracy of terror orchestrated by a powerful and mysterious woman known only as “The Duchess”.
Standard thriller fare, you say. You've seen it before, why should you care? The characters and the humor raise this to a different level. The characters are in on the gag same as the audience; they know what they're doing is ridiculous, and have no qualms about breaking the fourth wall to let you know that they know but we're all out for a good time so who cares, right? It's FUN. That's the point of entertainment, isn't it?
Adventure, humor, romance, cliff-hanger moments....I hope you'll enjoy reading The Rogue Gentleman as much as I enjoyed writing it.